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Life is beautiful whether you're soaking in sunshine or caught in a thunderstorm. I take the beauty of life for granted too often. I have a supportive husband who I don't want to live life without, a beautiful son who is always reminding me of the simple things that really matter, and an independent daughter who is teaching me to throw schedules out the window and live in the moment. My day is made when free 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, December 20, 2013

Merry Christmas from the Genovese Family




Dear Family & Friends,

Psalms 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.”  This past year our family experienced many of those “be still” moments and we had to trust that God would show His will to our family.
In March we said goodbye to our dear Ty.  It was truly the hardest goodbye we’ve ever said but it was a decision that was best for our family.  We stepped back from fostering for six month to give our family time to heal.
Ashley resigned from her Ministry Assistant position at RBC in May.  She is adjusting to being a stay at home Mother and just like any job, some days are wonderful and other days take more patience.  If Bradley doesn’t keep her busy enough, she finds time to blog, sell on EBay and volunteer with the local foster parent association.
Mike has continued his career as a Private Banker with Wells Fargo.  He is currently taking online courses to complete his degree in October 2014.  God has continued to give Mike excellent health as he is active playing basketball, running, and wrestling with the boys. He is still volunteering with the SC Heart Gallery Foundation.
Bradley is now 2 ½ years old.  He makes us smile every day and has a charming personality.  He loves the outdoors and he’s all boy when it comes to rain puddles and dirt.  One of his favorite things to do is to organize his toys by color, shape and size.
After much prayer and having our hearts burdened again to help children in foster care, we ended our break and Javeion came to live with us in October.  He’s an intelligent 5 year old boy who loves kindergarten.  He loves being a big brother to Bradley and they play together like peas in a pod.
Our family continues to go to Riverside Baptist Church and we are thrilled with what God is doing in our church.  Our new growth groups have challenged, encouraged, and allowed us to dig deeper into God’s Word and form new friendships.
When Mary was told that she was going to have a baby, we read in Luke 2:19 that “she pondered these things in her heart.” She wonders about her future as she ponders what God’s plan for her life will be.  Our prayer for you in 2014 is that when those times come and you wonder about what God has for you, you will “Be still and know that He is God”.  He promises to show you His will in His perfect timing.
Merry Christmas from the Genovese Family!  We are blessed with you in our lives and we love you dearly.

Mike, Ashley, Bradley, and Javeion


(Due to privacy and confidentiality, we are unable to post a picture of Javeion)




 


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Triple Coupons at Bi-Lo

I was so excited when I saw that Bi-Lo was having a triple coupon sale for the next 4 days!  You can use coupons up to 99 cents.  There is a maximum limit of 20 coupons used per visit and you can only use the 3 of the same coupons.
 
To be honest, I didn't find a great amount of items on sale that matched with my coupons so my trip wasn't as thrilling as I thought it would be.  I bought 19 items and my total was $10.70 out of pocket with a savings of $23.61.  Not bad for a 25 minute trip in the grocery store with a 2 year old.
 


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Another Night of Christmas Lights at Hollywild

Last night we gave the boys bath, put their pajamas on and took them to Hollywild to see the Christmas lights.  They were so excited and I'm pretty sure since we've seen Christmas lights two nights in a row, they are going to start expecting to do this every night.  Our first trip to Hollywild was 10 years ago was when Mike and I were dating and we've gone every year since then!  We've seen a lot of changes in the last 10 years and I'm not sure that we will be going back next year.  Traffic is insane so you need to get there right at 6 pm or you will be waiting a long time.  Try to avoid the weekends if at all possible.  The prices are $6 per person (24 months and younger are free) and they added a new additional $10 fee to drive through the Enchanted Deer Forest and feed the animals.  Food for the animals is provided with the $10 fee.  If you stop along the halfway point at Santa's Village, there will be additional charges for various activities.  We decided to just stay in the car since the boys were in their pajamas and it helped us keep within our budget by not doing the additional activities.  We still had a great time.  I was having issues with my camera last night so a lot of the pictures had to be deleted and the ones I do have aren't the best quality.
 
We were in the back end of the SUV for the first half with the top window open.
The boys loved that!

HOLLYWILD Holiday Lights

My favorite was the carousel.

The boys loved the water.

And they loved the geese!

J's favorite was the whale.

 


 

 Bradley loved "driving" the car!
 


The Nativity Scene is really beautiful.

Goodbye Hollywild.


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmas Lights at Shearbrook Drive

We've heard about the Christmas lights at Shearbrook Drive in Mauldin for the last 2 years but haven't taken the time to go.  We finally did last night.  It. Was. Awesome.  So awesome that I want to buy a home in that subdivision just so I can go every night to look at their Christmas lights.  These talented guys have decorated their house and yard like something out of a storybook.  They have people serving hot cocoa, the real kind with lots of marshmallows and not watered down, fresh, hot popcorn, and SANTA!  You walk around their house sipping hot cocoa and enjoying the beautiful lights and Christmas inflatables.  What I like most about this place is everything is free! You don't have to spend a fortune unlike Roper Mountain Lights and Hollywild.  Donations are accepted and we left some tips for our hot cocoa.  Shearbrook Drive in Mauldin....you must make the trip. 
 




























Monday, December 16, 2013

Faithful to the End

We went to a Christmas concert last night at Praise CathedralAndy Crabb was the guest singer.  Wow!  God has blessed him with an incredible voice!  There were so many great songs last night but my favorite was the song "Faithful to the End".  The lyrics speak right to the soul of God's faithfulness.  I hope this song is a blessing as your start your week. 
 
(I had trouble loading it as a video so just click the link below and it will take you to watch the video on YouTube.)
 
 


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Organizing a Kids Room is Never Ending

I've had lots of little projects all day but my big project for the day was to organize Bradley's room.  I didn't even want to take any pictures of the "before" look because I was so embarrassed.  Every single toy possible was on the floor along with books and puzzles.  It was a nightmare!  So after sorting everything into proper bins, putting puzzles back together, and organizing books, the room looks so much better.  I had to take a moment and post pictures so when the next tornado hits his room, I can look back at this blog post and remember at one time it was perfect.
 
Cars and trucks in the green bin, animals and people in the beige bin,
and random toys in the blue bin.  Legos in one container and Lincoln Logs
in the other.I'm looking for the perfect toy organizer...does anyone have any
favorites they would suggest?

For now this is his bookshelf for books and puzzles. 

Seeing the carpet in his room is a wonderful thing! 


Cookies, Crafts, and Bradley's Obsession with lines

I haven't had much time to blog the last couple of days because I've been covered in flour and icing.  We had a Christmas Party for the Greenville County Foster Children and Families on Tuesday night.  I was in charge of the cookies and crafts.  I'm so thankful for all the sweet ladies from my church, friends, and family who helped me make almost 1200 cookies.  I'm extremely grateful to my crafty husband who helped me create the craft and cut 450 paper plates and 225 pieces of construction paper.  I really didn't think any of us would be eating another cookies after all that baking.  You get to a point you don't even want to see another cookie.  But Bradley woke up this morning asking for a cookie!  He has turned into quite the cookie monster lately.  Bradley had to keep himself entertained while I was busy making cookies.  He is obsessed with having items in a line and he stayed busy putting a line of something in each bedroom.  I've said it before, this kid totally cracks me up!
 
The gorgeous and extremely yummy Italian Cookies my sweet Grandpa Genovese made.  He lives in CT so unfortunately we don't get to see him very often. 
He was so sweet to make these cookies for the children!

My dining room table was covered in cookies and the house smelled like a bakery. 
Thank you to all my friends and family who donated cookies for the party!

I had a lot of fun making sugar cookies!

Decorating the cookies was the best!
 

My bedroom and bathroom consisted of a line of all the pillows in the house.

He made a line of Legos in his bedroom.

And a line of books and various toys in the family room.
 
Trying out the Santa face mask.