Saturday, August 16, 2008

Taking a short break!

I am taking a short break even though most of the summer I have been 'breaking'. However, school starts on Wednesday and the university where I work begins on Monday. Lots of things going on this weekend and much to get accomplished. I expect to be back on a regular posting schedule once the first week of school is over.

Meanwhile here are a few blogs that I read each and everyday:

Homeschooling and Frugal by my dear friend Lisa

Christi's 2 Cents

Cindy Beall

Way More 4 Less

A Year of Crockpotting

Little Bits of Life

Raising Five

These are just a few of my 150+ blogs that I have in my Google Reader.
Until next week!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

On Asking Why

I started out my workday this morning by watching the online video of the Chapman family on Good Morning America talking about the loss of their beloved little girl Maria Sue. Robin Roberts did an excellent job of interviewing the family as well as Will Franklin who was driving the vehicle that struck Maria in their driveway.

I ended my day watching the Chapman family on Larry King Live. I cried for a solid hour and had the type of sobs that are deep and painful. My heart hurts so deeply for this family as well as other families that have endured this type of loss. I was in awe of how they are able to share so openly and honestly their true feelings. My heart is pained for their seventeen year old son that must endure his own private despair. This family tonight was a picture of what forgiveness looks like. They openly discussed asking God why He would allow something like this to touch their family.

Maybe I hurt so deeply because I have a relatively new driver in the home who is nearly seventeen? Maybe the sobs were so deep because my nearly sixteen year old got his much desired driver's permit last Friday? Maybe it is because when I experienced infertility for so many years I longed to bring a little girl home from China. I don't know what touched me so profoundly tonight but as you read on it may explain the hope and joy I have even amidst circumstances that we cannot control.

Steven Curtis Chapman was talking about the day Maria Sue died and how earlier in the day she had been drawing. They did not find what she had drawn until the next day when they returned home to retrieve clothes for her burial. Steven said the night she died he was telling God that he just wanted to see that she was okay; if he could just see that everything would be alright. His words to this day as he recalls them pierced my could hear the pain in his plea. The next day upon walking into the art room they found what Maria had been working on the previous day. She had taken a simple piece of notebook paper and had drawn a six petal flower in which she only colored in one petal. The Chapman's have six children. On the front she wrote a word that the Chapman's said she has never written before and it was big and bold. The letters were SEE and at the end of the page was a little butterfly!

We can question God when things take place that we do not understand. We can cry out to Him! He hears our pleas. I believe with all my heart that the Lord gave this grieving family a sign that Maria is with her Abba Father in Heaven and she was telling them, "See I am okay!" When the camera showed this sweet little notebook paper art piece that to the naked eye did not appear to be much but the word SEE and a little blob at the bottom that look kinda like a butterfly. Once they opened the paper that had been folded in half, much like a card, it is only then that you see the six petal flower....all petals white but one which was blue. I could not contain my quiet sobs. Thank you Lord that you hear our cries and you lift us up from the mirey clay in times of great distress.

In the days and weeks ahead please remember the Chapman family and especially Will.

Here are several links that you might want to view:
Shaohannah's Hope
House Mix blog by Jim Houser, SCC's Manager
Steven Curtis Chapman

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Super Saving Saturday 8-2-08

Wow! Today has been an awesome day! We are having a tax free weekend in Oklahoma. It would have been great if school supplies were included, but I guess we can't have everything. At Dillards all the items already on sale from 50% up to 75% off you can get another 30% off of that! Today we found some great bargains for back to school.

My hubby and I first started the day off at TJMaxx. We found a backpack (for a student we are helping at church). We also found football gloves for one of our boys that at Academy would have cost 50.00---we would not have purchased them at that price anywhere but today we found them for 19.99-Underarmour linemen gloves...the cheap ones at Academy last year cost us 19.99 and they tore up before the season was over. This brand is the best and now we don't have to worry about his hands getting torn up by cleats. We also found underarmour shirts for the boys to wear under their football uniform for 5.00, four dresses for our daughter, four pairs of shorts for the boys (each pair was ten bucks), my favorite perfume, and a jacket for me. There was a lot of stuff and we both thought it would be around 200.00 but was well underneath that total and we only had to pay 2.89 in tax!!! The only things taxed were the perfume and the gloves.

On to Dillards...we found shirts for the boys, my husband, and several (8 pieces) work items for me. I found a darling 3/4 length jacket marked down to 22.00 and I got another 30% off of that price! The jacket was originally over 100.00!! WOO HOO! My husband found an Austin Reed shirt that was originally 95.00 marked down to 17.47. We think it was a mistake because the other shirts just like were 37.47. Needless to say it rang up 10.47! We love Austin Reed shirts because of their quality. We were thrilled with the purchase! We found two collard polo shirts for our sons first day back to school. They were originally over 60.00 but we paid just 10.68 for the shirts!

All in all today was very productive and something that we only do twice a the end of winter and again summer. It pays to watch the sales and hit the large chains when they are trying to rid the store of last seasons clothing. It really pays off for a large family.

Five years ago they had a huge sale at Dillards. Everything was marked incredibly low...I mean Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren shirts for under ten bucks. We loaded up on things for each of the kids and shirts for my husband. In the end the total value for all the items that we purchased was over 3200.00 but the kicker was we did not pay but 250.00 for these items. 200.00 that clothed our entire family of six for more than one year. The shirts my husband bought still look brand new and the boys still wear some of the Polo shirts we purchased.

I still prefer great consignment and thrift stores but when I can find first quality, never worn merchandise at an incredible savings I am all for it. Today was awesome and my husband and I are worn out. For more Super Savings check out Money Saving Mom.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Back to School Frenzy

I have been on a break of sorts from blogging. Granted it is not a self-imposed break but one that has happened just the same. Having three teenagers in the home can take a toll on ones computer time. I have decided that I will try to hammer out a few posts until school starts on August 20th and then get back into my regular routine.

Today our fifteen and a half year old son got his permit! WOO HOO! Sitting at the DMV for two and a half hours was not so much fun in this searing heat we are having in Oklahoma. Seeing his smiling face after he passed with flying colors....PRICELESS! He drove me home and I must say that once you are on that third does get a little easier....I mean relaxing somewhat in the passengers seat. He is a good driver and now I need stronger knee pads....boy the praying is going to be stepped up a notch!

I wrote at the top "Back to School Frenzy" and that is what I mean. It is crazy that I have not bought my school supplies yet! However, I have a hefty supply closet that is filled from the last few years of bounty. I mean there are only so many index cards and reams of paper one can store! We are having a tax free weekend here in Oklahoma this weekend. I am headed out tomorrow along with everyone else to see what I can find.

I am sure that I will be back with a Super Savings Saturday post tomorrow. Until then, have a blessed and simple weekend!