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Life is good, I take it for granted too often. I have a fabulous, supportive husband and a beautiful son who is always teaching me the simplicity of life. My day is made when samples fill my mailbox. I love discovering a new product and sharing it with others. I'm addicted to coupons and every penny counts. I hope you will enjoy reading my posts and will share your success stories with me as well.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Song for the Day - "Orphan" by John Waller

A couple weeks ago John Waller came to our church and a gave a concert.  "Orphan" is one of the songs he sang.  I heard this song several years ago at a fostering/adoptive conference and was touched then.  Hearing John's personal story about his family adopting 3 children gave this song even more meaning to me.  Foster and Adopted children will always have a special place in my heart!


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Summer with Snuggle Bear

Bradley loves his Snuggle Bear.  And this summer we are all about taking our Snuggle Bear with us to the places we visit. #SnuggleSelfie #TeamSnuggle

#SnuggleBear@MaineWildlifePark

 #SnuggleBear@KettleCove

 #SnuggleBear@theocean


 #SnuggleBear@SmilingHillFarm


A special thanks to Snuggle for sending us Snuggle Bear to share our summer memories with!
 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Smiling Hill Barnyard in Westbrook, Maine

Bradley and I made a trip to Smiling Hill Barnyard yesterday afternoon.  It was a really hot day but there are so many trees with nice shade covering, that the heat didn't bother us too much.  There is a nice variety of farm animals to see at the barnyard.  It's definitely worth the $5 per person cost.  Bring some extra money if you would like to feed the animals.  There are restrooms available and there are plenty of picnic tables if you want to bring a picnic lunch.  You can also walk across the parking lot to Smiling Hill Dairy Store and purchase your lunch or grab some delicious homemade ice cream.  Bradley and I had a very fun afternoon at the barnyard and we will be back again to see our new animals friends.

 This sweet baby Jersey calf is only two months old.

 Horses were so pretty.

 Two donkeys busy chowing down.

 The ferrets were all curled up sleeping in their bed.

As unattractive as they are, my favorite farm animal is still the pig!

 Silkies!

 This bunny barn was so cute.  The kids could even climb to the second level to see the bunny upstairs.  I always had a pet bunny growing up so I loved seeing the bunnies.

More chickens!

 The goats were Bradley's favorite animal.  He kept calling them "his friends" and they would follow him all throughout the pen.

 I loved how they were taking a walk with Bradley.

He loved feeding the goats out of his hand.

This guy wasn't amused that I didn't have any food to offer to him.

Bradley was ready to take this one home with him.

Sheep and goats eating an early supper.

 Cows so busy eating their supper they wouldn't even look up.
So many of the animals were eating while we were there.

 
 Llama Llama!  I love that book series and Bradley thought it was
really cool to see a llama in person.


 There barnyard also offers a lot of cool pieces of playground equipment.  Bradley had a blast playing on the different pieces.

 One cool dragon!

 These little tractors were so cute!

 
 There was a little trail and a bridge for the kids to ride on.

 A really big awesome crane!

 Airplane time!

 Driving the monster truck!

  He played the most on the choo choo train.

And one really awesome tractor that had a slide.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

CVS Deals Week of July 26-August 1

It's been a REALLY long time since I've shopped at CVS.  This was my 3rd trip in almost a year and my first stockpiling trip since moving to Maine.  The nearest CVS is in a different town about 20 minutes away from us.  I figured with the baby coming at the end of the year, it's about time to start thinking about stockpiling again.  It wasn't the greatest of experiences.  The store is so different than the stores in South Carolina.  And the coupon kiosk got jammed so I didn't get any coupons to print.  That always sends me in panic mode wondering how many great coupons I missed out on.  Either way, it was good to be back in the couponing game and hopefully I'll get back into a weekly routine.


I spent a total of $25.72 (including tax), saved $31.95, and received $9 back in ECB's.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Messy Grace by Caleb Kaltenbach Book Review


Caleb Kaltenbach was raised by LGBT parents, marched in gay pride parades as a youngster, and experienced firsthand the hatred and bitterness of some Christians toward his family.

But then Caleb surprised everyone, including himself, by becoming a Christian...and a pastor.

Very few issues in Christianity are as divisive as the acceptance of the LGBT community in the church.  Messy Grace shows us that Jesus's command to "love your neighbor as yourself" doesn't have an exception clause for a gay "neighbor" or any other "neighbor" we might find it hard to relate to.  Jesus was able to love everyone without compromising truth.  So can we.  Even when it's messy.

 Caleb did a wonderful job writing this book.  You heart will break for Caleb, his Mom, and her girlfriend as you read how "Christians" were so far Christlike to them than you could imagine.  You will understand the LGBT community in a way you might never have understood them before.

Some of my favorite thoughts that Caleb had are:

There are times when Christians can be so concerned about holiness that they end up keeping away those who are less than perfect.  They create a church culture that allows only a narrow few to participate in the community.

 Two verses at the beginning of the gospel - John 1:14 and 17 say that Jesus came full of "grace and truth".  When releasing the woman caught in adultery, he displayed both qualities.  Jesus had grace to set the woman free.  Yet he also had truth.  He did not condone her activity.  He used strong language for it: "sin".  (vs. 11 says "Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin.")

Romans 5:8 says that "While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
Not when we had it all together.
Not when we were moral and clean-cut and smelled good.
Not when we started attending church.
Not when we started acting the way Christians act.
Not when we started believing.

God paid a hefty price when He allowed His son to be sent into the world to be tortured and killed.  What does it say about our opinion of the cross if we are not willing to go and tell people about the death Jesus died for them -- just because we don't agree with them or they make us feel uncomfortable?

We can accept others as friends or family without approving of their life choices.  We can be loving without applauding.  We can be compassionate without commending.

If our churches are places where people can't be honest, we are creating sanctuaries for fake people.

Church needs to be a place where you can "belong before you believe". 

"Messy Grace" will be available on October 20, 2015.  You can pre-order now.  This is definitely a book for every Christian to read as we learn more about how to show love and witness to the LGBT community.

Disclosure - I received a complimentary copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for this review.  All opinions expressed here are my own. 

Our Weekend Recap

We started our weekend off by going to Kettle Cove on Friday night.  It was a new place for us and we all fell in love with the beauty there.  We were only there for about an hour before a bad thunderstorm and heavy rain came in but it was just enough time to get our weekend off to a relaxing start. 



It was cloudy and cool on Saturday but we still wanted to go check out a new to us state park in Saco.  Ferry Beach State Park is a really nice state park other than the restrooms.  Those definitely need an upgrade and lots of air fresheners!  There are several hiking trails, a nature center, picnic tables, and easy access to a 7 mile sandy beach.  The beach was really nice although we found it really funny that we were bundled up in sweatshirts and blankets since it was only 62 degrees in the middle of July!  





After church on Sunday, Mike and Bradley made their killer BBQ chicken pizza for lunch.  Mike and I played Skip-bo that afternoon while Bradley was busy with Dominoes.  A quick bike ride to our local park for some playtime and then it was back home and Bradley crashed at 8 pm while Mike and I watched some TV.  Another great family weekend is in the books.






 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Bradley's Exciting News!

 
 Baby Genovese #2 is on the way.  
Bradley is very excited about being promoted to a big brother! 

 We have reached week 16 in pregnancy and Bradley is busy counting down the days until the baby arrives!  Each morning he cuts off a link to our chain count down calendar.

 He is so proud of having his own picture of the baby.  He's been with me a couple times to doctor appointments and loves watching the baby move on the monitor.  He's also helped find the baby's heartbeat and my doctor has been so great at letting him be involved!