Saturday, January 22, 2011

"SERIOUS" Saturday!

If this photo does not say our familly is SERIOUS, then I don't know what does! There isn't a whole lot our family acts really serious about when it comes to life...we take it a day at a time, an hour at a time and even a breath at a time in most cases. We try to lighten our every day stress load with smiles and acting silly. I REALLY, REALLY wanted today to be "SILLY SATURDAY" and had some funny pic's planned.....but yesterday I really got serious about a few things and decided to share them with you! Who knows, this afternoon I will probably post my "SILLY SATURDAY" as well, .....just because I CAN! (hey, when it is your blog, you can write whatever you want, right? You can make your own rules, right? I love that on this all too serious Saturday!)
One of the things "we" were going to get serious about this 2011 year was money! We have had a lot of curveballs thrown our way, however, that is no excuse as to how we have always handled our money. Adopting a baby, lawyer fees, unfixable vehicles and every day general life needs add up in a big hurry. Especially in this day and age with gas at a whoppng $3.20/gallon right now! Yep, I've been complaining about this for a week. I WANT/NEED to be with my mama right now, but going back and forth just isn't an option unfortunatly with the distance I need to travel. I flat out hate it....i really do! Financial problems are the number one cause of divorce right now. I can see that, because I see the stress it causes couples and it is a real shame. I am vowing to NOT get into that boat and sail off into the sunset and island of "let's fight over money" any longer. I don't want to visit that island so darn often, I am tired of it there. They don't wait on you hand and foot, it isn't near as tropical as it sounds, there is no cabana boy to bring you fruity little drinks, the cost of living is WAY high and often you go alone.....who wants to go on vacation alone, and in tears? Not Me. an effort to save money I started crunching numbers and here are some ways I am saving, and maybe I'll throw out something that will strike a chord and you can save on some things as well.
First: I shut off our home phone and downgraded our cable.
We seemed to always watch the regular channels anyway or were watching $1.00 redbox movies. This took our cost of $140.00/month down to 35.00/month for internet and basic cable. Not a bad $105.00 savings.
Second: We cut off netflix because we could never seem to sit down and watch a movie and just weren't getting our money out of it (we cut this off many months ago)....We now use the 1.00 Redbox and we take them back on time so we aren't charged another buck (who can beat movies, and new movies at that for a buck?). Lyza rents her movies (mostly Thomas the Train and Princess Stuff) from the library and some from our Church free of charge!!! Can't beat free..... Chris and I also will rent movies to better ourselves, our relationship and our Walk in Christ from church as of charge!
I am also an avid book collector!!!! Instead of buying so many books that end up sitting up on a shelf when done or given away to familly or friends, I now rent them from Church and if there are novels I want, I get them from the library! Free!
Another thing our family is really into is music!!!! Lyza LOVES to play music on the bedroom stereo and sing her little lungs out with her microphone!! LIBRARY has free Music CD's, as does the church!
Third: I need to workout and keep myself feeling well and socialize!! In lieu of gym membership that was killing us (and we weren't using enough) I ended that a long time ago also. Guess what, the public library and church library have FREE dvds to rent. Currently I am doing "Dancing as Exercise for Dummies" and "Total Yoga" . They also just recently started offering Zumba at our Church for a very minimal cost and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it. Interaction from someone other than my four year old and husband was a must......SO, the Zumba helped, getting myself ready with (ok, before) Lyza on Tues and thurs for school got a jumpstart on my I started taking some FREE Women's Bible Study clases at church. We are also signed up for a few more starting in February during the normal Sunday Worship Hours (this means we'll attend class for one worship session and attend Worship at one of the other services offered). I love the friends I have made so far and the instant friendships that seemed to flourish from the ladies in our Bible Study almost immediatly! I am so very thankful for that.
Fourth: Groceries! Ummm, hello...we have to eat but the price of groceries these days??!!!! Yep, we HAVE finally become coupon clippers. I never thought I'd see the day where we were excited to get our Sunday paper and clip coupons! We plan our route and off we go! I do believe we are saving by the coupon clipping..... It was said to me often that you buy more while clipping coupons because you buy more/different things than you would normally eat....and buy "on top" of what you normally buy just because you have the coupon. We buy WHAT the coupon is for and substitute that for something else we might have bought instead. So it is working out! My dear friend taught me how to make my own laundry soap (I have not done this yet though) and has a website if you can't find it there (I am trying to go off memory), just visit her at and you'll find a link!
Something new we are going to try as well is Angel Food Ministries! Chris' Nanna called me with this information yesterday. It is not for the poor, it is for anyone who each, which includes both you and I! Go to and click on the January menus and you will see each category of food, what is included in that box and the price in the upper right hand corner. You do not pay for this to ship, as when you order will be shipped to someplace local in your community for you to pick up. There is a place to put in your zip code and it will list all the current places you may pick up within your area. Pretty neat! I especially like it because I am not a huge eater, so picking the fruits section, kids section and planned meals section would be ideal for us because I eat fruit and cereal mostly, lunches for Chris and lyza plus snacks. And yes....I HAVE started we sit down to a nice meal each night! This may be a way for you to save on that ever growing grocery bill.....check it out if you want! It certainly won't hurt you to take a peek and see what it is all about!
Fifth: Activities/Entertainment!!! How we love to do them and want to make our kiddos happy, let's admit....the cost of doing anything with our kids is a bit outrageous these days! So...we take advantage of the "free" playplace at the mall, any type of promotion that Toyota has going on to it's employees (recently we took Lyza to see "Tangled" and paid 6.00 for all three of us to go and it included our snacks and drinks!!!), they normally have CMOE tickets buy one get one free....just small things like that we take advantage of! Something we REALLY started taking advantage of? The Wii.....we act like total and utter goofballs....but we all love the games and our best entertainment is watching Lyza dance to "Michael Jax" (as she calls it!). Reading stories, working on school workbooks, analyzing TV shows she is watching....and trying to throw in as much educational stuff without her knowing it is awesome! We also received many gift cards for Christmas.....for dinners, small dates out, small vacations....and we are trying to stretch them far apart so we always have "FREE" activities to look forward to! We have enjoyed this! Just learning to have a "game night" once a week, "movie night", "storybook night", etc not only gives you more time together as a family.....but is also FREE! Our children learn by example and watching don't start these traditions while times are "tough" and perhaps one day you will see your very own kiddos doing these things with their children! (WAY down the road that is!!! ;0)
The Sweetheart Behind My Happiness! His love is FREE and I couldn't get any luckier than that! My best friend and confidant.....the one who listens to my every mood (sometimes not without complaint, but he listens!) and is always there when I need him! He amazes me!

The Goofball that keeps me going EVERY single day and EVERY single minute of the day, whether I want to be "going" or not! She is so full of life and amazes me. It also saddens me to see how much she has grown and how much she seems to learn every single day! She is an angel and has touched more lives in her short little life than she will ever know! When I count my blessings, I count her twice!

Lastly, not only am I second....everyone in our family is second. God is first! We are making a pledge to really reinforce that to ourselves this year and to our children. That it isn't about never was about us....and that we probably made it about us for FAR to long! Big changes in our house this year with the "I am Second' program. Putting God First and in charge of your life.....will change everything about the way your life it works, why it works and if you just put your faith, trust and belief in Him, you will be amazed at the ways all the other "junk" in your life floats away, or falls into place as it should!
So on this "Serious Saturday", I hope you have found something in my writing useful, helpful or lifechanging at that! Something as simple as having the willpower to not buy books, but rather rent them is lifechanging! You can do this!
May your Blessings overflow today!

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