Thursday, June 30, 2011

Lemonade Stand Fundraiser for Children's Hunger Fund

Back in May our family volunteered at the Children's Hunger Fund Chicago branch warehouse.  The more I learn about this organization the more I love it. Our kids loved volunteering that day and decided they want to go every Saturday to help (of course we would love to but it just isn't doable around here). When we were there we were told about their Ten or $10 Back to School Pak campaign. Basically, you can buy ten items (including a backpack and some specified items) and donate them or you can give them $10 and every ten dollars will buy a backpack with supplies and they will do the shopping for you.

When we got home that day, the kids were very excited about this and wanted to donate backpacks. I talked to them about how they could try to earn money so they can buy more backpacks. It would be really easy for me to give them $10 for them to donate or take them to the store and buy the supplies for them but I wanted to them to learn about sacrificing something of their own to be able to give to others. In this instance, it's their time. They had decided to do a Lemonade Stand.

They had a great time preparing for the Lemonade stand by helping me bake cookies to sell, shopping for supplies, making signs, and mixing the lemonade.

Thank you to so many of you that came out. My kids loved seeing you all. They were able to raise enough for 44 backpacks!!!!! All Praise to God! They are so excited but don't want to stop there. Joshua has decided that he would like to be able to donate 100 backpacks. Over the next few weeks they have decided to do extra chores around the house to raise some more money.

Grandpa was our first customer.

While we were waiting for customers, some goofing around was going on and this hat ended up in the tree.

We had aunts, cousins, grandpa, friends, the kids babysitters, people driving by, a guy that was the mailman at an office I worked at years ago, a woman on a prayer walk, and neighbors.

This was a great way to teach my kids about serving and showing the love of Christ. They are so excited to go out and buy the school supplies and deliver them to the Children's Hunger Fund warehouse.

If you would like to learn more about Children's Hunger Fund, you can go to their website at 

If you would still like to donate, you can contact me. If you would like to fill backpacks with your kids for CHF, please let me know and you can also get them to me and I will deliver them to the warehouse. We will need them by the third week of July. You can also go to their website to donate. Please be in prayer for this as well. They have a goal to collect 2000 backpacks and right now only have 500.

Here is a list of the items needed:

Glue stick
Washable Markers
Pencil Sharpener

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Two Front Teeth

She lost the other one.

Now if we could just get that tooth fairy to show up.

We've lost 6 teeth in this house and she has only shown up the first night 3 out of those 6 times. I think we are going to have to fire her and get a new one.
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Monday, June 27, 2011

Living Off the Land

When I was a kid we had an above ground pool and my mom had a VERY BIG garden. She would torture us by making us get out of the pool in the middle of all our fun and go to the garden to pull weeds.

I always swore that I would NEVER have a garden.

We now have an above ground pool and guess who decided it was time to torture her children. (Just kidding. I'm not going to torture them.......not yet!)
Yep, that's right. For as many times as I said I would NEVER have a garden, I now have one.

Of course I'm not really sure that you can actually call it a garden. I had a strip of landscaping behind the garage that I cleaned up this year. Before planting flowers or bushes in this spot, I thought I would do a trial garden to see if I like it.

I have a small area of bean plants, 2 green pepper plants, 4 tomato plants, 1 zucchini plant, a sunflower, 1 cucumber plant, and 1 muskmelon plant.

The funny thing is, a good majority of my family doesn't like half of these foods so I will have to come up with creative ways to use it all.

It has been fun watching everything grow.

I'm not the only one having fun watching it all grow. I've seen a bunny circling my yard lately and I'm sure it's just waiting to eat my food. The bunny will have to be taken care of. Maybe I'll put a sign up telling him that the neighbor's garden has carrots.
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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Take Comfort

This morning during my devotions I read something out of a devotional that immediately brought someone to my mind that was hurting. I thought about retyping the devotional and sending it to her. Then as the day went on another person popped into my mind that might take comfort by these words. Then later another person and then another. Before I knew it so many had popped into my head, I realized how many people I know that are going through trials right now or know someone that is.

I decided I would just share it here and if you are reading this today, I hope it comforts you. If you know someone that needs comfort, please pass this along.

Take Comfort

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

Do you ever feel your trials are like wearing a crown of thorns? Be faithful. As you trust in God, He will hand you a crown with stars instead. Remember to thank and praise Him.

Do you feel like you are overloaded, your hands filled with heavy cares? Be faithful. As you keep trusting in God, He will take away your heavy cares and place a harp in your grasp, so you may sing glory and honor to God for all He has done. Remember to thank and praise Him.

Hold on and do not despair. There will be a time when you look back and your trials will seem as nothing in light of the many answered prayers, miracles, and evidence of God's glory and grace.

Step by step, day by day, He takes each trial and turns it inside out. Triumphs emerge like a marvelous spiritual metamorphosis. Each of your obedient acts will be transformed to joy unspeakable!

So take heart. Stay faithful. When all is ever so dark, know for sure morning follows the night.

From When I'm Praising God

I also really enjoyed Ann Voskamp's post today.
Head over to her blog and read about What to Sing in Your Storms.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day Fun

It seems that as I get older I get more sappy and sentimental on Mother's Day and Father's Day.

This Father's Day I just feel so blessed to have a heavenly Father that loves me unconditionally.

I have an earthly father that taught me all about my heavenly Father.

I have a father-in-law that taught my husband all about our heavenly Father.

And I have a husband, the father of my children, that is faithful in teaching my children about that same heavenly Father.

So thankful for all of these men in my life.

We tried to make Brad feel special by making all his favorite foods.

The morning started with homemade cinnamon rolls. After we came home from church we had pot roast and mashed potatoes. That was followed by one of his favorite desserts. He loves the big chocolate chip cookies that you can buy at the store all decorated. Well, I think they are way overpriced and don't taste very good. So we made him one ourselves.

I meant to just write the same thing over and over again until I got to the bottom of the cookie but then after writing it twice I decided to add the kids names to it.

Brad is such a good dad. He is always having fun playing with the kids. After working hard, no matter how tired he is, he is willing to go outside and play baseball or football or whatever sport it is they boys want to play. He loves to take them places, watch movies with them, and hearing about their day. Since he works nights, he'll often call them in the evening to hear about things they did during the day. But most importantly he loves to teach them about Jesus.

And I love him for being such a good dad to our children.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Missin' One

Someone lost her front tooth tonight.
I pulled it at suppertime.
This same little girl must have been eating chocolate as well, since her face is dirty.
Come to think of it, it was actually Oreos.
Posted by PicasaAs you can see, her other front tooth is hanging there and will be coming out soon.

Hopefully the tooth fairy remembers to pay a visit to her bedroom tonight.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Our Weekend of Camping

This past weekend was our annual camping trip with some friends and also my sister and her family. The forecast for the weekend was not looking so good and our family is more of a fair-weather camping kind of family. So when they were predicting severe thunderstorms with possible hail.......let's just say, it didn't sound too fun for us. Combine that with a child who is deathly afraid of thunderstorms, a husband that had 5 hours of sleep the night before and a son that had been sick for the whole week before, needless to say, we decided to wait til Saturday morning to leave.

Because of our decision, I am happy to say that there were no storms.

When we woke up Saturday morning, Joshua was covered in hives. As I said, he had been sick all week and was on an anitibiotic. He picked that morning to have an allergic reaction. Even with that, we decided to head out. The campground isn't that far away from home and pharmacies are close by. When I took him to the pharmacy later that day, I found out that he indeed had an allergic reaction. He thought it was very cool that not only does he have an allergy but he also has the same one as his mom.

So, enough about why we went late and almost didn't go at all and here are some highlights from our 30 hour camping trip.

Our camping weekend consisted of a very long hike, with a lot of whining kids AND adults. We are more interested in planting our rear ends in a lawn chair than a 2 hour hike.

This one didn't even take a step on the hike, yet he was tired out.

When we camp, I do my best to not do dishes at all and cook as little as possible. That is why we eat things like Lunchables, chips and cookies.


Because we didn't get enough hiking in on the 2 hour (which seemed like 5 hours) hike, we decided to drive to the beach and climb a sand dune.

The good thing about climbing sand dunes get to run down.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Getting Stuff for Free/Cheap

I shared awhile back about some of my grocery shopping tips, so I thought I would share some of my tips for shopping for toiletry and personal items.

I generally stick to two stores. CVS and Walgreens. Walmart is a good place to shop if you don't have a lot of time to be making small trips and/or couponing. Their prices are probably the lowest for everyday shopping. And I've explained before why I quit shopping at Target. Target is bad for my budget.

I really love CVS and Walgreens because of their Extra Bucks and Register Rewards. If you aren't sure what I'm talking about, I'll try to explain real quick. You buy an item at the marked price and after you pay, it will print out a coupon that you can use on your next purchase.

(Small tip for those of who don't know, you can use Register Rewards from Walgreens at Jewel)

Although I shop at both, I am definitely a bigger fan of CVS. Their Extra Bucks don't expire as quickly as Walgreens Register Rewards and I just seem to get better prices there. But I know plenty of people who like Walgreens better, so decide for yourself.

I know many who get free items that they will never use and then use the Extra Bucks/Register Rewards to roll over to other transactions. I try to stick to items we need or that I know we will use. I watch the sales and often have quite a stockpile going.

Things I get free or real cheap: Deodorant, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, body wash, mouthwash, floss, plus many more.

To show you how it works, I'll share my transactions from this week from CVS. I often do two transactions in one visit.

Transaction #1
1 Ban Deodorant 2.99
2 Deans Milk 2.99 each
1 Crest ProHealth Mouthwash 4.50
1 Clairol Nice & Easy 6.97

Used $.75 off coupon for Ban
         $1.00 off coupon for Clairol Nice & Easy
         $2.00 off coupon for Crest ProHealth

Total Out of Pocket $17.70
Received $8.50 back in Extra Bucks

Transaction #2

2 Pkg Lifesaver Peppermints 2/$3
2 Tampax 20 ct 2.99 each
2 Axe Spray 4.69 each

Used coupon for Axe Spray BOGO
         $1.50 off 2 Tampax
         Then $8.50 in Extra Bucks

Total Out of Pocket $4.96

Total Paid in both Transactions $22.66
Total Saved in both Transactions $25.69

Although I've had shopping trips that have ended better than this, I always think it's a success when what I saved is more than what I spent.

Tip: If you shop at CVS, you will need to sign up for one of their cards. You can also sign up on their website to have more coupons emailed to you.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Exciting News!!!!

I'm sure you all saw the title of this post and can't wait to find out what this is all about.

I hate to disappoint you but...................It's exciting for me, maybe not for you.

My blogging started a little over three years ago and I don't know how many times I've had people ask me about just having my posts sent directly to their by email.

Maybe three.

Well I am so excited to make those three people happy.

I'm a little behind when it comes to computers. I used to be good with technology but since having kids I just don't have the time to devote to figuring stuff out.

Well-------today I figured it out. You can now go to my sidebar and sign up to have my new posts sent directly to your email. 

Aren't you excited?

Once you've done it, could somebody please tell me if it worked.

Thanks, I appreciate it.

And sorry to disappoint about my not-so-exciting news that I found exciting but you are probably bored with and wish I would just end this post and quit talking about it.

Next maybe I'll link my Facebook and Twitter accounts to my blog. But I wouldn't want to get too crazy!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The View From My Chair

In case you are looking for me this summer.

Normally--no one is.

But just in case.

This is where I'll be.

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I'll also be trying to figure out my camera as well, so I don't have blurry hands like I do in this picture.

My camera is now out of the "auto" setting, so now I have to work at making my pictures look good.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Running Errands

This week we had a few car troubles, so I spent the week without wheels. It was much needed time stuck at home so I could get some things done. Although I'm not exactly sure what I got done, mainly some yardwork.

Today, I finally got my car back. Normally I like to run my errands when Brad is home or when the kids are at school but for obvious reasons that didn't happen.

So this afternoon I got to endure enjoy running errands with ALL four of my kids.

First we headed to Lowe's to order some lumber. If it takes an hour to order lumber when it's not busy, I wonder how long it would actually take if they were busy. Of course, Isaac had a whole new audience and a cashier that was amused by him so he was in rare form.

After letting the fine people at Lowe's enjoy our circus, we headed off to the pool store to buy some new goggles.

After selecting our goggles and paying for them, we headed outside to find that someone had left the side door to the van wide open. Good thing the rest of the doors were locked. I guess if no one wants to steal your car when you leave the door wide open, I'm guessing I'm pretty safe and my car is mine until it dies.

We then headed to the meat market where......YEAH! there was a big bowl of suckers because we were starting to settle down and were in need of more sugar. After getting some more sugar in the kids systems, we headed to Walgreens where nothing exciting really happened except for fighting over who was going to push the cart and then half way through the store no one wanted to push the cart. Oh yea, then there is the usual whining and begging for things and me saying they weren't on sale today.

Then off to Jewel we went. Of course we had to get the big fire engine cart, which is always fun to steer. Then add another 160 lbs to it, then continue to add groceries. I'm sure you get what I mean. After loading up the cart, we headed back to the other side of the store so we could get a chicken dinner. On our way back, with four kids hanging out of a cart filled with groceries, my kids start singing Crazy Train. A nice touch to the look we already had going for us.

I normally don't let my children listen to Ozzie but they said they learned it from a movie and they only know one line which they tend to sing over and over again.

I did forget though what good helpers they are when it comes to bagging everything for me in the self checkout.

It's always fun the questions people ask. The biggest one is, "Are they all yours?" I got asked this one again today at Walgreens.

One of these times I'm going to answer back with, "No, It's just so boring to run errands with one kid so I take the neighborhood kids with me."

Then there is the lady in front of me at Jewel today that just kept looking back at me and then down at my kids and just wasn't sure what to say.

On a different not, I also have this little tidbit that has nothing to do with errands but that I thought was funny. Isaac was getting an apple out of the drawer in the fridge tonight and then proceeded to shut the door without shutting the drawer. I pointed out to him that he needed to shut the drawer and Isaac says, "I wish there was a button that we could just push and it would shut the drawer, that would be easier."

At 5 years old, my boy is too lazy to shut a drawer and wants a button that will do it for him?!

Thursday, June 2, 2011


I have two daughters.

One looks like me but her personality is much like her father's.

The other daughter looks more like her dad's side of the family but her personality couldn't be more like mine.

Now that you know that and if you know me and Brad at all, whose backpack do you think had this special suprise in it at the end of the school year?

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UPDATED---For those of you who don't come here from my Facebook and saw the comments about who's apple this actually is, I thought I'd share. This was found in Alex's backpack and she takes after her dad. When asked to clean out her backpack, she actually left this in there. Thankfully her brother found this or it would have been there until August.

That brings a whole new meaning to "Science Experiment" and "Disgusting!"