Saturday, July 30, 2011

Saved 90%atCVS

I paid 2.39 for the above items.  Here is the breakdown:

1.  Herbal Essence:  on sale for 2.49:  coupon in mail for FREE
2.  Pantence:  on sale for 3.49:  coupon in mail for FREE
3.  Purpose cleanser:  10.49
4.  2 root beer:  on sale .88 cents each

I got the shampoo and conditioner free and used 9.99 in ECBs

The Jesus Creed: Loving God, Loving Others by Scot McKnight (Part 5)

Points from Chapters 8 and 9: (my paraphrases)

Our reputation with others is not important; what matters is who we are with God. An example given was Joseph, earthly father of Jesus. He struggled with what to do with Mary when he discovered she was pregnant. His reputation was important to him, but he followed God and sacrificed that reputation to obey God and marry her. (Chapter 8)

Each of us is called by God to "bloom where we are planted" (not from this book, but it sums it up)---we have a vocation, a calling, and we are to do God's bidding there to the best of our ability.For some it is homeschooling their own kids; others, it is construction work; for others, it is painting houses (etc....). Whatever it is, we are to be ambassadors of Christ. Example from the text: Mary, mother of Jesus: her vocation was rearing Jesus and his siblings. (Chapter 9)

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Jesus Creed: Loving God, Loving Others by Scot McKnight (Part 4)

Points from Chapter 7:

The secret to a new beginning is repentance, confessing we are sinners.

"We exist on 3 levels (most people, that is): the person we are in public; the person we appear to be to friends and family; and the person we are to ourselves (and God). In other words:

a. our public persona
b. our family image
c. our inner self (the hardest part filled with our dreams, desires, insecurities---that which is known to us and God)
Confessing our true selves to God is the only way to be truly set free through His forgiveness.

We are to tell the truth about:

a. our spirituality: Where is it anchored?
b. our possessions: Do we possess 'things' or do they possess us?
c. our power": How do we use it......or abuse it?

Good reminders of things I already knew---puts it all together, though.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Cats on Tuesday

For more cat tales, head over to Gattina's.

Above:  I can not stress enough how much NONE of the other cats like old man Miles.  They sometimes tolerate him.  Here, both he and Humpty are trying to sleep on *my* bed, but Humpty is giving him "the look".

Above:  Thumper is always serious about his eating.  This is how he eats, almost crawling into the bowl.  The other cats don't relax their bodies like he does; he plans on being there awhile.

Monday, July 25, 2011

84% Savings at CVS

Today I made another trip to CVS (I forgot to take the pic yesterday).  The retail for the above items was $18.65; I had $4.75 in coupons and discounts were $3.88.  I paid $10.73 out of pocket and earned $6.99 in Extra Care Bucks, so when all was done, I paid $3.74 for the above 5 items!

The Jesus Creed: Loving God, Loving Others by Scot McKnight(Part 3)

Parts 1 and 2 of my study of  The Jesus Creed:  Loving God, Loving Others by Scot McKnight can be found here and here

"Loving God properly means tending to those in need.

Those who follow the letter of the law often miss fundamental teachings about loving God and others.

Look to the side to see the need in others.

Christians are not called to tolerance; christians are called to love. Toleration condescends; love honors.

From Francis Schaeffer's The Mark of a Christian: 'Love and the unity it attests to--is the mark Christ gave Christians to wear before the world. Only with this mark may the world know that Christians are indeed Christians and that Jesus was sent by the Father.'"

Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday Finals

I got some great deals today for Friday Finals.  The first trip to Publix where I saved over 53%, you can read here.  Then, I went back when I found more Morningstar Farms coupons.  For these 4 boxes I paid $4 and some change.....$1 a box.  They were 2 for $4.19 and I used 4 $1 coupons.

Then, I went to Walgreens.  I am not happy with them, and don't go there nearly as much as I used to.  They had these Mitchum deodorants on sale 2 for $6, and they would generate a $4Register Reward.  I had 2 $1 coupons.  I used the coupons, but no register reward printed.  I got my money back, including the $2 for the 2 coupons.  I took that money and went to the other Walgreens in town and effectively with the register reward that printed, got these FREE:

Saved 53.69% at Publix

I love, love, love Kashi cereal and stock up whenever it is on sale at Pubix.  This is how I paid $18.61 for $39.87 worth of groceries:

  • Publix has a coupon out whereby you get a free box of Kashi crackers or cookies when you buy 1 box of cereal and granola bars.  I got 2 deals, so 2 FREE boxes of KASHI cookies
  • Morningstar Farms:  B1G1F:  2 for $4.19/I used 2 1.00 coupons.
I really messed up on the Morningstar Farms because I found I had *4* more $1 coupons, so I will be making another trip to Publix for 4 more boxes.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Jesus Creed: Loving God, Loving Others by Scot McKnight(Part 2)

This is Part 2 of my study of The Jesus Creed:  Loving God, Loving Others by Scot McKnight.  Part 1 can be found     here.

"Our love for God is sacred.

We are to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.

Love is sacred because genuine love is total in its commitment.

Compromises of love can crush the heart, darken the day, and harden the arteries of trust.

Our love for God is truly sacred when we surrender to him totally.

Sacred love transforms our speech.

Sacred love converts our acts.

Our Abba father is impeccably pure, majestically marvelous, and embarrassingly faithful in his love for us. It is this good sense of embarrassment that evokes repentance from us, and helps us to see our violations of love against God and others as sin.

Sacred love converts acts of sin to acts of love.

Sacred love inspires our worship."

Monday, July 18, 2011

Cats on Tuesday

For more cat stories by cataholics like me, go to Gattina's.  On an episode of "Animal Planet" they talked about how there are two types of cats:  tree huggers and bush stalkers.  Tree huggers are climbers; bush stalkers tend to stick close to the ground.

Below:  Humpty Dumpty is an obvious Tree Hugger (at times)  He spends much of his day asleep on *my* (his) bed, but he does survey his kingdom some, as below.  This is the ledge above the cabinet ABOVE the refrigerator.

same ledge, different angle---Tree Hugger---Below:  Tree Huggers Humpty and Snowflake

Below:  Miles and Thumper are both Bush Stalkers---They *rarely* climb at all, but stick close to the ground.
Below:  Lovey is a Bush Stalker, even though he does climb on the bed.  He looks at the Tree Huggers in a puzzled way when he sees them climb because he doesn't know how! (or perhaps doesn't understand *why* they do it)

Below:  Both of my girls, Snowflake and Minnie, are Tree Climbers.
So, to sum up, I have 3 Tree Climbers and 3 Bush Stalkers.  Can you see that your cat(s) are one or the other?

Summertime Pantry Challenge(Week 3)

I am joining in the Summertime Pantry Challenge hosted by Jessica.  Last week I got busy and didn't get around to putting out our menu.  You should know that it's only my 17 year-old son and me, so our food can be stretched pretty far.  Another thing you should know is that I am on Weight Watchers, so sometimes I *do* fix 2 meals, one for me and one for him, or a variation for each.

I had plenty of meat, rice, potatoes, and veggies on hand, but I am not staving off grocery shopping entirely.  I shop at Publix, and they have certain deals that come around every 4-6 weeks.  I had some too-good-to-pass-up coupons that matched some deals this week, so I *did* stock up.  You can see those here.

So, last week we ate these items from the freezer:  flounder, chicken, Boca crumbles in spaghetti (which son did not know), steamed veggie bags, and for son's lunches and snacks:  hot dogs and lunchmeat.  From the pantry we had:  packaged rice, jarred spaghetti sauce, and potatoes made a variety of ways.

This week's menu:
Monday:  Breakfast:  cereal and blueberries for me/son does not eat breakfast in the summer
                Lunch:  hot dogs or lunchmeat for the son/canned chicken to make chicken salad and Ritz
                Dinner:  chicken in the crockpot with Lipton onion soup mix

Tuesday:  Breakfast:  same for me
               Lunch:  fruit smoothie made with frozen strawberries, pineapple, and blueberries with Greek yogurt
                           in the fridge
              Dinner:  spaghetti with jarred sauce in pantry

Wednesday:  Breakfast:  none for me....liquid diet today in preparation for outpatient surgery Thursday
                    Lunch:  son:  hot dogs or lunch meat
                    Dinner:  son:  fish and chips

Thursday:  Breakfast:  none due to outpatient surgery
                 Lunch:  out somewhere
                 Dinner:  hamburgers and homemade fries

Friday:  Breakfast:  cereal and blue berries for me
             Lunch:  hot dogs or lunchmeat for son/chicken salad and crackers for  me
             Dinner:  chicken, rice or potaotes, veggie

That's as far as I've gotten for the week; I will re-assess later and plan the weekend.

The Jesus Creed: Loving God, Loving Others by Scot McKnight

I have been doing a lot of reading this summer--something I have truly missed in the hustle and bustle of this thing we call "life".  One book that made an impact on me was The Jesus Creed:  Loving God, Loving Others by Scot McNight.  I think it is worth sharing major points from the book, which I will do over several posts.

3 Things we learn when we infuse The Lord's Prayer with our prayer life:

"We learn to approach God as Abba: to love God means, in prayer, to call him Abba, the signature term of Jesus.

We learn what God really wants: In pondering God's Name, kingdom, and will, we are prompted to yearn for what God yearns for. Love always prompts yearning.

We learn to think of others: When we use the Lord's Prayer as a framework (not rote recitation), we will learn to pray for others.

"Jesus invites to his table those who are (spiritually and socially) sick, because Jesus can heal. When chided by the Pharisees for eating at Matthew's table, Jesus says, 'It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.' He heals them by inviting them to the table and dispensing grace through his presence and his words. In other words, at the table of Jesus other human beings found Abba's love, and they find love of others---a fellowship of the Jesus Creed."

"The observant person's table story: You can eat with me if you are clean. If you are unclean, take a bath and come back tomorrow evening. Jesus' table story: clean or unclean, you can eat with me, and I will make you clean. Instead of his table requiring purity, his table creates purity. Jesus chooses the table to be a place of grace. When the table becomes a place of grace, it begins to act. What does it do? ....It heals, it envisions, and it hopes." (last part sums it up for moi)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Blueberries out of my ears

I have written before about my blueberries.  This week I went back to the farm and got almost another 5 gallons FREE.  You may not be able to tell from the bottom picture, but it's 13 quarts.  Coupled with what I had before, that may last me in the deep freeze til next summer!

Publix: Saved 49.71%

This was my shopping trip today:  $92.59 worth of groceries for $47.36.  I had $12.75 in internet coupons and Publix B1G1Free savings was $33.28.  This included 2 packages of Spenda 100 count for .29 each, 4 packages of President's feta cheese for about $1.09 each.

  • Kashi pizza:  2 for $10/used .75 coupon
  • President's feta cheese:  2 for $5.19/bought 4 and used 2 $3 coupons,, bringing them to 1.09 each
  • Bubble bath:  3.49
  • Spenda:  2 for 4.19/used 2 $2 coupons/bringing them to .29 each
  • grated cheese:  3.59
  • Pillsbury crescent rolls:  3 for $6
  • Orville popcorn:  2 for 5.14
  • Vlasic pickles:  2 for 2.48
  • Diet Root beer:  B2G1F:  3 for 8.22(treat for my son)
  • Cascadian Farms organic cereal:  2.69 each (used 2 1.00 coupons)
Total in coupons:  12.75/Total in PUblix savings:  33.28

Monday, July 11, 2011

4 Years Cancer-Free: Thanks to Jesus

In May of 2007, I started experiencing the symptoms of colon cancer. In fact, when I went to my doctor 2 weeks later, I told him that. He found I was losing blood so he put me in the hospital on Memorial Day weekend. A cat-scan showed  diverticulitis, so that is what they treated me for until July. I took the doctor's advice and had a colonoscopy on July 5. The next day I was told I had colon cancer, and the rounds of tests began for surgery.

When I was diagnosed with colon cancer, I never asked, "Why me?", like some might. I saw it as another obstacle in life we are handed. We all have them; some are larger than others. That first weekend (I got the diagnosis on Friday.) I was worried. What happens to my son if I die? His father had moved back to his home state without a word five years earlier. There was no way of getting in contact with him. My parents were 76 and 79.

The morning of the surgery, Wednesday the 11th, I woke up in the night to go to the bathroom. As I lay back down, a peace came over me. I had a vision, a picture. It was the only one I've ever had. There was Jesus wearing a white robe on a white horse. He had a spear in one hand. I was behind him, and behind me were faceless people. I knew then that I was going to be ok. That was God reasssuring me because Jesus was leading me into battle, and behind me were prayer warriors: people from my school, my parents, and people from church.

The surgeon biopsied 19 lymph nodes and they were all clear. I was cancer-free. Nevertheless, he said I needed chemo as a precaution. More than a month after surgery, I started chemo. I lost much of my hair, but I survived...Thanks to Jesus.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Blueberries are one of the BEST fruits; they are high in fiber and anti-oxidants.  Being a colon cancer survivor, I think that's really important for my diet.  I have a long-time friend from my childhood who has had blueberry bushes for over 25 years....and they are plentiful.  Last summer she told me to come get all I wanted, and the other day, she invited me back.  This is from that first picking, as I plan to go back 2 more times this month to get enough for my freezer to last a year.

That's a 5 gallon bucket almost full, though it doesn't look like it here.  Do NOT wash the blueberries before freezing them.  I learned years ago that makes them mushy.  I simply bag them up straight from the garden and wait to wash them as I take them out to use them.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Cats on Tuesday

Cats on Tuesday are cat lovers who write about their cats on Tuesdays.  For more cat tales, head over to Gattina's.

Either Minnie or Thumper at the door/Snowflake and Humpty Dumpty took over the couch.  I was sitting between them.

Miles is my snoring cat. 

One night I was trying to watch 24 on Netflix in bed when Miles and Minnie tried to take over.

Below:  For anyone new, Thumper (my polydactyl) and Humpty Dumpty are blood brothers.  They act like their connection is similar to what twins would experience.

Menu Plan Week of July 4

In keeping with the idea of Eating From the Pantry Challenge this month, here is my menu plan for the week:

Monday:  breakfast:  bagels
               lunch:  chicken salad
               dinner:  4th of July celebration with friends:  I'm making brownies with a mix I had in the pantry,  taking potato chips I had on hand, and pigs-in-a-blanket (made with crescent rolls and little smokies I had in the freezer)

Tuesday:  breakfast:  cereal and blueberries
                lunch:  at my parents' house after a morning of blueberry picking
               dinner:  baked chicken, wild rice, grilled mixed veggies

Wednesday:  breakfast:  cereal and blueberries
                     lunch:  lunchmeat sandwiches
                    dinner:  grilled shrimp, homemade french fries, corn on the cob

Thursday:  breakfast:  cereal and blueberries
                lunch:  sushi at our favorite restaurant
                dinner:  spaghetti

Friday:  breakfast:  Flatout foldout bread with 3 egg white/cheese omelet for a homemade Egg McMuffin (my Weight Watchers version)
             lunch:  hot dogs
             dinner:  steak, baked potato, corn on the cob

Snacks:  popcorn, grapes, homemade smoothies

**Everything this week (except the sushi) is either in my freezer, refrigerator, or pantry.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Eating From the Freezer/Pantry--July Edition

This month I'm participating in the Summertime Pantry Challenge hosted by Jessica

I went to Publix this morning to take advantage and stock up on some great deals to see how long they will last me this month.  I spent $118.55, but $50 of that was on a gas card.  Publix is running a deal through the 6th where for every $25 in groceries you buy, you can get $10 off a $50 gas card.  So....I am deducting that for this purpose. 

Grocery-wise I spent $68.55.  My savings was $47.05 (for the groceries only)

My goals for this month are as follows:
  • see how creative I can be with the meat I bought today---to see how far I can stretch it
  • spend less than usual
  • use up what I have
I did not take pictures in the freezer because I didn't have that much in there.  I did take one of the cabinet where I keep rice, couscous, and canned tomatoes.  There are a lot of staples here to use up.  I did not get one of the 8 boxes of pasta in another cabinet.