Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Our Twins & things



Can you believe that the Ash & AJ are now 7 years old? I surely can't. They have grown in leaps & bounds. Born at 31 weeks, Ash weighed 3lbs 12oz and AJ weighed 2lbs 13oz. Now at 7 years old, Ash weighs 60lbs and AJ weighs 40lbs. She is a head and a little neck taller. She was 13" @ birth & he was 12". I call him my little man! She wears a 7/8 in clothes, he wears 5t/5 in shirts which are still a little bit big on him and 4t/5t pants w/ adjustable waists. No matter how big they are or how small they are, they LOVE each other so much. They are connected by a bond that will never break. She is mother hen to him. He just loves his sister so much that they would marry each other, if they could.

They had a new milestone this weekend...they learned how to ride their bikes w/o training wheels! Ash was riding around with no fear or hesitation within minutes. AJ on the other hand, definitely was fearful and he couldn't keep the bike from leaning. He wanted his training wheels back on, but we told him not to give up and he would be riding by himself in no time. The next morning, he went out, go on his bike and rode it w/o help. He ran inside and yelled, "Mommy I can do it...I can ride my bike!!!" I even got some video footage so I could pass on to family & friends. After all, I had tweeted about the riding bike thing, so I might as well back it up with a video.






video video



So, as you can see, they have went from these itty bitty little miracle babies (read How I became a mom) to riding bikes w/o training wheels in just a short 7 years. God blesses us each and every day with this wonderful children. I can't imagine life without them. I can't imagine life w/o my husband. I can't imagine life without God.

My life is amazing, crazy, filled with joy and peace. All because God created life and hand picked us to raise these amazing children.

God Bless you all with Joy & Peace.


Julie

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Coupon Sites & Blogs









WOW!!!! There are probably millions of coupon sites & blogs out on the internet. I've been surfing and searching facebook pages and clicking on there links and I'm amazed out how much information is out there. I want to post some of my favorite places to learn about couponing as I am on this new adventure. I'm also looking at new & exciting ways to make money from home, without have to spend $$ in order to do it. I know there are legit businesses out there that you can work-at-home doing, but you need to "invest" a little to get started. Rob says "you shouldn't have to pay $$ to work for a company"...just like he shouldn't have to buy things in order to work for T-Mobile. I agree to a point.

First, the work-at-home jobs I have been looking into, some of them require dedicated phone lines, head sets, etc. which can be costly, but spending a little bit of $$ to get you started will pan out in the long run because you can make descent money doing that. I know a few people that do this and they are happy with the income they make so contribute to the household finances.

Second, Rob did have to invest a little bit of $$ when he first started out with T-Mobile or with the other places he has worked for in the past. Everyone usually has to spend a little bit of moo la when you go to work for a new company. Unless you work from home and then the person on the other end of the phone doesn't care if you are in your PJ or not. If you work in an business office, most likely you will have to purchase some type of clothing t0 match the dress code... whether it is business or dress casual. You can't go to work in a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, your boss would have a fit. Likewise, Rob had to purchase a "business" phone to work with T-Mobile. Anyone that has a cell phone knows that they aren't exactly cheap. And if you know my husband, CHEAP is not in his vocabulary. Don't let him fool you if you do know him that he is cheap, because he is not. I love my husband, but he doesn't always know what being frugal means...he is trying but he isn't 100% on board just yet. He will learn, just like I am beginning to learn how to save money on our grocery bill, and other things.

Now that I have went off track, I guess I will get back on it...

I am going to start posting blogs & websites that I am finding are helping me win at the couponing game. So hold on to your hats or whatever and look for a list of them to come in the next day or so.

It is getting late here, so I am going to sign off, but I send Blessings & happy thoughts your way.

Take care,
God Bless,
Julie


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Coupon Clipping Momma







I like a lot of women and men have started watching TLC's "Extreme Couponing". It is pretty amazing to see these men & women spending hundreds and thousands of dollars at the grocery store, to only pay minimum amounts of money...all because they clipped coupons and used what grocery stores offer the public.

I have started on this journey and in June will be meeting up with friends to share our coupon insight in how we can save money on our grocery bills and other items that we buy either in department stores or online.

Our gulf coast only offers a limited amount of stores to shop at for groceries (WalMart, Target, Winn Dixie) but we also can purchase grocery items at bigger chains like CVS, Walgreens & Rite Aid.

I went shopping yesterday for some dinner items for a few days, without my coupons in hand, but I did manage to save $32.69, by purchasing items that Winn Dixie offered special pricing or what they call "Reward Card" savings. I believe I did pretty good for the meals that I purchased for our family.

I do not expect to be like the people on "Extreme Couponing" for a few reasons...
  1. I don't have a lot of room to stock pile unnecessary items
  2. I don't have the $$ to purchase thousands of coupon inserts and keep them on hand, let alone the space for it
  3. I don't have the time to spend hours in the grocery store...especially with the twins in tow.
For the months of June and July, I will either have no children or one of the two here at the house, so our normal grocery bill of $300-$400 a month, will go down considerably. That is an estimate of what it runs, depending on if the twins are on vacation or not. They get breakfast & lunch at school for FREE. It is when they are home in the evenings & weekends that they tend to eat us out of house & home. Usually on snacks like granola bars, fruit snacks, fruit, etc. They do not eat a lot of sweets, I don't usually keep them in the house and even if we do, it is not very often. For example: Halloween candy...I make two bags or containers to hold it. 1 for chocolate items and 1 for hard candy or the like. In 2009 Halloween candy lasted until 2010 Halloween...which I ended up throwing away. The same thing with 2010 Halloween candy...the chocolate is gone, but the hard candy and the like are still in our candy jar and probably will get thrown away come Halloween this year.

I have started clipping coupons from both the Sunday paper and from several online sources. I have a small binder and just need to organize it according to my grocery needs. I look forward to our Coffee & Coupon club get together in July. As well as sharing prior to and during how my coupon experience it working.

Take care,
God Bless,
Julie