Monday, January 25, 2010

Groceries and MONEY!!!

I've always been fairly conservative when it comes to money (not too hard to do when you don't have much to begin with!, ha!). I invest conservatively, I spend SUPER conservatively and I can spot a bargain from 10 miles away! When it's time to go shopping the day after Thanksgiving or the day after Christmas, it's ME you want to go with, trust me! ha-ha

There is a girl in our Sunday School class, and one whom I've known for the better part of my life who saves A TON OF MONEY in groceries!!! She does this through using coupons at various stores and "stacking" coupons to save more money! I was so excited when another of my friends, sweet Danielle, hosted a class at her home last week!! We learned all about how to stack those coupons!

I ventured to Publix a few days after my first class and here's what I got:

I was able to get all the above for $7.67 (or something close to it)..with tax, it was right at $8.00...I COULD HAVE walked out of there spending only $3, but I didn't see my subtotal before I handed them my coupons and so I didn't get to use my $5 off a $20 purchase coupon. BUMMER! and learn! I'm thinking I still got a good deal on the above items for only $8.00!!! (probably the only reason I still spent $8 is because that shortening you see was $4 by itself!) I think I got one other item too, but I put it somewhere else in the house and then couldn't remember what it was.....sorry!

Stay tuned to see and hear about my great grocery deals!


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Home Alone and Hog Wild

Yes. I was home ALONE this weekend. Shhh...listen! Do you hear that? It's the sound of complete and utter SILENCE. No one is calling (err....screaming) MAMA!! No one is hanging on my leg begging for yet another snack. No one is needing laundry done. No one get the picture.


Friday night, I went to dinner with a dear friend of mine, Megan. We needed to exchange our Christmas gifts (yes, we were well aware it was 3 weeks after Christmas) and we needed to "catch up" on each other's lives.

When I got home from dinner, to a silent house, (and after I set the alarm, of course) I went HOG WILD. No, not that kind of wild, the kind of wild I like! I CLEANED!! and cleaned, and cleaned, and organized. Remember in my last post I told you I had BIG PLANS for the weekend? This was it!

Folded laundry:
I printed and cut coupons (lots of them!):

Paid Bills:

Went to Sam's and bought all kinds of goodies!:
Cleaned out my pantry:

Worked on taxes: (yes, those are our taxes....sigh...I hate tax season!)

and much, much more!! I enjoyed a nice, relaxing (yes, that was all relaxing to me) weekend to myself.


Friday, January 15, 2010

Don't wear it, use it, or spend it, UNTIL........

.....You write a THANK YOU note. Amen? Amen.

Because I'm from the South and because my Mama raised me like she should have, I'm a HUGE proponent of THANK YOU notes. I love a good THANK YOU note! The rule in my house growing up was that you don't wear it, use it, or spend it, until you write a thank you note. And, you can bet your bottom dollar my kids won't be wearing it, using it, or spending it until they write a note either!

I have written thank you notes for flowers, gifts, thoughtful acts (or random acts) of kindness, etc. for years--never thought twice about it. I make my kids write thank you notes for birthday gifts and generosity gifts throughout the year too. I do NOT however, make them write thank you notes for Christmas gifts.

Last Saturday, we had Nolan's birthday party and he got so many nice things! Guess what Nolan started working on Wednesday night? Yup! THANK YOU cards. Since he's just learning spelling, etc. I'm only making him do 4 cards per night, but he'll do 4 per night until he gets them finished by golly. So, if you're reading this post and you haven't gotten your thank you card yet, be will!

Here's a sampling of the young man's work:

Pretty good, huh? Of course, I had to help him with what to say, etc. but he did all of it himself (except the Dear X part)....

When he's older, he won't hesitate to write thank you notes for gifts, which brings me to a special verse we hear often....

"Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it."
Prov. 22:6


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Jesus Loves the Little Children.....

The children at church had their annual Christmas program a few weeks ago. Yes, I'm just now getting around to posting this.

Nolan had his very first speaking part! I was so excited for him, but nervous too! His part was "Mary rode a donkey, while Joseph walked along-the angels watched from afar, celebrating in song." And I'll be if he weren't just the cutest thing ever in the play AND he said his part perfectly!

That's my little cow....isn't he darling?

Carter is in the preschool class at church, and the preschoolers were the stars....they sang Twinkle Twinkle......and I'll be if HE wasn't just the cutest star.......this picture has bad red-eye, but it's still cute!

All of the children did great and of course, it was all about praising the NEWBORN KING--not my cow and star...but they sure were cute!

BIG plans for the weekend--hope to update you in a few days!


Saturday, January 9, 2010

Happy Birthday Nolan!

Six years ago today, my first child was born! A BOY! At 1:59AM (yes, AM) Nolan Sapp Benton came into this world!! Oddly enough, he was born on the COLDEST day of the year (and his party is today on a very COLD COLD COLD day and it's SNOWING in FLORIDA!)

Anyhow, we're having Nolan's party this afternoon--on a COLD COLD COLD January day here in littletown. It's a camo-themed party. I did his cake last night...what do you think? It's camo ( case you can't tell).



Thursday, January 7, 2010

Casino Night !!

Each year, the Junior Woman's Club in our town hosts an event called Casino Night. The proceeds from this event benefit the Levy County Schools Foundation (the county we live in is Levy).

Cecil is always asked to "deal" at the gaming tables, so I always go to gamble (err...I mean, have fun). This year is the first year that I have attended the event as a non-member of the Jr. Woman's Club.

Although I stayed mostly at the Wheel of Fortune table all night, I had a great time with wonderful friends! Scarlett, a good friend of mine (ours) is a member though, and I couldn't resist getting our picture before all the hustle and bustle got started.....

Let me tell you, for all the games (Texas Hold 'Em, BlackJack, Craps, etc.) that were there, all I know how to do is Wheel of Fortune. Even when we went to Las Vegas a few years ago, all I did was the slot machines (and I WON)! Our pastor said something about Sin City (i.e. Las Vegas) a few weeks ago in one of his sermons and 'bout slid under the pew, cause while I don't like EVERYTHING Vegas has to offer, I sure did have myself a good time on my slot machine stool! $1900 worth of fun to be exact! (that's how much I WON, not how much I SPENT!) ha!

This year, my long-time and good friend Lewis Stokes, who is a DJ for KCountry (93.7), was also DJ(ing) the event. Lewis also happened to DJ my wedding reception and he was the Emcee the year I won Miss Williston (many moons ago).

At the end of the night, there's a live auction that you can use your gaming chips for. We ended up with 3 new John Deere tractors for only "2.5 million dollars"! How do you like that? I was a millionaire and didn't even know it! (ahh...maybe my Dave Ramsey Financial Course will help me on that one! ha-ha!)

Had a great time this year at Casino Night and can't wait to hear how much they raised for the Levy County Schools Foundation!


Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Year, New Goals

Happy New Year! Now that the hustle and bustle of Christmas activities are behind us (for most), it's time to enjoy the beginning of a NEW YEAR! Typically, I don't make New Year's Resolutions. I've done it a time or two, and some years I follow through and sometimes not. This year though, is a NEW YEAR. I'm determined to make some RESOLUTIONS and follow through.

I'll need YOUR help though! Check in on me--make sure I'm doing what I say I'm going to! In effect, you girls (and guys) are my accountability partners!

Some of these RESOLUTIONS are long-term and will take years to accomplish, and others are more'll see when you start reading.......

I RESOLVE to.........

1. Lose more weight! This RESOLUTION is subject to change at anytime by said RESOLUTION maker (hee-hee). My goal is 50 lbs. I'm already halfway there and have lost 25 HEAVY POUNDS. The rest will be gone this year! I might get to 40 and decide I'm happy--I might get to 35 and decide I'm happy. We'll see. I do know this though, MORE WEIGHT will be lost this year!

2. Get out of as much DEBT as possible. This is one of those long-term goals. We'll have a mortgage until we're in our 50' golly--we're going to get out of some other debt this year. It's a RESOLUTION! Our church is starting a financial class tonight that will run for 13 weeks. It's the Financial Peace University by Dave Ramsey. We are SO EXCITED about this class!

3. Be a better MOTHER. I am usually so stressed out all day every day that I don't take the time to enjoy my kids very often. They ask me to play this or that, but I'm always too busy. I RESOLVE to take the time to play Memory 9,000 times and "shoot 'em up bang-bang" too.

4. Be a better WIFE. Yeah, this one probably should have been put before mother, but all the Mama's out there know that your hubby can defend himself--I'll POKE YOUR EYES OUT when it comes to my youngins. (hee-hee) Same thing as above. I'm a busy woman and don't spend very much time with the hubby (he's a busy man and doesn't spend much time with me either, but that's another story). I'll RESOLVE to be nicer (as nice as possible situation permitting), more humble (which will taste like pure vinegar, ha-ha) and more forgiving (which won't be easy when he walks on my clean floor with dirty boots).

5. Spend time in the Word and Prayer. I don't do enough of either.

Alright, those are my RESOLUTIONS. Any of you out there make any?