Thursday, May 31, 2012

7- The Book Club

June 4, 2012  I start a book club on the book 7 by Jen Hatmaker. 7- Book Trailer
10-11 on Mondays we will meet until we get through the book. Meet The Author
 I will be throwing down a challenge to all who come. I will blog about this. Each week we will attempt to make changes in our life! I am a bit of a purest...so I will be doing the items listed in the book. verbatim! The other gals can come up with their own 7!
6/11-6/17: FOOD
6/18-6/24: STRESS
6/25-7/1: POSSESSIONS
7/2-7/8: CLOTHES
7/9-7/15: SPENDING 
7/16-7/22: MEDIA 
7/23-7-29 WASTE/SELF:
 I will become good reading for the sake of changing the way MY family thinks, eats, makes waste etc!

Stay tuned. it's gonna get really funny up in here!


Let the games begin! :) wooo hoooo
Bless ya'll,
Tracy

Blog Hop

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Fresh and Frugal Fun ideas just in time for Summertime

Oh my Heavenly Daisies...as my daughter says.
It's Summertime here at the OK Corral...
that means summer camp, amusement parks, TRAVEL! , cruises, cottage rentals and grilling out on our brand new stainless steel grill.
WAIT...none of that is happening since I started a love/hate relationship with Mr. Denim Dave. aka: Dave Ramsey.Financial Peace University actually mostly LOVE! the Cheapskate "Lolita" in me has come right on outta the closet , so to speak!
So this year here at OUR house we will be seeking out fun and frugal ways to have some good old summertime fun!

so hang on tight...I'm gonna unload my brain. right here ....in this BLOG!
I have a system. well. I just made it up. I had an extra planner lying around. it's completely empty! I take a pencil and start writing in my daughter's activities. That way I can move dates and not over book our little one! I have a rule. ONE activity a day. WE are not on a marathon! Cora walked up the other day and asked me what I was doing. I said. BOOKING FUN time for YOU! all of this is FUN time. all areas highlighted in Green are YOURS! She was SO excited! Also...if you are type A here is a link :Money Saving Mom
with her tips to Simplify Summer Schedules. check her out. She rocks!

1. God first: so VBS-Vacation Bible School. girls...get on it! they fill up quick are most are FREE! I found 3 in my area and a fourth run by a friend. So that's 16 days of my little one getting closer to God and having fun for a few hours in the morning or evening! Praise God for quiet time! I stalk these. I look for 4-5 churches in my area and check their web pages until they post up their dates. FREE! only one had a charge. and it was $25. for 4 days that's a steal! and this one has a FREE dinner for children starting at 5:30 when they have their parents with them. FREE dinner and childcare. So Awesome!
My church does one...but not for my daughter's age! in case you are wondering why I have not mentioned Vineyard! :)

2. GET Dad involved! Home Depot offers little workshops for children and their parents! Home Depot Children's workshops check their schedule and find a project that you and your child can enjoy!  FREE

3. This one started this entire quest for FUN! I looked up all the local city parks for Chesapeake.Chesapeake Parks There are 10! 10? I have only been to 2. Well. I sat down and put each one in our planner. Those will be out "nature" days. I may even link them up on fb to invite friends. I will scope the parks amenities the day before to prepare us for packing etc! FREE . that's 10 days. seriously FREE!

4. AMF Bowling has FREE bowling for Kids. ALL SUMMER LONG! Free bowling available until 8 p.m., 7 days a week. AMF summer is May 14 – Sept. 3, 2012. seriously 2 games a day. All week. All summer long! AMF FREE bowlingAll you have to pay for is shoe rentals. I paid $4.57 to rent her shoes. If she likes it we will purchase her some used shoes at a "play it again" store. How can you pass this up? Air conditioning, SEATS, and a 6 pound ball that will guarantee tire my little girl out! FREE except shoe rental.

5. Petting Zoo sponsored by the SPCA. I found this gem hiding when I searched FREE things to do in Hampton Roads on Google:Peninsula ASPCA Petting Zoo BAM.  Peninsula SPCA's Petting Zoo! Our Petting Zoo is a great place to bring your family and friends to play with our barnyard animals. Never ever heard of it! Sounds like a fun little 1/2 day trip to me! Adults: $2, Children are $1...2 and under are FREE. for REAL. and you can touch the little buggers! I am on it!
This screams Play date! :) and I am SO not a play date Mommy. ask my daughter's friends mommies...or whatever!

6. FREE movies at the Oceanfront! Family Great Adventure Series a super fantastic friend, Melissa, shared this with me (psst. she told me about bowling too) I grew up at the Oceanfront (Va Beach) I really despise going there. I am more of an Outer banks type of gal. However , anything for my Baby girl...so we may be hitting up some of these later during the summer! it's on the books. Just have to deal with parking and drunks...but hey...I used to be one of the drunks at the beach...so life goes on! :)

7. Oh Dear...next up THE REC CENTER. I LOVE the rec center. for you newbies...that's the Parks and Recreation in your area. Look em up honey. they got mad skills. when I was a young girl I would pour over the rec center catalogue like it was a Toysrus catalogue. I took sewing, played baseball, swimming lessons, cooking classes! the list goes on and on! Sadly our rec centers out here in Chesapeake don't hold a candle to Va. Beach...but that's just my opinion! So for UNDER 100$ I enrolled Cora in 14 classes! $6 bucks a class is the BOMB. City of Chesapeake Leisure Guide Yes we will miss our Little Gym. but like I told you...Dave Ramsey made me cut up my credit card and saving for a years tuition was not in the budget...so this is OUR season of cutting the FAT! Here is what my youngster will get into this summer: 4 ART classes. one hour each! 6 Gymnastics classes , taught at a local tumbling center, 4 Fitness and Fun Classes...great mix. now granted she is only 5. once they hit 6 and up the possibilities are endless! Total Cost: $94.00

8. LIBRARY----I love the library. My friend Bradlee reminded me that they have programs all the time in the summer. Library summer scheduleSo I took a fresh look at our local library system and found SO many things...I had to erase some! I seriously went nuts! BUT here is the secret. I have ONE library right up the road. there are MANY libraries located within my lovely city! and they don't all run the same thing! so check the master schedule! GETTING out of my rut this summer honey! yes indeed! here are the FREE activities I found! Not to mention if nothing was going on I have a Library day schedule EACH week. it's a must! we have no TV here at our house (mean growly gus face meant for Mr. Dave Ramsey) so fresh and new DVD's are a necessity at our CASA de Crazy! A summer reading carnival, FREE to the public, A summer story series called Get Gobsmacked (Australian Readers and stories) , Pajama story times, a program called Camp Kindergarten (registration required): Story time for the 5 year old child entering kindergarten in September 2012. Featuring early literacy skills to prepare your future kindergartner to start school. A puppet show. tons of activities for younger children and even MORE for older children. ALL FREE... Kindle schmindle...get a real book and READ it!

9. O my good googly goo...this just in. June 1 is FREE donut day. there's a little FREE side trip for ya! :) any donut you want. FREE. Hot off the presses: FREE donut DAY

10. This is the most important Summer Fun Fact yet. SERVE. don't forget to SERVE someone. Go volunteer ... in your church, in your community...anywhere! Letting your children see you serve and the opportunity to serve with you is HUGE. Talk about summer fun. Helping others is fun! If you don't go to church check this out: http://www.volunteermatch.org/ you can do a custom search and find your perfect match: FREE. hug a pug, hug a tree, hug a senior, just go! click , search!

And I just have to add one more item:

11. The greatest invention ever. the Plastic Pool. this year we skipped the blow up kind that has NO plug and is impossible to dump out...I went for the mac daddy of pools: 34.88 at Walmart. you know. 64" across. PLUG! included and a small slide! Fill it and BAM. FUN for hours! Today it rained and my daughter went out in the POOL! unbelievable! :)

so my Grand Total for Summer Fun: a cool buck fifty...$150 smackaroonies....rock ON!

leave your favorite summertime activities in my comments! :)

God Bless ya'll!
Tracy


Living Well Wednesdays

This Blog is dedicated to my friend Gina. She calls me the Frugal Sensei. I love that and I love her. can I get a soul Clap for Gina? :)

Friday, May 25, 2012

African Orphans, Hampton Roads Hungry and Adoption

Hello to my chickie-la-las....I stole this from my friend. She calls her chickens by name and the ones that she can't tell apart well....she calls them chickie-la-las. I love it!
This post comes straight from the heart!
I would love to ask you to listen.. or shall I say read about some causes close to my heart!

Just recently I met a woman on Facebook named Tammy Jenkins. I will give you a link so you can read "her" story. Tammy's facebook "about" page This lady is a modern day hero. She lives in Malawi. On Mother's Day I started an event to donate to her. She is currently pursuing her 5013C status...but Needs must be met NOW! I will give you the link on how to donate. Heaven House Ministries Fundraiser page The exchange rate of money is making a $100 dollar us donation = 160 in their money! I urge you to think of dropping a latte or happy meal today and instead. Donate $5 to Tammy's mission. The picture to the left is just some of Tammy's Starfish as she calls them. If you can't afford $5 then I beg you to pray for her! I beg you to share this blog on her behalf, don't cheat your friends and family out of a blessing! :) I have NEVER met Tammy personally....a friend suggested I check out her page. I urge you to friend her on facebook : Tammy Jenkins, and friend: Heaven House Ministries, and friend: Chiefy Hanock. the Chief loves to chat on facebook and pray for us as well! Tammy and one of her boys Thank you. I will step off my soap box now...and move over to a higher one! :) Now that I have you thinking Globally...let's think locally!

I work at my church's food pantry. Before you click delete...I beg you again to read on. Our little pantry is open 6 days a month. Two years ago when I first volunteered we had 8-10 families a day. NOW we have over 24 any given day. Some days we see 32! I am not begging you for food. I am not begging you for money. I am begging YOU...my computer savvy chickie-la-las to click a MOUSE! that's it!
would you go to this link:  recycling perks contest
We are now in 12th Place!!!! Please take a second to vote and if you have voted...will you share this link on YOUR page? WE have moved up 17 spots in 2 weeks! We have 9 spots to go and we will be in the running for a piece of the $3,500.00 ...prize!!!! Do you know how much food the Vineyard Church Food Pantry could get with that kind of money? well here is how much:
$500.00= 2,777 pounds of FOOD that's over 5 weeks worth of pantry's
$1000.00= 5,555 pounds of FOOD. that's over 11 weeks worth of food!
$2000.00=11,111 pounds of FOOD. That's over 22 weeks worth of FOOD! WHAT a blessing that would be! Let's VOTE!
yes, you will have to register. however after speaking with several people (including my Mom in Fl) it was simple, quick and easy! one click and you could feed hundreds of people!
The contest ends June 1rst at Midnight! don't delay! Help ME help Hampton Roads! thank you!
OK. Last item of the day:
Adoption....we are adopting. Not this second...we have been approved, gone through classes, home studies etc. NOW we are waiting. We read profiles, we ask 10000 questions. We pray, We pray. And we wait!
many people including ourselves think that adoption is expensive.
ARE YOU aware that the state of VA has a GRANT that makes it FREE. Sure we paid for our fingerprints, background checks etc. seriously that is chump change....under 500 probably!
I am going to give you some stats:
We are talking about over 5000 children sitting in Foster Care right now.
Many are considered special needs. Special needs in Adoption lingo means this:  
A minority. over the age of 4. seriously.
FEW children that we have viewed have been disabled. Literally only 629 of these 5000 have disabilities
Most are 7 and up.
Most do well in school and all of them are SURVIVORS are things many of us could never imagine.
Let's break down that number of 5000 children.
Over 1000 are ages 16-18. At 18 they "age out" of the system. that means they are on their own. NO support system. NO family. Best of luck.
Over 3000 are in Foster Homes. 500 may be in Institutions for behavioural issues.
Over 2700 were removed from their homes for neglect.
Over 400 were relinquished. Yes the parents QUIT.
I believe that if each church in VA had ONE family adopt. guess what. ALL the children in VA would be in homes. Loving homes.
that's a start...but what about including everyone! :) some of my friends are chuckling...I love all my friends....whether you go to church or not!
Guess what! ?
you can be single and adopt!
you can be a one income family and adopt!
you can be ahem...older than me and adopt!
anyone...can ADOPT!
if you have questions I urge you to write your local DSS (Dept of Social Services) and ask for info and classes in your area. We chose Bethany Christian because....they got back to me first! And several friends referred us to them! here is their link: Bethany's web site
Learn more. Ask Questions. Start a revolution...TODAY!
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this! These three causes are near and dear to my heart!
I hope to have a fresh and frugal posting for Monday! just in time for Summer....an entry on FREE or Low cost Summer Fun!
Have a Blessed Weekend ya'll!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Healing Bombs, Sandy Duncan and Toilet Wands....in that order!

Healing Bombs, Sandy Duncan and Toilet Wands....in that order!


Last Saturday I was about to take off to serve at the Food Pantry we have in our Church. I told Cora that I had a headache. She immediately laid her hands over my eyes and began to pray. Lord ( She has a Baptist Drawl! ) Please heal my Mommy's headache. Just be with her Lord and make her feel better. Please place your Healing Bombs on her and help her. now...Stop right there little missy. Mommy don't need no BOMBS up in here...the migraine was enough. (for you folks scratchin' your head ) she was asking for the Lord to place his healing balm on me and heal me. well...at least I think her heart is in the right place! :)
By the time I arrived at the pantry my head ache was gone! Nice job sweety!


Now this next comment I have heard for many many years of my adult life. In my 20's and 30's I would be highly offended when people said: you look like Sandy Duncan! you know that chick from the Nabisco commercials...crud. I just dated myself! However...once you hit your 40's you want to look like her. Sandy looks TIGHT ! check her out way back when! Eerily...the above picture does LOOK like me. ugh. Then this sat another lady told me I looked like Sandy and I said...well darlin' thank you! She also said I bear a striking resemblance to Jamie Lee Curtis which I SO would have a womance (girls version of bromance) with if we were friends!
a girl can dream! I really just love her hair. so then next thing you know everyone in the pantry is singing the Activia Song....classic moment! My husband calls my haircut the Activia Haircut! Nice honey...real nice.

Next up...what every Mom wants to hear from her child. NO....not MOM I got accepted to Harvard!
geesh...don't set the bar too high folks. I was working quickly to get the house freshened up for some dinner guests and my 5 year old walks in the bathroom and says: Mom, I want to scrub the toilet. I fainted. well. I wanted to ....but instead I acted quickly,  Grabbed the Clorox Wand and popped one of those scrubby thingy on it and said ...rock on sweety. I told her to scrub and let it set for 10 minutes. I came back 10 minutes later and she was still scrubbing! Hallelujah. Praise God! I birthed a keeper! here she is ...Ruby Red slippers and all! She's mine alllllllll mine! Don't be too jealous. This is the same little girl who caught three slugs, sealed them in some of my finest Tupperware and then promptly lost slug #3 before the night was over. Luckily I found the escapee slug and released him into his natural habitat: ie: threw him out the back door with a vengeance!
Have a Blessed Day ya'll!


Friday, May 18, 2012

Bulldogs, Guinea Pigs and Courage

Notes from the Madhouse:
A year ago in March we were blessed to adopt an English Bulldog from the local Animal Shelter. When he arrived he was 37 pounds.

With Love, Patience and Time he grew...and became a part of the family! He is now a year older and 67 pounds.

Silas does this pose A LOT!
 We recently adopted a Guinea Pig named Flossy. Here is Silas checking out his new neighbor! He has never ever ever! lifted his front paws off the ground for anything!

But really...this is where I was going. When I came to Christ. I was skin and bones. I had haunted eyes and a rough exterior. (see Silas' before picture) . God has made me a New Creation. Just like Silas looks as though he never spend a night on the street, never starved and NEVER had cigarette burns on places you don't want to know! We did for Silas what God has done for me! I live for his Word and his Love.
Silas lives for naps and food and Guinea Pig Kabobs! And belly scratches and little girl hugs!

Bryan and I have decided to adopt... and while we are in the process of learning of children that are available I hear a lot from people (boy I hear  a LOT) ....they say: why would you let an emotionally disturbed child in your home. Why would you adopt an abused child? Why add stress to your life? or the best yet: oh. My friends did that ...they NEVER got one. I will post more on how many children are waiting in Va ...WAITING . for a home. seriously. do NOT get me started.

after months of thinking...and I thought a lot! Here is what God has shown me. Look at Silas. We loved him back to life. We provided medical care, food, shelter and a family. For our next family member it will be the same! Medical Care, Food, Shelter, a space to call their own and we open our arms to be their family if they choose to accept it. God did that for Bryan and I. So in turn. We WILL do that for others. I watched a fantastic movie that I checked out at the library, it's called: Gifted Hands The Ben Carson Story. I urge you to view it! Awesome story about a Mother's love, a man's faith and how learning can give you the power to change lives! Amazing story!

now: on Courage...as a Mother, my instinct is to protect my children at all times. The other night I tested Cora on her motherly instincts. She had Flossy in her lap ( just like in the picture above) ...and Silas was sitting WAY to close for my comfort. So I shooed Silas off and ask Cora this question: What would YOU do if Silas jumped on you to get Flossy. Without batting one pretty little eyelash she said: SCREAM and let the guinea pig go! Classic. well. she has a long time before she will be birthing my grandchildren...so we can work on it! :)
Our small group just wrapped up a study on Courageous...the movie. Good stuff by the way! There is a scene I can share without spoiling the whole movie and here goes: While getting gas for his truck a man walks away from the truck and YEP. you guessed it. A carjacker steps in and takes the truck. Without Blinking (think Cora) The man who owns the truck gives chase! ON FOOT. he jumps up grabs the steering wheel through the open window and stops the carjacker! you know why? His Baby was in the back seat!!!!

We posed the question at group: Would you have run after the truck or called 911. I immediately said Run after the truck and punch that guy while holding the steering wheel. Many thought I was crazy. So I will pose a softer version...would you put your foot up to block a 67 pound drooling missile from eating your pet guinea pig? or would you scream and let go?

Christ Died for our Sins. I will choose Courage each time.

have a great day! and go check out that movie! :) Gifted Hands!
Women Living Well

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

5 Ways a Cash Budgeting System Will Change Your Life

5 Ways a Cash Budgeting System Will Change Your Life

Money Saving Mom. wow. she always has great posts! I aspire to put out info such as this! for now I will share! ;)
I just shared my Blog on: http://www.goodmorninggirls.org/.
That website is doing a Proverbs 31 Woman Study. I have a group of gals walking thru the study with me! If you would join and you are on facebook let me know! I will invite you to the group~!
Blessin's ya'll!

Worship with Rocketships



They ( the friends and family) say WRITE a BLOG. I relent. here it is. The beginning.
Well, not THE beginning...I will start with some old musings...to work out the kinks and learn the ropes here online!
My life forever changed the day I received TWO UPS deliveries ....the first was a little tykes tiny coupe car! you know the one. orange. yellow roof. yep! every tot has one! Then on top of that a flat envelope with graduation announcements. for my son. the UPS guy has me sign and says : Wow...you got a LOT going on here....
he nailed it. bam. right on the head.
Come on IN: I DO have a LOT going on! Welcome to My Life----it's as fun as puttin' lipstick on a squirrel. :)

Here is what is commonly called a Cora Story around these here parts:
This was written 1/26/2010 on facebook.
 Last Saturday I had a little conversation with my daughter, Cora, about going to church and tried to let her know what to expect when we went on Sunday morning.
I started off with telling ...her about the room where she would go and how she would stay there and meet lots of other children and play with toys. She asked me where I would go and I told her that I would go into another room to worship. She seemed ok with that so we ended the conversation.
Sunday morning came and I decided to go to church by myself. Later that evening at dinner Cora asked me ...How was church today? ...yes she talks like this! I told her it was good and that I enjoyed it very much. I asked her would she like to go with me next Sunday and she exclaimed--
YES. I wanna go in the Rocket Ship and go to China! it took me a moment but then I realized she thought that Worship was a type of rocket ship and she totally wanted in on that deal!
my my my...glad we worked that out before I actually showed up to drop her in the children's room!
 
These are two of our three wild things. Our daughter is away at college. Our age spread on kids...16 years. One is 5 the other two are 21! yeppers! A perfect storm every 16 years....without George Clooney of course!
So...I hope you stop by and keep tabs. It's a crazy life...I live it I love it and I thank God for every single second of it!

Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!