Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Peace be With You

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.  - John 20:19, 20

Jesus Calling had part of this verse today just to quote "Peace be with you", but the whole passage jumped out at me like never before. I love that God's word is alive and active and can show you something completely new every time you read it.

The disciples were locked away because of fear. Jesus had just been resurrected, so they were told. But they don't really know what is going on, so they are hiding in fear of the Jewish leaders. Even though they had seen him do so many miracles and he had tried to tell them this was going to happen, they were finding protection in numbers. And "Jesus came". I love that. He came. He came in the midst of their fear, doubts, confusion, sadness, anxiety. He came not in judgment of their lack of faith, not condemning them for hiding, not in anger because they abandoned him. He came and stood among them and said "Peace be with you!" And then he showed them proof of his resurrection, proof that they weren't crazy, delusional or being fooled. And they were overjoyed.

That brings such comfort to me today. He doesn't get frustrated with me when I doubt him. Even though I have seen him do so many things in my life, I still have a lack of faith sometimes that should make God give up on me. But he doesn't. He comes to me where I am, and stands among my stuff and tells me "Peace be with you!" And then he will show me with proof of how faithful he is, again and again. Thank you Jesus for not giving up on this disciple who has so many doubts. You are so good and patient with me.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Major changes on saving money on your grocery budget

My first blog about this was strictly how I grocery shopped for my family. You can read it here if you want.

Then two years ago I did a series on saving money on your grocery budget based on myself and other moms I met with at a preschool moms coffee at church. You can read them here.

But I have had to make a couple of major changes to the way I shop, mainly because I have boys. And the older they get, the more they eat. And I know it will only get worse. So you will notice in my first blog that I did most of my shopping once a month at Walmart. That has changed. I can't get most of my stuff once a month anymore because when the boys open the full pantry or fridge, the food is gone in three days, regardless of how much is in there. You buy it, they will eat it. So now I shop every other week or sometimes once a week. And for the past few months I have done most of my shopping at Randalls. Local people might tell you that its expensive there, but if you shop based on sales, its no too bad. So I check the Randalls' sales and make a list of things we need from that, then make my menu and rest of the list based off the menu. I really love when you spend $75, you get a $10 coupon to spend the next time, so when I go the next week just to get a few things, its almost free! The pluses to that is that its really quick because my list is much shorter since I shop more often. It doesn't take me as long to make my list since I'm not out of as much stuff.  I am buying more of the things that are on sale. And my grocery budget is spread out over the month so I can have some left over at the end of the month. I have spent so much less the past few months. Of course, its hard to say how much of that is my new way of shopping and how much is me not cooking as much since baseball season and then summer entered the picture. That will be put to the test in a few weeks when football season starts and I cook almost every night.

The other major change I've made is not buying drinks. We haven't bought soft drinks since Christmas. J wanted to lose some weight at that point, and he would drink a 6 pack of Coke every day. And once I phased those out, I started buying less juice too, better for the kids. So now I just buy milk, lemonade packets, and water enhancing drops when they are on sale or I have a coupon. We are drinking a lot more water and saving a lot more money!

Summary of how to save money: menu, list and sales, and coupons if you have time. You can do it! Let me know if you have other ideas!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Favorite Things - Peanut Butter

I went back through my old posts to make sure I haven't already blogged about this one and realized all the titles just say My Favorite Things, and that's kind of boring and hard to find what you are looking for. I need something more creative for that series I think.
But my favorite thing this week is peanut butter. I have had a long love affair with peanut butter. As I kid I ate peanut butter and pickle sandwiches. (yes, I think that's gross now). My favorite snack when I got home from high school was a cup with peanut butter, cool whip and chocolate chips. Of course in college, a jar of peanut butter could get me through all kinds of things. When I was pregnant with Coop I would take a jar with me to work and just eat it all day with a spoon. I still wonder if that is why he's still allergic to it. Now I like peanut butter with banana and honey sandwiches and love the peanut butter fudge milkshakes at Sonic. And up to now, I would pick Peter Pan or Jif and be good. But let me introduce you to my new favorite peanut butter!

White Chocolate peanut butter! I found it at my moms last summer and then I couldn't find it around here. So she brought me 6 jars. I have found it here at World Market, and I've heard HEB has it, but I don't shop there. The website says my local Randalls has it but I've never seen it there. It is so yummy! Apparently it originated at a store in New York City, The Peanut Butter & Co Sandwich Shop! Yes, please! And its good for you compared to other peanut butters. Less fat, less calories, a smidgen more sugar, but it has white chocolate in it, so what do you expect? No corn syrup which is important to me. And then this past week at mom's I found this... wait for it!

Dark chocolate peanut butter! So good! I had it yesterday on a sandwich with banana, oh my goodness! I just saw it today being sold on the Home Shopping network and it was way more then in the stores, so don't buy it from them. Their website is, and you can go on there and locate a store near you that has it, so go find it, today!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Summer Vacation

Since we took two bigger trips this past year, there were no summer vacations in the budget this year, so we just got back from our annual summer vacation in Northeast Louisiana. Exciting stuff. But as always, the boys had a blast at my parents house, mainly because there are enough electronics to go around so there is no fighting over stuff. And Memoo hardly ever says no when they want anything. We love El Chico. I love sitting on the back porch and reading and watching the birds. And this year Papa put up a basketball goal and that was a great distraction. The highlight of this trip was shooting lessons. I grew up in a hunting household but refused to ever put my hands on a gun. But we all took turns and I have to say I enjoyed it and was pretty good for my first time.

We went to Sci-port, the children's science museum, and one day went to the Boardwalk, the newest shopping area in town. We spent a long time in the Bass Pro Shop, which is funny since we are not outdoors people. There is actually a Sonic upstairs in the Bass Pro Shop, and it was happy hour, so we drank our drinks watching the giant fish in the fish tank. We also were on a hunt for the Duck Dynasty area and I was shocked out how expensive a plastic Si tea glass was. We found some great deals on shoes at the Nike outlet (with three boys, that is a huge big deal), and then got to hang out with our cousins who came in town for a cook out. Six boys in the house, lots of noise but lots of fun.

Friday morning we made a quick trip to the "water park" as Campbell calls it, but its just a park with a small water sprinkler pad in the corner. The best part of that for me was picking up Southern Maid donuts for me and Campbell. And then J and the big boys dropped us off to play and they went to Krispy Kreme to get their donuts. We don't have either kind of donut where we are, and we argue every time we are in Shreveport what kind are the best, but I'm sorry, Southern Maid are better! Lighter, fluffier, not as sweet, thinner glaze that breaks off on your shirt when you bite into the donut. YUM! I ate my two donuts way too fast and was so disappointed they were gone. Then we packed up, grabbed some lunch and came home. I missed my bed, but it was a great week.

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Friday, July 19, 2013

My Favorite Things This Week...

If you haven't seen the commercial for this yet, let me introduce you to Windex Touch Up.
I had a coupon for it a few weeks ago and thought I would try it out. I was very cynical. "Its just Windex in a cool bottle. I could buy a much bigger spray bottle of the same thing for a lot less. Its just a way for them to make more money." But I LOVE IT! It sits on my kitchen counter right next to the paper towels and I can grab a paper towel, push down twice and clean whatever! And my kids love it. Campbell wants to clean the kitchen table everyday because its fun! I am more than willing to pay an extra dollar for the cool bottle that encourages my kids to clean. I have the blue, but I want the yellow one next for the kitchen and I saw a red one at Walmart the other day, APPLE! Can't wait for that! You're welcome.

My other favorite thing this week is my baby, who is not a baby anymore. He will be 5 in 20 days and I will cry. The two big boys are at preteen camp this week with Granddad's church so its just been the three of us this week. He's been at Preschool Play Days in the mornings, thank goodness, because I don't think I could have kept him occupied. But we've had fun in the afternoons. Yesterday the three of us went swimming and then to the mall and Chick-Fil-a. He's obviously having a growth spurt because usually 4 nuggets is enough. But he ate his 4, one of mine and then took another one from the sample lady. And then he ate all of his fries, a cookie, "forced me" to make brownies when we got home and then leftover chips and cheese.

He is so entertaining though. Wednesday night our friend Holley kept him so J and could have a date night. He didn't want to go but afterwards, told us to go on another date so he could go back. When I put him to bed, he said "You and Daddy have had a bad day."
"Because you haven't gotten to see me much today." :)

The night before we were driving home from somewhere and he said, "Mommy how do you say strawberry in Spanish?"
"I don't know, I don't speak Spanish."
"Well, you can learn. Say Locos Tacos"
 I laughed so hard so he had to repeat his joke for a long time after.

This is my baby last Sunday after Cade's select team had a tough loss in a tournament in Galveston, so we got to have a late lunch at The Spot. He's thoroughly enjoying his hot dog. Love him! 

Monday, July 01, 2013

Confession Time

My name is Christy and I am a piler. I know admitting it is the first step to being healed, so I'm admitting it. I have piles all over the house. The Fly Lady calls them hot spots I believe. Its mostly papers, mail to go through, bills to file, school papers, pictures, drawings, coupons, etc. When my piles get too big, or someone is coming over, then the piles move rooms or, worst case scenario, they get put in a box. For the past few months I have had two boxes, not just one, of piles under my desk in the kitchen, as if that made them invisible to guests. I have had to move my feet when I sit down at the desk to work, but yet, they became invisible to me too. The more I walk by the piles, the more they just blend in, as if they are becoming at home in that spot, or maybe are camouflaged, hiding from me. But, alas, there they are, getting bigger by the day.

Last night I had a strange mood of actually wanting to through the piles. Usually when I get that mood I ignore it. I read a book, or blog or hang out on Facebook, because I think that it will take me hours to go through the piles. But last night, I actually followed through on the feeling that it needed to be done. And would you believe, it only took me an hour to go through both boxes. And I was watching Drop Dead Diva at the time, so I was entertained while doing the dreaded task. I would say 3/4 of both boxes went in the trash. Why do I let the piles get that big, and why do I not just deal with the issue knowing from experience it won't take me near as long as I think it will?

It made me think of a spiritual parallel. I have sins that I know I need to face. I have things that I know God is calling me to do. I struggle daily with spending time with God. And I have learned from experience that facing those things head on is never as tough, as hard, as time consuming as I think they are going to be. But I let them hide in plain sight. I shove them in a box under a desk and hope that no one, including myself, will see my sins, my disobedience or my excuses. And I let them pile up until it seems hopeless that I will ever deal with that sin, or do what God told me to do, or I've missed so many days, I might as well give up. But if I just dealt with all of it immediately, just like the mail coming in, it wouldn't pile up! When I am convicted of a sin, just confess it, repent and move on. When God asks me to do something, just do it. When God calls me to stop what I'm doing and spend time with Him, then do it!

I filed all of the bills and coupons and have a stack of pictures and drawings to put away. And then today when I got the mail I stood over the trashcan and took care of it immediately. No piles starting today! And I read Romans 8 today, and will be there all week. This verse jumped out at me.
"If people’s thinking is controlled by the sinful self, there is death. But if their thinking is controlled by the Spirit, there is life and peace." Romans 8:6. I want my mind and home to be a place of life and peace!