Tuesday, July 29, 2008


One thing that has bothered me tremendously lately is that we can't afford on our budget to give. We barely barely make it by as it is, so there has never been leftover for a charity, or church, or whatever.
I realized while coupon organizing yesterday that I can give now. I get so many things for free through coupons and deals, that if I only had some more coupons, I would be able to fill the shelves at our church pantry! So I called some people, begging coupons off of them and explaining my plan. Everyone I talked to was on board! Woohoo! And I discovered there is a newspaper recycling center behind Kramer's (the small market here) that I can go dumpster diving in. (teehee...only the coupon-obsessed would get giddy at the prospect of dumpster diving!)

So ya...there's my plan. I hope that I can round up enough q's to start filling those shelves! (I mean, why else would I need a free glucose monitor?!)

Oh Susie-Q...

Susie-Q.....OH! Susie-Q....Oh Susie-Q baby I love you, Susie-Q. I like the way you walk(or don't hehe) I like the way you talk. I like the way you walk, I like the way you talk, Susie-Q.

Courtesy of one of the best bands EVAH! (CCR...Creedence Clearwater Revival for those of you with the blank look)

My little Susie-Q (or susie-blueeyes) has been making leaps and bounds on her journey to walking and talking. "blah blah blah COO! Razz, blah blah" and it goes on.... The jumperoo is a new favorite. This girl gets AIR! Yes, at a mere four months old I think I see gymnastics in her future. Here are a few I took yesterday. You'll see why I call her Susie-blue. :)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Want to make some money?

Want to make some money? Ever heard of ebates? I'm in love with this program! Basically, you sign up with them, then do your online shopping by clicking on the stores through their site! Most major stores are on there, and each store offers a different percentage in cash back. For example: I shop at The Children's Place online a lot (or shall I say that Bama does lol) and they offer 3% cash back. If I go to their site through ebates, then I will receive 3% cash back on my order! Great deal, isn't it? You also receive $5 for just signing up! This is a verified, legit program. I'm not one to fall for a scam! There are a lot of baby/kids sites on there *wink at sara* and even the big-names like Target, Zappos (dylan) and Overstock (Elaine). Check it out! Pretty simple really, and you can make money shopping! (and no, they don't require your SSN mom lol)
Ebates cash back program

If you sign up without this link, please put my email address- jillybeansmacnab@yahoo.com - in the refer box! I earn $5 when you sign up through me as well!

Deals of the week!

I got six more bags of free diapers from walgreen's! That fills the closet and Bryce has officially banned any more, considering we only use disposables at night and while out!

Also at walgreen's this week:
*Free Scrubbing Bubbles Action Scrubber starter kit! They had a free-after rebate form in the ads, and I had a $2.75 off coupon, so after a stamp to mail it I made $2.34!
*School supplies on sale! A lot of 5cent items. With the $5 register rewards from the diapers, I only spent $4.84 on a huge bag of supplies! And nothing out of pocket, as I used my walgreen's gift card from last month's rebates!

*4/$1 colored pencils (G. loves these!) and 5/$1 glue!

*More 5cent supplies! I spent a whopping $.65 here lol.

There were more, but it's been a long week folks, and I've got a nephew to go play with!

In memory of Michael

A very special woman I know, a part of the group of women that has kept me going for the last three years, has lost her husband, the father of her little girl. D'anne, my whole heart goes out to you and Fi now, as always. Life isn't fair sometimes, and you certainly didn't deserve this. Remember the good man that Michael was and the love he had for you and Fi and J. That memory alone will keep him with you each day. Lots of love to you!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Gorgeous! Simply GORGEOUS!

Ok, I'm a tad biased, but my girls are gorgeous! Here are some from mid-June. Miss Aylers wasn't so thrilled at getting posed, and was more interested in the chest-region, but I'm sure her next set will be full of smiles.

Once upon a time there was an uncle named "Didin" He was magic. He could quiet fussy babies in an instant:

and make little girls settle down too.

Mama wished he were available every day. He'd make a great nanny.... *sigh*

Did I mention gorgeous yet? Daddy is cleaning his shotgun already. We've only got about 12 years you know...

It's a green sort of day!
Gracie decided Wednesday that we needed to have a green party. (don't ask...) So we got out our green things...decorations, toys, clothes, etc. Even made green food, drink and dessert! Margarita jello, taco salad and greenade! (the non-explosive variety hehe) She thinks that we should have a PURPLE party next. Any ideas as to what sort of dinner we could have in that particular hue?

Mid-July garden update:
Things are slow this year with the colder summer thus far. We estimate our garden, even with soaking seeds this year, is about three weeks behind schedule. That's ok, we've got fresh salad into July! Peas and corn are enormous, as you can see in the pics. Tomatoes are starting to turn (can't WAIT for those!) and the rainbow chard and rainbow carrots have been lovely additions to our meals. The onions, both red and walla walla, are to die for. Do you suppose Mart would notice if we stole a coupla truckloads of dirt when we moved? (teehee) We'll definitely miss this garden and the space next year. More creative measures will be put in place, and our green thumbs will be truly tested once we leave this little garden paradise.

(Peas are the things between the tall stakes. Beans on the trellis. Notice the rainbow chard! Borage plants abound as well. Squash/pumpkins behind the peas, cukes in front)

(Crazy corn isn't it? Much higher even after a week! Tomatoes to the left, along with potatoes in the very front. Spinach is done, can't you tell? We really need to pull it.)

Get Ramseyfied!

Dave Ramsey is my new hero. At the gentle prodding of my dear friend Cat (*smooch*) I picked up Dave Ramsey's books Financial Peace and The Total Money Makeover from the library. The first one was an easy read with it's large font and not-so-subtle accusations. (haha) The second was the get 'er done book with it's easy plan-of-attack.

Bryce and I have never been the type to put ourselves into much debt. I think the biggest debt we've ever had is our van, which we borrowed $5200 on. We've always paid our credit cards off each month, up to a few months ago (because of not-so-sage advice from a stupid mortgage broker that we needed to keep a balance in order to build already-outstanding credit...I could kill you MICHAEL LEASH) Ha. Etc, etc, we've been good with our credit, and thus our credit is good.

But why have credit in the first place? As Dave asks us, why fall prey to the belief system that we must have credit cards and other debts in order to survive in this modern age? Why feel pressure to apply for three million credit cards, have two big car loans, a big mortgage that we can't pay? We've become a society so in debt that it will be a miracle if we leave this earth without leaving behind huge bills for our children to pay. (as if leaving them a broken and torn earth wasn't enough...) That's not the way I want to live. And I certainly don't want that for my girls!

I could go into detail as to what the books are about, but I encourage you to read them yourself. I presume you'll fall into two categories, you either don't bother, or you do and your life is changed.

Bryce and I have figured that our debts (minus the house payment coming up) will be payed off in the next 18 months. And our savings will be stocked with at least six months of fall-back money a year after that. And hopefully we can pay off the house in the next ten years.

If you are willing to live like no one else now, you WILL live like no one else later.

Wish us luck!

Deals of the day

Today was town day and I found a couple of good deals!

Remember the great razor deals at the beginning of the month? Well I had a rain check and three coupons for Albertson's for the $.29 cartridge refills. They honor competitors coupons, so I hopped (skipped really) over to Fred Meyer's and grabbed three more coupons hanging below the refills. I got six boxes (4 refills in each) for $1.74! Great deal if I do say so myself! The normal retail price is $7.99 a box. (do i see your jaw hanging open yet?)

Next to Rite-Aid. They had Electrosol tabs on sale for $2.99, with an SCR of $2.00. I had a coupon for $2.25 off of a box, so spent $.74 out of pocket and will get $2.00 back! They also had Crest whitening expressions (vanilla mint mmm) on sale for $2.49, with an SCR of $2.49. I had a $.75 off coupon, so will make $.75 on the deal!

I also got two coupons for free dog food (5lbs) and cat food (4lbs) The nice stuff, Nutro, that you can get at Petco. Lucky pets!

At Fred Meyer I picked up my free 16oz coffee-mate liquid for my beloved lattes...mmm

Thursday, July 10, 2008

frugality rocks!

Yesterday we picked up two free kettle brand items. You know, the maker of the BEST CHIPS EVER! They sent me two coupons for free products, any price or size. We got some almond butter (mmm!) which we could NEVER afford in real life ($7.99!) and some of our favorite salt & fresh ground pepper chips! Grace loves these....she's my spicy girl. Thanks kettle!

With my faster connection, I'm downloading couponbar in my attempt to print internet coupons. I'm one of the unlucky few that has a lot of problems with it.

And for my coupon friends, and my MT fellow addicts, a HUGE LIST of printable coupons for you! (thanks Freebies4Mom!)

I haven't found much I'm interested in as far as coupons go this week. I've got enough toothpaste for a lifetime, so I'm passing up Rite Aid's free toothpaste SCR. I do need to check into Albertson's next week to claim my IOU's for the BIC soleil razors! ($.29 each!)

Btw, did I mention how much i LOVE albie's? They take all coupons from other stores. You just can't beat that. Is it terrible of me to find the coupons at Freddie's (they have the best hangers) and take them to Albie's? Nah, there is nothing wrong with being cheap! And we need to make every cent count.

Praise to the computer gods!

We FINALLY have a faster connection! After three years at a mere 21.6bps (ya, that's bad) they hooked up the fiber optics today and got us up to 49.2. Laugh all you want! I'll stick with my 49.2 very happily thank you very much!

Happy Anniversary to us!

Four years today! Not so unbelievable, until I remembered that it means we've been together for NINE! Holy crap! That's most of a decade! Where has time gone? We spent last night reminiscing about our younger years. And how different our lives our now than we thought they'd be. We're so incredibly lucky to have our sweet girls, and each other.

And can I just say that we're SO going to miss Mary-Lou (that red-hot luscious beast you see above) She's going to a new home soon.

Friday, July 4, 2008

The 4th

I used to hate the 4th of July. When I was six a spinner went around my ankle and burned my sock in half. As they ran me into the house my pinky got slammed in a metal door. Fun times. When I was 14 I tore my ligament on the 4th. There went my cheerleading career... (ha! I say this with good humor. I was a horrid cheerleader) And there was more. So anyways, the 4th is on record as being my least favorite day of the year.

But that all changed last year. (ahhh here I go. Eyes are tearing up) One year ago today we found out we were pregnant. Again. After 13 months of trying, we had a bunch of drugs, medical bills, and two miscarriages under our belt. When that faint (and i mean, hold it up to the light, I *think* I see a shadow faint) line appeared, we were terrified. And overjoyed. And terrified again. One year later, as I hold my perfect little girl in my arms (and I do mean perfect, this kid is a rare one!) I realize that the 4th is no longer a day I dread. It's a day that will always hold that precious moment where our little miracle made herself known. It's now one of my favorite days of the year. And as she stares up at me with those big blue eyes it's like I know her, and she knows me. One of those indescribable mama-feelings. I realize just how lucky I am.

And it's also abby's birthday, as Grace is currently reminding me. Off to make a whipped-cream-bacon topped dog bone dessert!

The wait...

It's killing us! Only 8-9 more business days left for our appraisal to come through so that funds can be secured on the house! And we hope that there are funds left....this is torture! Our mantra of the summer? "Not if, but when. Not if, but when....." *sigh* happy thoughts for us please! :D

Happy 4th of July!

We're headed to Hood River for the fireworks show over the Columbia tonight. It's become a 4-year tradition and we love it! There is nothing like sitting along a great river and watching the fireworks reflect off of it's surface. Let's hope that Aylers isn't too scared!

Dinner tonight: Caribbean jerk chicken, fresh salad and onions from our garden, maybe some couscous, and red, white and blue jello!

Happy Birthday to Abby, she's 3 today! Grace has been giving her a "party" all day long. Poor Gail-dog!!