Thursday, November 27, 2008

Frugal "Black" Friday: Early Edition

Both CVS and Rite Aid are open today for their 3-day super sales. Both have some freebies and even moneymakers...

Be sure to check out all the CVS deals and printable coupons here

Rite Aid Maybelline nail polish $2.99-$2.99 rebate = Free Maybelline lipstick or mascara $4.99 - $4.99 rebate = Free Garnier Fructis shampoo or conditioner (11/28 only) $2.99 - $2.99 rebate = Free CVS Colgate Total $2.99 - $2.99 ECB - $1 coupon = $1 profit Hershey's King size Chocolate Bars $1 - $1 ECB = Free (Who can pass up free chocolate?) Johnson's soft lotion $5.69 - $5.69 ECB = Free (overage if you print the coupon) Bic Soleil $5.99 - $5.99 ECB - $3 coupon = $3 profit Sally Hansen $3.79 - $3.79 ECB = Free CG Smoothers $5.99 - $5.99 = Free ...from the weekly ad... Right Guard Professional Strength deodorant $7.99 - $7 ECB = $.99 Dial, Coast, or Tone 3 pk bar soap $1.99 - $1 ECB = $.99 ***Also, I have recently learned that most CVS stores will accept ECB for up to 2 months after the expiration date and they also give rain checks for items that are the ECB deals which will just reduce the original price instead of printing the ECB (for example the store was out of the Bic Soleil razors so she wrote me a raincheck and said they would deduct the ECB automatically from the price and they would be free with my raincheck.) I assume I'll probably still need to pay the tax and I probably won't be able to use the coupon to get a profit but still it is good to know that they do give out rainchecks since it can be quite annoying when the item is out-of-stock. Other "Black Friday" deals did not impress me too much since we really aren't interested in buying any electronics this year. We may go out for a couple of things tomorrow, and I am trying to talk Mike into going with me to the Bon Ton because they have a coupon in the newspaper for $10 off any item over $10 (excluding door buster sales) so I am hoping to go in and find some socks or something for free or very cheap...but we won't be getting up at 4 am or anything...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Giving Thanks

I just love Thanksgiving. Whether my mom or Mike's grandma is doing the cooking (depending on where we are spending Thanksgiving Day), the meal is always sure to be delicious. (I think my favorite this year was the completely-from-scratch pumpkin pie my mom made using my $1 pie pumpkin that I had been using as part of my fall decorating.) But, even more than that I just enjoy the history and meaning of the Thanksgiving season. I recently ordered a book/CD resource from Family Life called "Thanksgiving: A Time to Remember" (which, by the way I would recommend). Barbara Rainey writes, ..."Thanksgiving remains the holiday of 'coming home.' It's a holiday of rest - in stark contrast to the frenzy of obligations and spending that threatens to destroy the essence of Christmas. Our national observance of Thanksgiving is unique. It is both distinctly Christian and exclusively American, a holiday for celebrating faith, family and freedom."
If it has been awhile since you've heard the Pilgrims' story, I would encourage you to listen to it again. (You can hear the Thanksgiving story on the Family Life Today archived broadcast website here - look for 11/10 through 11/14.) Our current struggles pale in comparison to what these men and women went through. Being grateful is a choice. It's not a feeling dependant on circumstances, as we can see in the Pilgrims' lives. They believed in God's providence for all that was going on in their lives.


For more thoughts on the Thanksgiving season...see also David's Jeremiah's audio message entitled "Growing in the Grace of Gratitude" and his "Thanksgiving" article on his website here. We have so much to be thankful for! I pray that you have "an attitude of gratitude" to the Lord as you spend time in reflection this Thanksgiving...
Oh, give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name;
Make known His deeds among the peoples.
Sing to Him, sing praises to Him;
Speak of all His wonders.
Remember His wonders which He has done,
His marvels and the judgments uttered by His mouth.
Psalm 105:1-2, 5


I apologize that I have not had time to sit down and post anything lately. The last 2 weeks have been busy through the week and on the weekends. It is a busy time of year at work and I have been staying later than usual, so it makes for a short evening by the time I run my errands and get dinner before Mike gets to his Hebrew class, etc. In addition I am trying to work on a couple crafts for Christmas. We've also been busy the last 2 weekends. Two weeks ago Mike and I attended the Eschatology ("End Times") conference at church - which was really good. We also had a social for our Adult Bible Fellowship (Thanksmas) and church at the detention home. This past weekend we had the Focus retreat in PA and got to have a mini-Thanksgiving with my parents. If you haven't seen it yet, Mike put together a video of the retreat and posted it on his blog this past Tuesday (click here). We are spending Thanksgiving with Mike's family and will be returning to Ashland on Saturday to be back for our Sunday commitments. I have 2 more posts that I am going to do, but this computer is slow (it's been a long time since I've used dial-up!), so we will see if they go through...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Honoring those who have served our country

Unless you work for the government or have children in school where they may be holding a special assembly today, you may not realize that today is Veteran's Day. I went to the Department of Veterans Affairs website to get the history of Veteran's Day...
World War I – known at the time as “The Great War” - officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the
end of “the war to end all wars.” In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: "To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of thosewho died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…"
An Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U. S. Code, Sec. 87a) approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday - - a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as "Armistice Day." Armistice Day was primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I, but in 1954, after World War II had required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen in the Nation’s history; after American forces had fought aggression in Korea, the 83rd Congress, at the urging of the veterans service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word "Armistice" and inserting in its place the word "Veterans." With the approval of this legislation (Public Law 380) on June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.
The Uniforms Holiday Bill (Public Law 90-363 (82 Stat. 250)) was signed on June 28, 1968, and was intended to insure three-day weekends for Federal employees by celebrating four national holidays on Mondays: Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Columbus Day. It was thought that these extended weekends would encourage travel, recreational and cultural activities and stimulate greater industrial and commercial production. Many states did not agree with this decision and continued to celebrate the holidays on their original dates.
The first Veterans Day under the new law was observed with much confusion on October 25, 1971. It was quite apparent that the commemoration of this day was a matter of historic and patriotic significance to a great number of our citizens, and so on September 20th, 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed Public Law 94-97 (89 Stat. 479), which returned the annual observance of Veterans Day to its original date of November 11, beginning in 1978. This action supported the desires of the overwhelming majority of state legislatures, all major veterans service organizations and the American people.
Veterans Day continues to be observed on November 11, regardless of what day of the week on which it falls. The restoration of the observance of Veterans Day to November 11 not only preserves the historical significance of the date, but helps focus attention on the important purpose of Veterans Day: A celebration to honor America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.
So, that's the history lesson for today. Let us make a point today to honor America's veterans for their sacrifice for our country and for serving to protect our freedom. And also let us remember in prayer especially today all those who are currently serving in our military - for their souls and for their safety and for their families...and give praise to the Lord for what He has done through all these military men and women - past and present.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

I've been tagged!

I've been tagged by my sister, Julie, to list 5 things I love about my husband. She did such a great job sharing 5 things that she loves about Keith that it will be hard to follow her, but here it is...
5 Things I Love About My Husband...
1. Mike has surrendered his life to the Lord Jesus Christ. He is continually growing in his faith. He has great knowledge of the Scriptures and is very insightful in his teachings and "Theological Thursday" blog posts. I love that I can turn to him to help me with my understanding of the Bible and have deep theological discussions with him. He is committed to leadership in the church and the Lord's will for his life. I am also humbled by his prayer life. I often will ask what he is doing if he is sitting quietly on the couch or while we are in the car traveling and he says he is praying. I am so grateful for the Lord's working in his life.
2. Mike is committed to our marriage. He desires to have our marriage glorify God and for us to serve the Lord together. We do devotions, pray and read marriage books together to strengthen our marriage. He can be very romantic and thoughtful. I love it when he plans a little weekend getaway to a bed & breakfast or a date night as a special romantic treat. He does little things to make me feel special, like opening my car door, doing the dishes without me asking or starting the car for me to go to work on a chilly morning. He's not too "tough" to take a bubble bath, take a long walk on the beach with me holding his hand, cuddle or watch a "chick-flick" together. He often says that he misses me. He is very patient and rarely complains about anything (unlike me). He also gives me a different viewpoint on some things (such as evangelism, for example) because of his own experience and personality. Although that will sometimes cause friction between us, we "balance" each other. I have learned that being married to someone who is not exactly like me allows the Lord to challenge me and work on my attitude - that it would be truly Christ-like, not that I have a certain opinion/attitude just because of my own personal experience, and I have grown to appreciate that.
3. Mike makes me laugh. There are times that I will be having a bad day or things will be rather unexciting and he will either say something or do something to make me smile or, just recently, singing karaoke before Jason & Kerby's reception or doing the "Yearbook" pictures of us on his blog. Not everyone gets to see this side of him because he appears to be quiet most of the time. But, whether it be saying a pun randomly, joking or telling a funny story from his childhood, or any of the other random creative funny things he does, I am thankful that I have him to keep life enjoyable even when things are serious or not going well.
4. Mike is so talented. He is so intelligent and athletic. He has never had any formal computer training and he has somehow become the backup IT person at work. He is responsible about how we spend our money and is financially-wise. He was even considering a job recently with Edward Jones. He has been a little entrepreneur, buying and selling on eBay at times. When he is motivated he can get the job done in a lot less time than anyone else. The other evening he surprised me with a clean apartment - it took him less than 2 hours - it would have taken me all weekend. He is also very creative and a great problem-solver. And, he still amazes me with his magic tricks.
5. Mike genuinely loves and cares about his family, including all of the "in-laws." He enjoys being at home with me, spending time with family whenever we have the chance, praying for them, playing golf with my dad and brother, doing fantasy football with my family, playing with nieces and nephews, sitting and talking to his Grandma and I could go on and on. I understand that he was his great grandmother's favorite and he loved spending time with her. She passed away very soon after Mike and I started dating, but I am glad to have had the chance to have met her. We visited her in the nursing home and I will always remember Mike gently caring for her and feeding her a banana and how her spirit changed knowing that Mike was there even though she couldn't open her eyes or speak.
I am so thankful that the Lord gave you to me to be my husband, honey, I love you!
And, now I tag Amy A., Jenny G., Maria D. and Dana J. to share 5 things you love about your husband either by leaving a comment on my blog or simply sharing with your hubby!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Frugal Friday

Well, I'm a little late in getting this up this week. We were in PA last weekend & I've been busy with flu clinics at work so I haven't been home much lately to do my homework on bargain shopping. The best grocery deals I found for this week are... CVS (ends Saturday) Hershey's selected candy $1 each with $5 ECB back when you buy $10 (if you are planning on making candy for Christmas and need milk chocolate this is a good way to get it cheap) Brita filters 3 pk $14.99 - $5 ECB = $9.99 Crest Pro-Health Whitening $3.49 - $3.49 ECB = Free RiteAid (ends Saturday) L'eggs hose BOGO G.U.M. toothbrush 2 pk $1.99 - $1.99 rebate = Free Soy Joy Nutrition Bars 10/$5 - $5 rebate when you buy 10 = Free Christmas M & Ms $1.88 (again, not a bad price if you are planning on baking Christmas cookies) Buehler's (ends Sunday) Chex cereals 3/$4.50 - $1 off coupon from newspaper = 3/$3.50 Hawkins (ends Saturday) Inn Maid Noodles 10/$10 Red Seedless Grapes 10 lb/$10 Kraft marshmallows 10/$10 Cut-Rite Wax paper 10/$10 Krogers (through Sunday) lots of deals in the Mega Event sale - see here Walmart - updated deals & printable coupons see here And, since I was so late on this week's I decided to go ahead and post next week's deals early... Hawkins Chicken leg quarter $.58/lb (Tuesday only) CVS Palmolive dish detergent $1.49 - $1 ECB = $.49 Hershey's candy lots of kinds on sale & spend $20 get $10 ECB Kroger Milk (gallon) 2/$5 Rite Aid M&Ms, Hershey kisses BOGO Crest ProHealth $2.69 - $2.69 rebate - $1 coupon from P & G booklet = $1 profit Also, if you are planning on buying anything on between now and December 31st you can get $10 off when you spend $50...details here. Also, there is a deal right now on Amazon, when you buy $25 worth of toys you get a free subscription to Cookie magazine (but, you can ask for a refund of $15 instead of the magazine)...details here

Monday, November 3, 2008

Need a good laugh?

This is funny...

Meal Planner Monday: Freezer Coleslaw & Primanti-like Sandwich

The Steelers are playing Monday Night Football...Does that put you in the mood for a "Pittsburgh-classic" kind of meal?
Freezer Coleslaw (serves 4 -8) 1 medium head of cabbage 1 carrot 1 teaspoon salt 1 onion 1 cup vinegar 1/4 cup water 1 teaspoon celery seed 2 cups sugar Cut cabbage and onion. Mix with salt and let stand one hour. Mix the vinegar, water, celery seed, and sugar. Bring all this to a boil and boil one minute. Let cool until lukewarm. Cut up carrot and mix with the cabbage. Pour the vinegar mixture over the cabbage & let it set for about an hour. Serve or place in containers/freezer bags and freeze. The recipe says to boil the vinegar dressing, but I just mix it all together (I guess maybe I'm just lazy). I like to make this coleslaw for my version of the Pittsburgh Primanti Brothers sandwich... Primanti-like Sandwich (This is much healthier than the real thing) Thick sliced homemade Italian bread Deli-style ham, several slices A "heaping handful" of Homemade French Fries (see below) Provolone cheese, optional Sliced tomato, optional A "heaping handful" of Coleslaw (above)
Serve on wax paper for authenticity!
Homemade French Fries (I just kind of make it up as I go) French cut potatoes Drizzle liberally with olive oil and salt - mix together - spread out on greased baking sheet Bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes. (You'll want to flip them a couple times while baking.)