Thursday, March 31, 2011

The hats and coats that I am wearing!

This has been the most interesting time of my life! I have many irons in the fire right now.

I am working at Loving Choices Christian Crisis Pregnancy Center. I am a Crisis Counselor. I help give pregnancy & STD tests. Counseling someone through these issues can be very involved.

Jeff and I have started a new ministry, Couponing for Christ. Jeff is getting teased, because it's not a MANLY thing to do, but it's for the Glory and people of God, so laugh all you want. In one months time we've bought over $3,000 worth of product for FREE!!! We are delivering it all tonight and tomorrow to people who need it.

I am starting to teach some cooking classes this month. Some of you know that I attended Culinary School and love to cook and cater. My passion is help families come to together in the kitchen and make easy simple meals. It also seems that young people either don't have an interest in cooking or they haven't had someone teach them. I am getting after it.

I have been heavily researching and lobbying to change the lack of sex education in our school systems. There are no laws in most states, Arkansas being one of them, that mandate guidelines for this much needed topic. I have been speaking to parents, students, schools, churches, and lawmakers about making drastic changes. STD's are on a rapid incline and while teen pregnancy has not spiked the last five years, we are not in the clear. The United States is #1 at the top of the list in STD's & Teen Pregnancy. Arkansas is in the top 10 in the U.S. There is no wonder that preteens and teens have no knowledge of these scary diseases and infections, because the bulk of the adults I speak to do NOT either. I don't talk about these issues on fb or my blog because they be a bit sticky for the run-of-the mill daily topic. BUT I want to just put it out there that I AM talking about them. God has given me a passion to help fight this ugly battle and to inform and protect as many people as I can.

AND I have to stop there, because on top of that it's time to pick the girls up from school, cheerleading, and taking a meal to a friend who just had her 1st baby.

So I am devoting an occassional day to talk about these VERY interesting topics. Let me know if any of these things interest you. Are some of them too taboo? What hats are you wearing these days?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Pics of the Stockpile

Here are today's pictures of the stockpile! OVER $3,000 of FREE items bought using coupons. A HUGE thank you to the Crosschurch Springdale Choir for all their help and support. This all will be hauled over to the REACH ministry this week.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Just Another Day in Paradise

Have you ever heard this song from Phil Vassar?

Kids screaming, phone ringing, dog barking at the mailman bringing
that stack of bills that are overdue. Good morning baby how are you?
Got a half hour, quick shower. Take a drink of the milk, but the milks
gone sour. My funny face makes you laugh. Twist the top on and I put
it back. There goes the washing machine, baby don't kick it. I promise
I'll fix it, along with a million other things.

(Something is wrong with the pool and it's GREEN)
It's ok, so nice, just another day in paradise. Well there's no place
I'd rather be. Well it's two hearts, one dream, I wouldn't trade it for anything.
And I ask the Lord everynight, for just another day in paradise.

(baby food everywhere- the girls fed her too much food while I was cleaning up, and after I've mopped and cleaned)
Friday, you're late. I guess we'll never make it to our dinner date. At the
restaurant you start to cry. Baby, we'll just improvise. Plan B, it's looks like
Domino's pizza in the candle light. Then we'll tippy toe to our room and make
a little love that's overdue, but somebody had a bad dream. Mama and daddy, can me and my teddy come in to sleep in between?

(Ava wrote on our coffee table this morning and I haven't been able to get it clean- might be doing some painting this week)
It's ok, so nice, just another day in paradise. Well there's no place
I'd rather be. Well it's two hearts, one dream, I wouldn't trade it for anything.
And I ask the Lord everynight, for just another day in paradise.

I forget SO many times that my life truly is a paradise. I am so blessed and fortunate. There IS NO place I'd rather be. I need to remember to thank the Lord, EVERYNIGHT, for just another day in paradise.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Great Bargains

A family of seven living off of a single income is challenging on a daily basis. I am constantly looking for a good deal.

As you can imagine we try to take really good care of our clothes, because they get handed down, as many times as they possibly can. BUT we are finally at the "bottom of the barrel" We are done having baby girls, we think. So now I am willing and able to let go of the unused clothes.

I have 20 silver bins that are labeled and line up in our storage room. So it's made this job an easy one. I started researching my local children's consignment shops. I found that Once Upon A Child, here in Fayetteville, pays really well and has a nicely organized and reputable program. You take your bin of clothing there, sign in and let them pick through and choose the items they want to keep and sell. They shoot you an offer of cash or a better offer of in-store credit. (I usually take the cash)

I also do this with Ammorae's clothing too. A very popular place here in town (with more locations in OK) is called The Daisy Exchange. They buy and sell only name brand and gently used clothing, shoes, and accessories. They sell 80% used and 20% new clothing. So if you are set on wearing ONLY Juicy Couture, Coach, PINK, AE, DC, and so many other pricey brands for next to nothing- you wanna check this place out. Ammorae always chooses in-store credit, because she LOVES to shop there.

Do you want to hear about another "good deal"? Who can't benefit from this...we love the concept of gently used and recycling items. We sell our old cd's, dvd's, and games. A place here in NWA has a chain called Game X Change. It has the exact same concept as the clothing. I downloaded all my music off of my cd's onto my ipod and then sold them. We surprised the girls with their first gaming system and didn't spend a penny to get it. Now when we get bored playing our games we trade them in for new ones at no charge. Everyday can be a new and exciting one.

So, what's your "GOOD FIND"? What do you do to make your dollars stretch?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Congratulations Graduates!

I want to get an early start on the graduation celebrations we'll be taking part in this year. I have two nieces and a nephew all graduating this year. Praise the Lord that we can attend all of them and that they are each on a different weekend.

A Graduation is a major event in a young persons life, but a Senior year in itself is a big ordeal. I want each one of them to know how proud I am of them and that I am already celebrating all that they've accomplished.

In no particular order...

Cari Alison
She lives in Arlington, TX. She's adorable. Petite in size, but big in personality. She's done some modeling and has a job to help pull her weight. She is a girl who is trying to grow in God's faith and doing a good job, might I add. She's gearing up for an exciting future. She is the "only child" in our whole giant family, and she has given us so many laughs.

Zac Allan
Also known as the BIRDMAN, just finished a very successful year in basketball as a starter. His team just played in the semi-finals and were one win shy of playing for the State Championship. I believe that I read they are 3rd in the state of OK. He has a lot of interests outside of school and sports, he loves to hunt, fish, and keep very active. He's pretty handsome too. I hope he goes on to play college ball, he's got the talent.

Brooke Nicole
(who we named Abigail after) is a SPITFIRE! She's a see-whatcha-get-kinda girl. She speaks her mind and has so much intelligence behind it. She has played a lot of volleyball in her years, but she is more well known for being the Wrestling teams' manager. She's learned from watching her brother, but I bet she could probably take him. She's very family oriented and has been a huge support for her big brother, whom she is close to.
(I am having an issue trying to steal a senior pix from her fb page)

All this being said, I think that Brooke will be attending The University of Kansas and Cari, Texas State. Zac is still undecided.

I will be attending each one of their unique graduations. I can't wait to help throw each one of them a huge party. My girls will be sporting personalized tshirts at each event so no one questions who we are cheering for. They each attend large schools and some of the venues are magnificent, like Kemper Arena.

This will be a marathon time for our HUGE family. There are 23 grandkids in our family and this will be the ONLY time that there is more than one graduation in a year. The traveling will start in Kansas, Oklahoma will be next,and finally Texas.

Jeff, you better get the Suburban tuned up.

I love each one of you and am SOOO proud of the young adults that you've become. Bring on the graduation season!