About Me

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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 hope you will enjoy reading my posts and will share your stories with me as well.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Last Night in Our First House

It's been an emotional weekend.  So many lasts, so many goodbyes, so many memories. 
Tonight will be our last night in our first house.  There are so many beautiful memories this house holds.  The bedrooms where so many precious foster children found safety, love, and became a part of our family.  The kitchen and family room where new friendships were formed and lifetime memories were made.  The dining room where so many meals were eaten with family & friends and card & board games were played.  The backyard which was perfect for bonfires, games of football or catch, and Bradley's first swingset. 
When we first moved into this house we both wanted this house to feel like a home.  We wanted anyone that entered to feel like family.  It didn't matter if paint on the walls chipped, stains on the carpet were made, or the hardwood floors became scratched.  It was our home and those "flaws" reminded us that everything in this life will be gone one day.  What matters is the relationships we build with people, our foster children seeing Jesus through us, and the difference we make in someone's life.
Greenville, SC will always hold a very special place in my heart.  It was here that I became who I am today.  It was here where I fell in love with my husband.  It was here where my precious Bradley was created.  It was here where so many beautiful foster children changed and blessed my life in so many ways.  It was here where I built relationships with friends that became my family. 
As I say goodbye to my life in Greenville, SC, I hope that I allowed someone to see Jesus in me.  Because that's all that matters.  Nothing else.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Tenth and Final Week of Summer Fun

And the summer is officially over.  Wow!  I can't believe how fast those 10 weeks went.  What an incredible summer we made with lots of fun memories!  I can't wait to put a  photo book together for Bradley so he will always remember Summer 2014.
On Monday we met some friends at a park in the morning.  The rest of the day was full of packing and the boys finishing up some library books.
Our plans had to be changed up on Tuesday so we went to Legacy Park with my nieces.  It's a nice little park with lots of great places to take pictures.  The kids loved climbing on the rocks near the creek.  On Tuesday afternoon, our friend Chase came over and the boys made Flubber together.  I'm pretty sure they like Flubber over Play-Doh and it's so simple to make!



On Wednesday, sweet Kalli came over to play with the boys.  They were outside most of the morning.  A car oil change and car wash was their excitement for the afternoon!


On Thursday we met some friends at David Jackson park and they played for 2 full hours there.  It was a gorgeous morning!  I bribed them with ice cream so I could get a quick hair cut that afternoon.  :)

 On Friday we met friends at Pump It Up for open play time.  The boys were a hot sweaty mess in just an hour.  They love the big slide!  We ended our summer with a nice lunch with Amanda (Kaden's Mom) at Chick-fil-A.  I sure am going to miss that sweet boy and his parents!  I'm going to have to convince them to fly Kaden up to Maine next summer! 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Menu Week of August 11 - 15

This is our last full week in SC!  I can't believe it!  I'm so excited about our move but it's also going to be a sad week of saying goodbyes to dear friends.  Our meals are going to be very simple again this week as we are in the process of packing.  And it doesn't make any sense to go out and buy a lot of ingredients that will just get thrown away on moving day.
Blueberry Pancakes - from the freezer
Cinnamon Rolls - from the freezer
Cereal x 2
Sugar Toast
Turkey & Cheese Sandwiches
Chips, Chili, & Cheese
Mac & Cheese
Special Lunch Out
Leftovers x 2
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Egg & Cheese Wraps

Friday, August 8, 2014

Ninth Week of Summer Fun

Is it really possible that we only have one week of summer break left?  I know Kaden is excited about going back to school but I'm not quite sure Bradley is ready for the summer to end.  He has had a blast with Kaden this summer!
The boys were so great this week especially since we had several changes to our schedule due to house inspections, termite inspection, appraiser, and the lawn mower repairman. 
On Monday after the home and termite inspections, we went to Greer City park.  I love that the boys love being outside so much. 

On Tuesday, the boys played at home with Legos most of the morning and then we took a quick ride to the airport that afternoon to check out some airplanes.

On Wednesday we met some friends at the Children's Aviation Park and had breakfast.  Milk and donuts for the kids and coffee for the adults.  The kids love this park especially since they can see the smaller airplanes come and go.  Kalli came home with us and she convinced the boys to watch a Veggie Tales Princess and Popstar movie with her.  I love that girl!!  All three of them had so much fun that afternoon together.

On Thursday, the boys played in the sandbox and then we met friends at Monkey Joes and they played there for almost 4 hours!

On Friday, we took a last minute trip to Happy Cow.  Bradley and I are really going to miss that farm!  We stopped at a park near Happy Cow and the boys played a good bit before the rain came in.  Library books and movies are a big hit on rainy afternoons like today!


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Amazon, CVS and Earth Fare Deals Week of August 3-9

I'm not sure what the deal is but I feel I need to start stockpiling before we move to Portland.  I'm pretty sure it's because I've convinced myself that stores in Maine don't offer sales or accept coupons or it's because I'm imagining us snowed in the very first week we arrive.  Either way, it's put me in stockpile mode and I can't stop!
Amazon Subscribe and Save Order - My total was $76.78 for dishwashing detergent, laundry detergent, coconut oil, and two boxes of organic k-cups.  Whenever you order 5 items through subscribe and save, you receive an additional 20% off your entire order.
CVS - My total was $29.16, I saved $55.36 and I received $10 back in ECB's.  I wish I had made two or three transactions out of this so my out of pocket would have been less.  I supposed I could look at it as the $10 back in ECB's makes up for the $10 I went over on my weekly budget.

I spent a total of $54.21 and have no idea how much I saved because I lost the receipt.  Can you tell that I was serious about eating cereal for supper this week?  :)
My grand total spent this week was $160.15. 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

My Song for the Day - God is Able by Hillsong

I can't even begin to explain how much God has proven that "He is Able" over and over to me in the last two weeks.  Selling a house is S-T-R-E-S-S-F-U-L!  I'm seriously considering a full blown spa day after all this is over and I've made it to Portland without having a panic attack.  God made it very clear  to us that our next chapter in life is in Portland, Maine.  But there are quite a few things that have to be done in order to get there.  It's not like I can just tap my shoes and poof...I'm there. 
  For those of you who have had your house on the market for weeks and months, you are just going to laugh at me and say I'm a big baby.  I truly have a whole new respect for you all that are anxiously waiting for your house to sell.  I have no idea how you haven't had a panic attack yet.  This is our first time selling a house so we had no idea what to expect.  And we wanted to save some money, so we chose to sell without a realtor.  I don't think I've ever cleaned my house so thoroughly as I did getting ready for an open house.  I pretty much cleaned it with a fine tooth comb and it still didn't seem "show ready".  You should have seen the "to do" list we had.  I swear it kept getting longer and longer before we could even cross one thing off.  Cleaning the gutters, pressure washing and sealing the deck, pressure washing the porch and driveway, touch up painting inside the house, minor repair work in the crawl space, and so on.  To say that I was overwhelmed would be an understatement.  I was in pure panic mode.
Only by God's strength were we able to complete everything on our to do list within the last two weeks.  We were able to borrow a pressure washer, I had deck sealant in the garage that I bought over a year ago and never used, we found a guy to clean our gutters for $69, Mike was able to get all the touch up paint finished, de-cluttered and had a garage sale, and we both did the repair work under the crawl space ourselves.  By the way, if I never go under a crawl space again in my life, it will be just fine.  Everything seemed to go so smoothly, almost too good to be true but "He is Able".
On our second open house, God brought our buyers down our street.  They hadn't seen it advertised on Zillow, Craig's List, Facebook or word of mouth.  They were driving and saw the tiny little open house sign and decided to stop in.  It's so ironic because that's exactly how I found this house 7 years ago.  We were driving around and just happened to drive past this house being built.  I immediately fell in love as soon as I walked through the door.  And that's exactly what our new buyers did.  You could see the excitement in her eyes as she was walking around.  She LOVED the house and was picturing herself in it!  Every seller's dream!  I shouldn't be in shock that God had our house under contract in 10 days. "He is Able"
I didn't realize that even after we have a contract on the house, the stress is still there.  Home inspections, pest control inspections, appraisers, and so forth.  Besides the pressure of making sure NOTHING breaks or tears apart before the closing date.  Wow!  I had no idea what it takes to sell a house.  Praise the Lord the home inspection passed with just a few minor repairs, pest control confirmed we don't have termites and the crawl space looks great.  Another confirmation that "He is Able".
I love this song by Hillsong "He is Able".  What a beautiful reminder that God is with us, He is on our side, He will make a way.  Far above all we know, Far above all we hope, He has done great things.  Truly awesome things!