Saturday, June 28, 2008

Just Sippin' Starbucks

Ahh, my readers and lurkers...have you missed the blog updates?
Are you weary of looking at the same old grocery pictures??
Well, forget the BonBon's - I've been living a leisurely life - just sippin' Starbucks all day long.

Yeah -- And then she wakes up!

Actually, since we're on the Starbucks subject, the one pictured above was FREE!
A VENTI Mint Chip Mocha Light - Free -- worth $4.80!
(Well, not really worth that much but COST that much!)

Recently I was given a card from the Starbuck's company for purchasing a bag of their coffee at Meijer. You know how it works, purchase the bag, go on-line and register a number on the print-out paper, and receive a $5.00 gift certificate. This I did and received the card in the mail which I promptly lost in the vast domains of my book bag. Then I found it just in time for the promotion going on at the store which includes registering your card and getting a free drink. This I did and received a postcard in the mail stating that I had a free drink on them.
Soo...I took it to the Starbucks nearest me in the wonderful land of KY and found the priciest frapp on the board and enjoyed every sip and swallow!

I received a Starbucks gift card for my birthday, which I also registered but have yet to receive the postcard - I think it was stolen by some other Starbuck's lovin' person.

I have one more card to register (Dave got one at church for a Father's Day gift. Being the dear, sweet man that he is, he promptly laid it on my van seat before leaving the parking lot) and now I will await the third free drink.

All that to say - register your gift cards - it really works deliciously!

Soo...where have I been?
Well, I completed a VBS at the Afton Wesleyan Church last week.
A friend of the family had an emergency on Sunday and ended Monday with a stent (stint?) in a very critical place of his heart. I was honored (and I do mean that) to take care of their girls for a few days.
The Goodwill had a great sale on skirts - $.99 - and my girls benefited in a very nice way. We Goodwill hopped.
On Tuesday I did my coupons, shopping and we welcomed new next door neighbors with a cook-out.
Wednesday was full of errands, cleaning, and church.
Thursday - I actually started to scrapbook again!!! It's my personal vacation.
Friday - it was yesterday but I have no clue.
Saturday -- more errands and a special project that I'm undertaking.

That's about it...some of you are really making headway with the Grocery Game. Just today I talked with two different ones about it.
Some of my freebies for the last two weeks include:
3 boxes of Totino's Pizza Rolls
2 Powerade's 32 oz.
24 ct. Excedrin
Lawry's Lemon Pepper marinade (delicious on grilled chicken!)
2 containers of Kroger's Chocolate "cake for two"
and a few other things I can't even remember.
I also purchased quite a few items for less than $.75.
My new goal is to save 75% on my groceries instead of 45-50%.
I've stock piled quite a few items - we'll see.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

New Ways to Save on Groceries

I was so excited...the cereal above cost me only $.38 a box!! This week at Meijer they have cereal on sale (select brands/kinds) 4 for $7.00. I decided to try something to see if it would work and it did! Here was the plan - yea...I know your reading with bated breath...

2 coupons worth $1.00 each when you bought two boxes ($2.00 savings)
2 coupons worth $.75 each from those pull out Smart Source thingies in the aisle
1 $1.50 Meijer coupon that printed at the register from a previous visit

Now, I had heard because the first 2 were manufacturer's coupons, the second 2 were sponsored by an independent company (by the way - I always pull a few even if I don't plan to use them that day or in that particular store - they came in handy yesterday!), and the last by Meijer, that you should be able to use them all on the same purchase...

It worked like a charm...the cashier accepted all 5 coupons and took up to $1.00 for the .75 cent ones (I even told her they said "DO NOT DOUBLE!" - I guess she didn't) - a savings of $5.50!!!

Here are my freebies from 2 or 3 weeks ago -- I know-- you're thrilled.

Yesterday's Freebies included:
24 count Excedrin ($2.49)
2 Kroger Disposable Cameras ($5.79 each)
1 Guacamole ($1.99)

I have discovered the Kroger site to be very helpful and used it yesterday again.
You can download "coupons" on to your card.
Kroger has printables and downloadables.
At the Kroger site there is a link to PG-e "coupons" - I was able to get quite a few Buy1/Get1 items using that and then added a coupon too.
There was also a link called "shortcuts" that allowed me to download even more on to my Kroger Card.

At any rate, I did a major stockpiling of Shampoo, Body Wash and other Hygiene products.
I saved $65.14 at Kroger
$51.32 at Meijer

What killed my budget was toilet paper (15.99), a very nice beef roast (7.00), and 5 (12 pack) cases of soda ($11.00) even though they were also on sale and a decent price. The T-paper (Charmin Strong) ended up being .53 cents a roll - our family is now on a count the squares budget! HAHA - but serious!! and the soda ends up at .18 a can -- to be used on July 4, church functions, or AYC. Dave says "yeah, right."

Now that I've totally bored you but impressed myself, I'll get to work for the day.

One more thing -- I took off CVS and Walgreens from my Grocery Game subscription because the link, Money Saving Mom, on the right, gives you most of the info but not in as nice a format. It does link you to Target, Wal Mart, Rite Aid, and a ton of other places too.

Until the next time....

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

It's FIESTA Time!

A few weeks ago Kenwood Kidz did the "Fiesta" theme published by Group a few years ago and given to me compliments of Tara, and her sister, Tiffany. The children loved it and I enjoyed presenting it. This week begins my summer of VBS travels and this is the theme I am taking with me. I only do this theme three times instead of 6 or 7 (by that time you are completely FIESTA'd out!!!). Last week at KA it was "Tumbleweed Gulch...where God's Love Changes Everything." At AYC Small ALPS I am doing "Champions of God's Love" with a sports twist to it and at Kenwood Kidz the theme is "Galilee by the Sea". This makes my summer very busy and complicated but not redundant!!!

But back to FIESTA for and tomorrow are mapped out for me as I begin my first VBS Thur- Sat at the Afton Wesleyan Church.

Main Idea for Day One

Emily and Ben taking the offering.

Some of the children placing stickers on their sombreros.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Just a Few More...and Maddie

Nothing to do with Kidz Adventure but couldn't resist..
Maddie is everybody's friend. I LOVE having conversation with her...she has imagination, she has vocabulary, she has animation, she is just plain adorable!!! I had the privilege of having her spend part of a day with me - it's a blast!

Now back to Kidz Adventure...yeah, I'm still on the mountain...

My boy

This skit was hysterical and won first place...there is no way to describe it in words...
The narrator, Daniel (above), forgot his lines and stumbled along in the cutest way. He also kept calling Boaz, Moab, which made for an interesting rendition of the skit and sort of confused the other members of the team.

Our IT's are incredible and very talented...they put up backgrounds for every skit and added romantic background music for this one. Every time Boaz and Ruth would meet these hearts would cascade down the screen - again, you would have had to have been there...

"Moab" - I mean "Boaz", (my nephew, Tim) is proposed to by "Ruth"
You should have heard the kids hootin' and hollerin' --- so funny!!!!

Another nephew, Zach

One more pic of Alicia serving pizza.

Sorry the pics are blurry -- I was experimenting with a different camera setting...guess I better keep on experimenting!!!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Kidz Adventure 2008 -- No one should have this much fun!

Christi, Kathryn, and Abbey
Friends since birth - if you can be friends that long!

On Wed. night the teams have to do a Bible skit that involves every member, is as least 5 to 8 minutes in length, includes music, and is creative.
Above is the western version of "The Good Samaritan". Sooo cute!!!
My niece, Brooklynn is in the center.
Karissa Bird - Jesus, out on the water and appearing to the disciples.

Christi and Tabby are the water for Jonah and the whale (shaking the sheet vigorously) while the girl behind uses a spray bottle to squirt the crowd.

Anthony helps Christi and her team design their banner.

Kathryn Johnson, ?, Trenton (my nephew), and Tyler Baker have been fishing all night and are bored to death!

My dear little friend, Kyle, played Zaccheaus and is trying to collect money. Let me tell you, these girls presented a hard argument!!

Our opening screen

One of the buildings - jail. Our "sheriff" would catch children being good throughout the service and at the closing would call them up to become deputies. The were given a badge, promised into office with their right hand in the air and then taken to the jail for a picture. They loved it!

Each team had to come up with a name and design their own identification banner.

Another team's design - they took it all the way and won team of the year. Points were given for total Bible Bowl questions, indoor game points, outdoor game points, skit production...

Josh Lee - his mom heard about camp the night before and wanted to send him. I wish she could have seen how much he enjoyed himself.

Letha Barr, one of my Kenwood Kidz, enjoying breakfast.

It was nice to have Connie, a close friend, helping out this year.

Here's Trey, he's my buddy! We share June birthdays and have gone to Burger King and then Johnny's Toys to celebrate for the last few years. He loved camp too.

My nieces, Brittany and Breanna, and daughter, Alicia, were Jr. CIT's (counselors in training). That means -- learning how to be a servant with fun included. They did an incredible job and we wore them out!! I had them stop in the middle of serving our "banquet" meal for this pose.

Anthony is now a CIT - he also continues to serve but has additional responsibilities caring for some of the boys - dorm "dad". He was great!!

I have over 100 pictures but that's enough for now...

Let me add, although we did have TONS of fun during all of our activities, I want to give special thanks to God for how He blessed us with His presence in every service. The children responded in worship and praise to God and during our prayer times they sincerely prayed and I know God bent low to listen. Our theme was "Tumbleweed Gulch - where God's love changes EVERYTHING!" Each day we focused on one idea - God's love changes our LIFE, DIRECTION, ATTITUDE, and FUTURE. Even though I have worked in Children's Ministry for over 20 years, I was again amazed and awed at the moving of God on the hearts of children. You just would had to have been there!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Because I like these pictures

Vonnie -- THIS is OUR fire pit where we roast s'mores!!
HAHA - not quite the size of yours.
For the rest of you - check out Vonnie's blog and HER fire pit!!!

This is my personal chef busy making shish-ka-bobs (?) for the grill.

My sons practicing their jumps in the alley.
Actually, only Ank has been jumping recently...David is still on disability status.

Christi with her dear friend, Abbey.

Notice the concentration.
Notice my claim to sewing - yep, that's it for my sewing kit.
Notice the very long hair. He no longer sports that look.

We leave for Kidz Adventure Monday morning and will be gone until Thursday.
Blogging will not be on my mind Friday - recuperating will be.
Until then my friends...

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

About Friends

OK, the pics were to be last but instead they are first...

Yesterday I mentioned some of David's friends of the past 10 years. Well, I got to thinking, you know I've had some friends for a very long time too - like Charlene - we've been friends since the 6th grade! We did everything together. Besides sharing the first part of our names we chose wedding dates within 2 weeks of each other (not knowing) our first babies were due within 2 weeks of each other (I lost my first to a miscarriage) and the other babies were always within months of each other - neither of us having discussed when the next child was on its way.
She had 2 boys and then 2 girls - yea, so did I. She named her last child Christa and my last child is Christiana and no - that was not planned. Her birthday and Dave's is in December. My birthday and her husband, Larry, share June birthdays. The instruments her children chose to play match those of my children. We both worked in bookstores for a few years. We both recently went back to school for further education. It is uncanny I tell you!!!
Even though we are good friends we only see each other about once every two years.
We never call or e-mail. We do send Christmas cards. The funny thing is, I could show up at her doorstep tomorrow morning, without warning, and it would be as if I had just seen her last week.
We'd laugh, hug, and start chattin' away. Aw, friends are incredible gifts from God.
I'd show you pictures of this dear friend but that was before digital storage and I don't have a scanner...sigh...

All that to say...
Last week another friend showed up at GBS unexpectantly. We go "way back" to the 80's when both of us attended the college. Patrick Anyalewechi (this name is so fun to say...An-ya-la-wee-chee) was from Nigeria and had no place to go for any of the holidays. I'm not sure how it happened but he was invited to come home with me. My parents took a liking to Patrick and from then on, if time and money would allow, Patrick would go to PA to spend a holiday. If he couldn't make it, Mom would send a care package.
Well, Patrick ended up being an adopted brother and was an usher for Dave's and my wedding.
When it was Patrick's turn to get married, he brought his bride, Ify, from Nigeria and she knew absolutely no one. So, I was their maid of honor, my sisters were bridesmaids, and Katrina Farmer was the flower girl.
Patrick stills sends Mom a Mother's Day card and we exchange Christmas cards.
His education led him to a Doctorate in Psychology and he has taught at an area university for quite a few years. Recently he was invited by Oxford University of England to present and
defend a paper he wrote. Wow!! What an accomplishment and honor!!! He is also to go to China for the same reason. Hello! And to think, I typed all of his papers when he was a 4.0 student at God's Bible School. As you can see, my influence has rubbed off!
To many he is Prof. Anyalewechi, to our family, he is friend.

Graduation Parties and Old Friends

Charles, Brooklyn, and David
These friends go back 10 years. Charles attended GBS Academy quite a few years ago.
He is back in Cincinnati for the summer having completed his first year of college in Maryland where he received a scholarship to play baseball for the team. It was so fun to see the surprise on Brooklyn's face when he walked in the door with us.

I took David's albums and they laughed and snorted over old memories.

Christi and Olivia found a different way to entertain themselves.

Four wheelers always bring big grins!

Others went fishing at the pond. Apparently they caught quite a few - enough for a
fish fry. I didn't stay around to watch -- this picture makes me gross out!

This day brought back so many memories of when I was young. All the kids had
so much energy - volleyball, softball, fishing, four-wheeling, goofing off, laughing together...
Me - I sat around drinking coffee and chatting. I had heart attacks watching the boys speed around on their "wheels" and doing jumps. I got to talk with all my teen friends.
I made a new friend - Janet - from Marion, IN.
I reconnected with old friends and I decided the 40's weren't so bad after all.
Life is good. Friends are wonderful gifts.

Congratulations Brooklyn!