Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Proud Mommy Moment

I signed up to help in Madison's Kindergarten class on Wednesdays and today was my first day.  All the kids were pretty well behaved and were a joy getting to work with and help.  I sat at a table and helped them make "Brown Bear, Brown Bear What do you See?" books of their own.  So much fun!

Madison really just made my heart happy today.  She is such a beautiful little person on the inside and out.  She makes me so proud.  She was more than happy to include the new girl in their play time at recess and she was so sweet to her friends. She can be a little bossy at home with her brother and sister, but at school she was very inclusive, helpful and sweet.  She followed directions from the teacher and today she happened to be the line leader.  Even at the young age of 5, I see so many leadership qualities in her.  She definitely knows how to rally the troops.  I also learned she was placed in the highest reading group.  Not gonna lie, pretty stoked about that.

On top of all this, she loves Jesus at such a young age and I'm looking forward to watching her grow more in Him and come to even more of an understanding of who He is and his purpose for her life.

I'm not one to constantly brag about ever move my kid makes, but today I am just abundantly blessed and wanted to share what the Lord is doing in my little Madison's life.  Today was also great validation of the choices Josh and I have made for our kids.  Seems like most of them were met with opposition whether it was to not put them in pre-school, daycare or to do homeschooling or this extra-curricular vs that one.  Everyone's kids are different and we made the right choices for ours. Every child is unique and will learn differently from other kids.  I would totally encourage parents to never think there is a cookie cutter way to educate your child and to look into all the different options available today, there are SO many!

Super proud of my little girl today and it was so much fun to see such different personalities of all the little people.  All of them so unique and precious.  Go hug the little people in your life and let them know you are proud of them!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Unexpected Blessing

I have definitely been feeling a little down still about not being in our own home, especially w/ the holidays coming quickly upon us.  As we drove home from dinner, I pondered: Am I just being materialistic and ungrateful for what the Lord has blessed us with? Don't get me wrong, I know I'm blessed.  We have someone who has opened their home to us, healthy babies, a growing business, an amazing church family, and wonderful family and friends.  We moved out of our own home into other's thinking we'd be in our own house in 6-8 months. Wrong. God has changed our game plan a few times and here we are almost 2 years later. :(

Tonight our friend Rob stopped by and shared some stuff that really humbled me and encouraged me.  Josh and I were both super blessed by the time and conversation with him.  There is something about talking with fellow believers about God's word, reading scripture, praying together, just having Christ as the foundation of a friendship that brings so much joy to my heart.  God continues to surround us with more and more godly friendships. Priceless.  

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Isaiah 43:1-4

 But now, this is what the LORD says—
   he who created you, Jacob,
   he who formed you, Israel: 
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
   I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
   I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
   they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
   you will not be burned;
   the flames will not set you ablaze.
 For I am the LORD your God,
   the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I give Egypt for your ransom,
   Cush and Seba in your stead.
 Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
   and because I love you.
Isaiah 43:1-4

I had these great plans to recap my weekend in this blog and talk about some of things I've been pondering, but then I heard this verse in a James MacDonald message about insecurity and decided I would just post this and be meditating on it this week.  

God's love blows me away, humbles me and brings tears to my eyes.  

Saturday, September 10, 2011

9/11 thoughts

Looking at all the pictures from 9/11, it still seems surreal.  It makes me ill how many innocent people died that day and even more ill thinking about all the firefighters that ran INTO that building, no clue it would come down.  If only they could have just evacuated it, but it is what it is and here we are 10 years later.  I still bawl like a baby watching the replays of the attacks, hearing the stories.  Gives me great joy and relief that this September 11th Osama is no longer walking this earth. I'm so proud to be an American and I'm so grateful for all men and women who have served our country in any way, shape and form.  And thank you to President George W. Bush for not being a coward in the wake of terror, you are one of the greatest this country has ever seen. Words cannot express.

Thank You.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

What is my deal??

So last weekend I washed my blackberry in the washing machine. Awesome.  Our Pastor had an older, extra blackberry that I could have to use.  A few days later we realized I was eligible for an early upgrade so I ordered a new phone set to come on Tuesday.  A Samsung Fascinate.  It has pretty good reviews.  So as luck would have I dropped my loaner phone into my coffee. Seriously?? I am demented.  I feel so bad because we were gonna give it back to my Pastor so the next idiot to wash their phone could borrow it, but I had to be that idiot TWICE.  I have 3 kids and yet I was the one who ruined 2 phones in ONE week.  #whaddyagonnado?

The girls are with my Dad tonight and I miss them.  It's nice to get a break and I know they have a blast, but I always start to miss them like crazy when they're gone.

Today Josh worked a full day and had, Rob Jewel, work with him and he is quickly becoming a good friend.  Can't even begin to describe how blessed we have been in the friend department in the last couple years.  We had us some Gina's pizza tonight and I popped into my favorite boutique that's right there, Pretty In Pink Boutique.  Holly, the owner, was telling me she is having a girl's night out event on Thursday, Sept. 15th.  I missed the last one and def wanna go to this one, any other takers?? Some Gina's and then some "perusing"...notice I didn't say "shop". Shannon, I know you wanna go...Gina's...nom nom nom. I got 2 tops there tonight and if I wasn't already typing this straight from my bed I would totally take pictures and put them up, they are the short boxy tees.  One in charcoal, the other teal.  I really want this top:


Ok, well I better go to bed or I'll be hatin' life tomorrow...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I ain't no quitter...


...however, I am also not a 'juicer'. My last sips of my lunch juice were pure torture to get down my throat. I don't know how anyone does that for 10 days, let alone some 30 or 60. BLEH! So I took my juicer back to Target and had me some Gina's Pizza then headed to Disneyland with the family. That sounded way more appealing than choking down one more of those heinous drinks and feeling like I could kill someone at any given second. I. Needed. Coffee. Yep, I'm weak and addicted to food. Oh well, at least I'm honest.

I am definitely feeling challenged to start cooking healthier meals for the family, although when I cook, they are pretty decent. I use lots of ground turkey and we eat poultry and veggies, but I want to fins a cookbook with healthy recipes for kids that I sneak some micronutrients into stuff that tastes good to them. My little Levi is hooked on Almond Milk and will hardly touch the regular stuff. My girls will drink it, too, but don't care either way.

In other bits of news, Madison's first week of school was awesome. She loves it and I LOVE that it's only 3 days a week.

We also bought a truck this weekend. Hooray! We've been sharing one vehicle for almost 3 years. It's been rough. We named her 'Ruby' and she's Fab.


That's it for today. Ignore my last post. That was very impulsive. Usually, I'm very aware of my limitations, clearly I was a little overzealous. We're just gonna pretend it never happened. Back to my cup of coffee. G'night! xoxo

Juicing, Day 1

I was going to do a post leading into today, but I didn't have time so here we are on Day 1 of juicing. Our Pastor let us borrow his documentary called "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead." Pretty self-explanatory, right? Check out the link to hear more about Joe's story. I decided that I would like to do the 10 Day Juice fast. Not so much for the purposes of weight loss (although I wont complain if I lose a few), but more just to reboot my system and do a cleanse. The juice isn't as heinous and I was anticipating it was going to be and I'm just about finished with my morning glass. I already miss coffee that's for sure. Feels good knowing I'm putting some super healthy nutrients into my body tho. It's probably going to go into shock. I bought the Juiceman Juicer at Target last night. It looks like this:


The recipe for the juice is:
1 cucumber
6 Kale leaves
1/2 a lemon
4 celery stalks
2 green apples
1 piece of ginger

Bottom's up!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Folder Fanatic

Over the last couple of years I have developed this fondness for folders. Pretty folders, psychadelic folders, functional folders, etc. You know what I'm talking about?? A lot of times you can get a pack of 3 in the $1 section at Target. I use them for alllll sorts of things. For example, when were getting ready to go see our tax lady I had all our business/tax info all organized in a pretty little folder, I have one going for my sister's bridal shower, Madison's school stuff, etc. I usually write on the tabs in pencil so when I'm done needing a space for relevant papers I can erase and go onto the next project/idea/paperwork/whatever! Anywho, was picking up some more back to school stuff for M yesterday and I was in folder fantasyland! I don't typically buy the type of folder that opens and has pockets and no tab, HOWEVER, I fell in love and they are a poly type material which is WAY more durable. I just had to have them, take a picture of them and share them with you here!
i LOVE cute office supplies! any other funky folder fans out there??

I also picked up a cute new calendar. Levi mistook my other for his doodle pad -_- shucks, darn had to buy a new one, with flowers on it =] I also bought new pens to along with. We have so much going on on our calendar I like to use colored pens to decipher between all the activity at a glance! I started using this system when I was busy with Creative Memories, we'd use colored dots. I prefer my pastel pens.

My color code is as follows (I know you are DYING to know):
Black: Commercial Appts
Green: Residential Appts.
Pink: Personal Appts
Blue: Church Functions
Purple: Special Days (Birthdays, Anniversaries, etc.)

It just makes it easier to tell what is going on where instead of all these different things being written in black. The husband is good about using his phone, I'm old school. I need to see it and write it down.

It gave me warm fuzzies to share all this with you! Deep down I am part nerd, for sure.


Monday, August 15, 2011

Money Matters Monday

Anyone that knows me or has a read a few of my blogs will quickly find that Finances is one of my favoriteeee subjects, contrary to a lot of folks! I love to talk about spending money, saving money, couponing, great products for a great price, debt, investing, etc. SO - I've decided to start Money Matters Monday that will keep you updated on our personal financial journey and anything else that remotely has to do with money!

Now that you are dialed in, on with our first post!

1. My girlfriend, Erika, and I were at Nordstrom Rack last week and they were having some KILLER deals. I bought a cream babydoll blouse, regular $56 - I paid 8.70. I bought a couple of other things and one of those was a last minute impulse buy that I have been beyond thrilled with. As I was waiting in line to check out there was a display of compacts. I was out of mine and had been for quite some time, I was half-masked every time I left the house. This as allll about to change. It was a brand I didn't recognize and I didnt have time to check it was the best color for my frosty white skin, but nevertheless I grabbed one in the shade 'Laurel Nude' and checked out. Being over a week into using it I can confirm I am 110% satisfied with my $10 purchase of a Palladio compact.



I just don't have $25 to spend on a compact, $10 is my kinda price. I love how it's light, but not too light that it doesn't keep my face looking smooth and good all day. I went to an August wedding on Saturday and by 11:30pm when I got home, my makeup still looked good, usually it's halfway down my face and I look like the joker. If you're in the market to try some new cosmetics I would highly recommend checking them out. If you click on 'Palladio', you can learn more about their products.

2. We've been looking to reach an income goal for the month for the past couple of months and we've come with just a few hundred dollars of each month! Hopefully August is the month we blast through that ceiling! So important to set goals for yourself and write them down so you stay focused and intentional!

That's all I've got for you on money this Monday, hopeful by next Monday we'll have more developments in the paying off of the student loan! woo!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Weekend Recap: Harvest Crusades and a wedding!

This weekend was jam-packed! I'm going to try and get in as much detail and pcs as possible without spending a kajillion years on here! So friday night we had quite the crew and headed to Five Guys, a new favorite, and then to the Harvest Crusade at Angel Stadium. Our church got involved this year and I was privileged to be the church coordinator for our church aka the go between and bring the info to get our church involved and pumped. So grateful to the people who stepped and volunteered and also to those who have been praying! Kutless, David Crowder Band and Crystal Lewis all performed, it was an unbelievable time of worship. Friday there were 3045 professions of faith! To God be the Glory!

Here's a pic of me and the girls, we're missing Kristy. She was a lifesaver this weekend!


On Saturday, we attended Josh's cousin's wedding. I had a great time getting ready with Haylie. Even though, they stayed with Nana, Haylie and I still primped together. I truly LOVE having daughters. They are just the most precious little people to be around. Love how pure and innocent they are. Their girliness is the cutest thing EVER.




Madison and I also found time to goof off in the car. LOL




The wedding was held in Yorba Linda, but the reception was at the Queen Mary. I had never been there before so I was pretty stoked! The food was pretty good and the bride and groom are pretty entertaining so it was a lot of fun! So excited for them, congrats Jason and Marie! Bummed I didn't get a shot of them, but hopefully I can snag one from someone else later.




And then there was today, Sunday. It was simply amazing. God did his thang. Broke people's hearts. Pastor Charlie knows how to bring it. He lays down the truth, but always in love. So much healing and forgiveness happened today. I can't thank the Lord enough for what he's doing.

Only down side to church was my little Madison got whacked in the face by a ruler, fortunately it didn't hit her eyeball. Ay, kids.


Tonight we went to the crusade again. Over 4000 people made professions of faith. Loved being more apart of the crusade this year, such a blessing.

I have so many deep thoughts from this weekend, but I'll save those for another post! Lookin forward to everyone else's weekend recaps!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

10 things that made me happy this week

1. Our growing group for the crusade!
2. My gf Cassandra bringing me a whole bag of Jose's coffee!
3. Diamond Studded Linings
4. Meeting with my mentor.
5. New 8 o'clock bedtimes for the kids. For some reason I though it was child abuse to put them to bed before like 9. Glad that was cleared up.
6. Prayer Night - Every word spoke was for me. Psalm 34
7. Reading a Proverbs a day. I'm on day 11 and so far it's all about using wisdom, seeking wisdom, wisdom wisdom wisdom. I love it, I def need those daily reminders to do things God's way and not my own way.
8. $1750 to the student loan and its under 20k!!!
9. Watching my kids kiss & hug and not try and kill each other.
10. Cleaning the carpets in 2 rooms. LOVE clean carpet!!! best part is that Josh and I did it together. Love being married to my best friend. God couldn't have possibly given me a better partner to go thru life with!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wednesdayness

Today's post is brought to you by Chick-fil-A wi-fi!

Chick-fil-A just added a new item to their breakfast menu: Oatmeal!! Yum! I had it for the first time this morning and quite enjoyed it. I usually do not care for oatmeal other than the stuff I make at home, but I thought this was pretty good and will def be ordering again. Sidenote: Why did the people with the extremely unhappy baby have to pick the only table behind the girl working on a laptop when the restaurant is completely empty?? Come on, people. I'm moving, brb.

Ok, I'm back. I don't know about you, but being smack dab in the middle of the summer hasn't exactly made me excited about cooking. So I got this dandy idea to start cooking in bulk when I do cook. So last week I made 4 lasagnas and froze them. It was my first attempt at lasagna and it was pretty good. My friend Cassandra gave me lots of tips, she makes a PHENOMENAL lasagna. I think next time I'll add a leeetle more sauce, but other that it was pretty good.

This has been an interesting time in my life. God is stretching me and growing me. It's been very humbling. I was telling my husband, I feel so weak at times, but I know that God's strength is totally carrying me. The Lord has just surrounded us with so many people that are encouraging, that are praying and also sharing so much wisdom with us, especially when it comes to marriage and raising kids. It's been such a blessing. Even the new blogs I have been following have been blessings. I LOVE hearing about other's homeschooling experiences and also about their faith in Christ and adventures with their husbands and/or family. LOVE LOVE LOVE it!

Just got a call from a new customer while I'm sitting at cfa...lol. I'm good on the phone, but sometimes I get so frazzled. Kids screamin and I'm trying to sound professional while I'm violently shooing children off! haha. God has definitely continued to abundantly bless Pristine Solutions. I can remember exactly where I was at when God put it on my heart that we should start our own business. We had NO CLUE what to even do and it all felt so overwhelming to me!! Now here we are 3 years later running our own business full time! Proverbs 16:9 says 'In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.' True Story.

The Harvest Crusades are this weekend! Be praying for those that don't know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior that they would hear the gospel and and come into a relationship with their Creator. I bawl every year at the crusades. Tears of joy!! Joy that those people are someone's answered prayer and they are now going to spend eternity in heaven. It's an experience like no other.

Hope everyone is having a fabulous week!!


Friday, August 5, 2011

Good news bear

Not gonna lie it's been a rough 2 weeks, but this is a blog focused on the blessings of the last week.

Just put another $800 towards the student loan! yay!

Garage sale tomorrow and all that is going to the student loan!

Saw a loan officer to get a forecast on 'Home Buying 2012' and it was good! Yes, its a club, feel free to join.

Lot's of good news for people around me =]

The Lord is at work so much in our family!

Harvest Crusade is right around the corner!

Our business is still booming, I give ALL the credit to the Lord.

Definitely going up the mountain has been rough, but I have linked arms with some amazing girls who have poured out love, support and godly counsel. These are the things that friendships that last a lifetime are built on.

The girls are swimming like crazy, LOVE LOVE LOVE watching them swim! Seeing them work towards a goal and accomplish it has been EASILY one of the most joyful moments in life thus far. I'm so absurdly proud of them!!

My husband - he is always a joy. I am blessed.

Spent time with other family.

Mr. Handsome is more handsome than ever. He's talking so much and he is so cuddly. He will grab my face and plant a kiss right on my lips and hold it there. Priceless.

There truly were so many little blessings throughout the week. Too many to mention and some to personal to mention. God is so good. I will praise him in this storm.


Friday, July 29, 2011

Break my heart for what breaks yours.

So apparently God making us more like Him can be an ugly process on the outside. ::sigh::

It's been a very humbling week and quite frankly I'm stuffed from humble pie. Be careful what you pray for, that's for sure. It's actually been 2 weeks of some serious answers to prayer. Sometimes the answers don't come wrapped in a pretty little box and necessarily the way I'd deliver, but I'm not God and his ways are sovereign so that's that. Definitely just taking the days one at a time and coming to terms with the stuff the Lord is revealing my life that has to be dealt with. I am surrounded by some seriously godly women who have been such encouragements in my life. I watch them as wives, mothers, friends, mentors and I so desire to be that kind of godly woman, but it's going to take some work to get there, but I'm in for the long haul. I'm thankful God loves us enough to not leave us where we are at and he gives us the tools we need to move forward. God has been so faithful the last few weeks to send some specific women into my life to give me constructive criticism, encouragement and reminders of what God's word says. Two of which stood out were Psalms 27 & Proverbs 29. Psalms 27's theme is God offering hope for today and hope for the future. Unwavering confidence in God is our antidote for fear and loneliness. Proverbs 29 also spoke so much to me and raised questions like "What kind of climate are you setting for the people you lead?" & "What significant adjustments have been on hold in your life for too long?" ~ Definitely some serious thoughts to ponder there. I hope I can read this in a year and be able to say I'm not where I was then by the Grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit. Tomorrow is going to be hard, but my desire is to please the Lord and do what he calls me to do no matter what.

Break my heart for what breaks yours.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Back to school & Crafts

Today we had the girls' friend, Faith over. We went to the nursery and picked out some plants, then did some baking at home. Strawberry Rhubarb pie that is! Yummo! After that we had some lunch, we headed to chick-fil-a for an Icedream Cone and then to Michael's. At Michael's we picked up some terra cotta pots and patio paint. When we got home and Madison and Faith painted their pots. They turned out so adorable. We got out the hot glue gun and glued some buttons on them, too. I wish I had gotten a picture of Faith's, she drew a vine with blue flowers, it was precious! We filled it with soil and put some grape tomato seeds in it. Madison painted a flower and we put a red button for the pollen in the middle and then she did a butterfly and we used 2 black buttons at the antennae. She loves to do crafts!




Later in the evening we ran some errands and we ended up getting Madison her backpack for school. It's adorable and she was stoked, too! So much peace about the choice we've made about education. Tomorrow we go to turn in all the rest of the paperwork to finish up the enrollment process. Eeek!!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Millsap Haps

Idk why, but for the most part I have just lost the zest to blog lately and I LOVE writing. I really do have lots to write about and I think that's part of the problem - I get overwhelmed.

God has been doing some amazings things in our life, that's for sure. He's definitely blessing our business. That's been really exciting to see doors opened and for it to grow. I def give all the credit to the Lord because he has opened doors that could have def never been opened by us.

We're so blessed to be at the church we are at. I love love love my Lakeshore family. We've made amazing friends, grown in our walk with the Lord, watched our kids get nurtured, been surrounded by love and support. They truly are our family.

Madison is getting ready to start Kindergarten, I got her all registered online a few minutes ago actually. CAN NOT believe she is starting Kindergarten. Wow. I've also been planning a bridal shower and bachelorette part for my seester who is getting married in October. Ohmygoodness. Can't believe that's happening either! Bridal shower is hawaiian themed and the Bachelorette party is an overnighter in Palm Springs, poolside.

We're still crankin' down on our debt! This week we've put a little over $900 towards one of the student loans! About $600 more to go and we'll be under $20k for that one! I feel like that's a milestone! We are actually going to see Dave Ramsey this fall! We are more than stoked! And today my friend, Erika, bought her ticket and she is coming with. I can't tell you how much I love having friends that love Dave as much as I do and actually apply his principles. It's such a warm and fuzzy feeling I can't explain. It honestly blows my mind when people don't love Dave as much as I do. What's not to love?! haha

It's been an interesting few months. I've def had some moments where I've been "If I could just have this (insert material item that will make life all better), I'd be stoked" mostly that blank spot is a house AND a 2nd vehicle, preferably a truck. We're still sharing a car and it's not easy trying to get your kids involved but having to coordinate with the husby who is crankin out work like it's nobody's business. Summer is extremely busy for us, praise God, but's crazy with one car. And I'm sure our own home is an easy one to understand, but I know God's plans are wayyy bigger than our own and he has been so ridiculously good to us, I have no room to question his how's or why's.

He has been answering so many little prayers lately. Such a great reminder that a big God still cares about our little day to day things. And these have been very specific prayers. I have a friend that has recently started seeing a counselor while they are working through some tough times and I prayed specifically that this counselor would be a godly person and influence on them. Few days later, we were talking and they shared that they discovered their counselor was Christian and gave them scriptures to encourage them. "He loves us, oh how he loves us..." Thanks Lord for hearing the prayers of your children. He is so good! Also gives me the strength and encouragement to continue praying for requests that haven't been answered yet.

If you are praying for us, please do keep the 2nd vehicle in prayer. We are just trusting God will make a way and we can still continue to be faithful in paying down our debt.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

10 things that make me Happy the past week

(I've never done one of these posts, but I'm quite fond of reading others so why not!)
1. Salvation
2. Short road trips w/good friends
3. Craigslist sales
4. New Clients
5. Creme Brulee Coffeemate
6. 1.49 for Silk Almond Milk
7. Owl City's new song: In Christ Alone
8. Another $520 to the student loan
9. Beach with my family and some godly women and their awesome kids
10. Finally ordering my daughter's birth certificates. I'm not behind or anything LOL

Thursday, July 14, 2011

#438

That number is where this blog falls on my list of things to do! haha!! However, there was a popular demand for it! So after getting the ads in the mail on Tuesday I decided that I def needed to take a trip to Ralph's. The sale was too good to pass up. So this morning I still had PILES of coupons to go thru and clip so I took a couple hours to do that. Then I pulled out the ones I had that matched up with the Ralph's ad. I don't typically shop at Ralph's, but every once in a while I can go in there and get a STEAL if you plan right. So the big deal at Ralphs this week was the buy 10 item's get an extra $5 off all 10. There wasn't anything I needed right this second, but it was all things I use and stocking up at this sale price was a good idea! I had coupons for EVERY item I went in for. Before you go make sure you have your Ralph's card, coupons, list, reusable bags (5 pts a bag) AND you SHELL gas receipt! yes, Shell gas! You get double the points, more points = more coupons. ALSO, you can take your Ralph's receipt to select shell stations and get .10 off each gallon. So when I went in, they didnt have the quantity of items I needed, I meticulously planned my list to buy exactly 40 of the super sale items. So I had to restructure my game plan a little. I also needed to make sure I hit $75 AFTER I put my card thru to be able to use my $5 off $75 purchase Ralph's coupon. REMEMBER: It ONLY has to be $75 with your card PRE-Coupons, not after. ps. Ralph's doubles ALL coupons UP TO $1.
So I walked out with the following with the final price PER item after coupon:
3 Loreal Shampoo's (.99)
2 Loreal Conditioners(.99)
3 half gallons of Silk Almond Milk (1.49)
5 Sunny Delights (.99, no coupon tho)
9 cans of Pringles (.66)
1 bag of Kettle Chips (1.49)
4 Bottles of Wisk (1.49)
4 Tic-Tacs (FREE)
5 Three Muskateers Bars (.33)
11 tubes of toothpaste (FREE)
Scotch Brite sponges (1.49)
Lloyd's Bbq Chicken (2.99)
Ground Turkey (3.99)
There really are no tricks. I have access to quite a few coupons. I have 5 Sunday papers delivered to my door and I collect coupons from about 6-8 other individuals. I also print some coupons Once I have all my coupons, I just pay attention to the ads. Obviously I don't use coupons on EVERYTHING! There's seems to be a huge misunderstanding of couponing out there. Just because you don't see any fresh produce in this list doesn't mean we don't eat it! We have our own garden in our backyard with tomatoes, eggplant, artichokes, spices, etc. and we go to Henry's for other produce. What you are seeing here is the fact that I pay NOTHING for toothpaste, don't you brush your teeth? And do you wash your clothes? Now, I don't usually buy that many chips, but since it's summer Pringle's are a crowd favorite for beach trips! Ok, well I'm sure there are other questions. Feel free to post your questions about anything couponing and I will do my best to answer with what I've learned thus far in my next blog which will be a Q&A blog about it!
Oh my total was $37.96; my savings overall was $152!! =]

Friday, May 13, 2011

What you've all been waiting for!

Well, maybe not all of you but some of you! Truth is coupons are everywhere and I had been to many of these sites in the past, but frankly I was too lazy. Not anymore. I'm determined to cut our grocery budget, especially with the price of gas. Tonight I went into Vons and they had select boxes of General Mills cereals on sale for $2.99. If you bought 4, then you get $4 off all 4 boxes, bringing the price to $1.99. I had a .55 coupon for Cheerios and another .55 for for Trix and then I had a $1 off 2 more general mills cereals. At Vons, their coupons double up to $1, BUT they only let you double one per same coupon. I had a gang load of the Cheerios ones, but I could only double one, but I still had a Trix one. Anyway, I still save and EXTRA $3 with the coupons. It's really important to watch the ads that come so can get double whammies like that. I'm still learning, too.

I just dedicated time to googling stuff that I wanted i.e. Silk, General Mills, etc...Most of the legit will make you download a little coupon thingy. That's to help with printing them properly. Here's some coupons on the Betty Crocker site. Also, you can call or email companies and they might just send you some coupons. My girlfriend uses enfamil formula, but receives tons of gerber coupons. Not helpful. So she called enfamil and they sent her out a bunch! And if you've ever bought formula and gotten some of their coupons that are in check form, you KNOW how valuable those can be!

Here's another one: Coupons.com Seems self-explanatory. I wish had a detailed road map, but it's just about looking around. Pairing them up with the sales. Contact companies. Also, go "LIKE" your favorite brands on FB (their legit fan page, of course), wouldn't surprise me if they put out coupons every once in awhile. Check slickdeals everyday. That's where I got a $5 off $10 purchase at Ulta. On top of their buy 2 get 2 free! Happy hunting and do share your deals with us!

Try this one, too! Looks amazing,I just found and am exploring!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Beyond the Coupons

I'm sure most of you are familiar with VistaPrint. If you aren't, VistaPrint does address labels, stamps, business cards, mugs, etc. Everything is very customizable. In the midst of signing up on various sites yesterday to get their coupons, I signed up on VistaPrint. This morning I woke up to an email from them with an offer for 10 free items. they are celebrating their 10th anniversary. All of the items are customizable, add your own words and/or pictures. I went ahead and ordered a couple gifts for people with pictures of the kids and something for myself.





Here's one of the things I ordered:


I'm pretty stoked about it. I have a thing for spiral notebooks! The other few items I ordered were for others for future gifts. All of them: $FREE.50. The only thing I paid for was shipping which was less than $7. The email I received had 10 free items and you can order 1 of ALL of them for FREE. What a great offer if you have small business you are getting off the ground because one of the offers was business cards. Also great if you are a narcissist just like seeing your name and picture on things! I do. LOL Go there, check it out and sign up! the free offer ends 5/14/2011.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Couponing

First of all, Congrats to Paulette! She won the raffle for the $25 Gift Card!

Next, I watched Extreme Couponing for the 1st time last night. Why it's taken me so long to tune in, I don't know. As I watched I felt a rush and I couldn't stop thinking, "I can do this! I can do this!" I love math, I LOVE a challenge, I'm organized, I have a great memory and I love that I'm contributing somewhat financially even though I don't work. One thing that was reiterated is that these couponers established quite the stash over time, not in one trip. So to get started, start with just one coupon, don't overwhelm yourself. Stater's has Silk Almond Milk right now 2 for $5. Regular $3.99.


Not too shabby of a sale all on its own. BUT on Silk's website I found a coupon for $1.25 off. I printed out 10 and bought 6. If you prefer Ralphs, they also had them for $2.49, but you had to buy 10. It was nice paying only $7.44 for 6 half gallons. I'm so stoked for this new adventure of couponing. I will definitely keep you posted! I will gladly accept coupons from anyone who doesn't use them and if you have any other couponing tips I'd LOVE to hear them!

Monday, May 2, 2011

"Raffle Me Debt Free"

Callmecrazy, but I have a crazy idea that may or may not take off...we'll see.


Let me tell you a little bit about our story. My husband and I basically started off our life $100,000 in debt. Christmas of 2007 we received the book Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. Fast forward through blood, sweat, tears, budgets, yard sales and A LOT of time & effort we've managed to get it down to about $48,000. My husband worked 8 days a week for a long time and still does some weeks. I stay at home with our 3 kids; ages 5, 4 & 2. I also find ways to bring in extra income here and there. In 2008, we started our own company, Pristine Solutions. We specialize in window cleaning and pressure washing. We just went full-time in the fall of 2010 and the Lord has truly blessed us. As you can imagine we're as sick of debt as one can be and we're working on paying off our last debt, my husband's student loans. It's quite the mountain. We're budgeting and workin our tails off so we've been brainstorming about ways we can help us get through this so we can move on to the next phase in our financial journey i.e. buy a home, save for kids college, retirement, etc. That's where we came up with this idea: "Raffle Me Debt Free"






We are going to be raffling off gift cards & other valuable items and all proceeds help pay off our debt, while we are STILL busting our butts in our business and any other opportunities that arise. We truly are go-getters and this raffle will NOT substitute our hardwork, but will be in addition to it. We thought it's an opportunity to for someone to get something kind of cool and to help move us forward. For right now we're starting with one item and with some of the money that comes in from that we will buy a little bit bigger item and continue on with that trend til we are raffling off some really AWESOME stuff. And we'll probably throw in some other crazy awesome cool stuff along the way!


This may seem strange to some, but if you've ever been underneath a mountain of debt you might just understand. We love you whether or not you want to participate and aren't planning on harrassing people. Prayer is always appreciated. We will however be posting pictures of our winners and be looking forward to raffling off some ridiculously awesome stuff! If you believe in our mission of being debt free please share our blog with others. And if you live far away you can STILL partcipate. You can paypal us for your raffle ticket to priscillamillsap@hotmail.com Please write which raffle you're sending it for in the memo section and be sure to mark as "gift" so we don't get charged fees. Your email will be wrote on the back of your ticket and you will be contacted via email if you are the winner and will mail you the gift card. We'd also LOVE to put a picture of our winners on the blog!


Our first raffle is for a $25 Chick-fil-A gift card! Chick-fil-A is one of the healthiest fast food places to eat at and their service is second to none. Chick-fil-A is also one of our clients and they have been some of the most gracious people to work with. We will draw a name on Wednesday, May 11th! Tickets are $1 each or 7 tickets for $5! Thank you!














Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The "D" word

There is a subject I just feel the need to vent on. I've wanted to blow up my blog many a time on this subject, but I knew it would just not be pretty. Even though there is NOTHING pretty about this subject. Divorce. I am SO disgusted with it. Honestly, can selfish people who aren't willing to change and serve their spouses please just stop getting married? And if you do get married, please do not reproduce. First of all, divorce is not pleasing to the Lord. Period. You can just log onto facebook and see that someone who was married for half a second is now back to using their maiden name and their marital status has disappeared. What is going on? It seems like so many people get married, then say "oops, just kidding." And it was like it never happened. Huh?? Are we that flippant when we take our vows? I'm sorry when did "til Death do us part" turn into "til I am too lazy to try." I'm honestly flabberghasted when I see 2 people who CHOSE not to be committed to each other split up, do as they please and then continue to make their children jump through hoops. Hoops on the holidays, hoops on special occasions, hoops hoops hoops. You'd think the hoops end at 18. Not so much. I so wish I could just splatter my rage all over this blog so you could get a taste of how abhored I am by Divorce and the continual pain it causes, but we'll keep it to a minimum. Then you have situations that just come along and rip off the scab that you've worked so hard to begin to heal and they press a truckload of salt to it. Seriously? I URGE, BEG, PLEAD with you, parents, work on your marriages. Make them a priority. Marriage isn't a walk in the park for anyone, but you will totally be blessed by staying committed and putting the effort in. You may get a divorce and come out alright eventually and think your kids will just bounce right back or it wont affect them or it will be better this way or they wont remember, whatever it is you tell yourself, that may not be the case. I know some situations can be inevitable or what's done is done. If that's the case: be sensitive to your kids, not spoil them. Make them a priority. You have double the work cut out for you as a single parent. When they are adults, don't act entitled over their time because we now have 27 different families to accomodate on special occasions and holidays. My heart hurts so much EVERY time I see or hear of a couple splitting up and even more so when there are kids. I know God has a plan and a purpose for everything and I can even see blessings that have come out of my own parents divorce, but even at 25 years old there are some things that are just a struggle that 25 year old with married parents wouldn't have to deal with. I know the Lord is using these things to refine and mature me. I pretty much can't stand it with a royal passion, but I DO want to pass the test and I do want to be refined and molded more into the woman that the Lord has created me to be. How else could our faith really be tested or could we be molded if we weren't put into certain situations or certain people weren't placed in our life? I know one aspect of this learning process for me is that our heavenly father isn't going to let us down, or put us last on his list or remarry 6 times or only get to see us every other week. Nope, he's the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. He died for us which pretty much sums up where we stand on his priority list and he is ALWAYS there. Easy to say, hard for me to constantly remember and stand on in times of discouragement and sadness. Just so you know this blog took a total right turn, thought it was just going to be a venting sesh, but it ended up bringing up promises I know, but don't always stand on. I do, however, know the more I get to know Him and the more time I spend with Him, my Jehovah Shalom, I am filled with joy, contentment & peace. I know things are still going to come and Rock me, and I know I just need to get back on my knees. Notice, I said "I KNOW" I need to do this, I didn't say I actually do it everytime I should. This week has definitely brought about some aggravating challenges that have rocked my spirit. Little Bit. I don't understand some of it, but I don't have to. I know I have a long ways to go, but it is comforting to know I have come a little ways, too, by the grace of God. I'm glad He's patient with me. :/

Monday, April 11, 2011

Raise the white flag.

My heart hurts so I decided to blog, not necessarily about my heart, but blog nonetheless. Might even cheer me up. I started using almond milk yesterday and I absolutley Love it. I was surprised at how much I liked it. I figure almond milk is one of the small adjustments I can make to my diet. I definitely want to start eating a little more healthy. It's not like we're the worst eaters, but a few switch ups can't hurt. So when we went to Sam's today I picked up ground turkey instead of ground beef which was actually .54 cents cheaper per pound. Kind of surprising. As far as exercise goes I was really good about doing the shred, but I got really burnt out on it and in the past my body has responded best to running. I did a short run this morning and then tonight we power walked with the kids in the stroller to Golden Spoon and back which is almost 4 miles round trip. Last night church was so moving. The worship, the message, the prayer time, it was indescribable. The Lord was definitely in our midst. Often times we talk about the hills and the valleys and as of right now in our life I don't consider us to be in a valley because when I look around I see so many hurting people for so many different reasons. I have dear friends literally fighting for their lives. Other people are fighting through major financial hurdles or other tough circumstances. I feel so very fortunate not to be dealing with those sorts of hardships right now. It's interesting how we are so different and the Lord sends circumstances that we just never saw coming just so we can learn to trust and rely on him even more. I'm beginning to see a pattern of a certain element in my life be stripped away, even more so in the last 6 months to a year. But I'm learning that He gives and he takes away. Before I would grip it so tight and scramble in chaos to hold on, but I've learned God's gonna do what God's gonna do and I'm learning to let go with dignity and grace and not act a fool and say "ok, God." He sees my heart crumbling, he sees every tear that falls and puts them in bottle. (psalm 56:8) I've also learned that me letting go allows God to work on me and even on others in ways that he wouldn't while I was all up in his grill. I have to tR.U.S.t (Rest Under Stress in between 2 crosses...thanks Monica) that the Lord is gonna handle it the way it needs to be handled. Sometimes it's pretty obvious why God allows things to happen and I get the message loud and clear. And sometimes I'm just dumbfounded. Really God, really? What is the purpose of that other than to crush my spirit? I am so pumped about what is going on at Lakeshore and in the lives of some family members and friends! God is moving some mighty ways. And FPU has been so awesome and such a blessing. With all these blessings are coming all these little attacks from the enemy. He knows just where to sucker punch to cause me to feel defeated, deflated and just plain crappy. Sometimes I just wanna raise the white flag, but that's not an option. I fight on. Romans 8:1-2 says "So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death." That's encouraging, it helps me scrape myself up off the floor. Somedays I truly feel like a fish swimming up stream. So glad the Lord's mercies are new every morning. I'm ready to put this day in the books. And I am raising the white flag not to the enemy but to the Lord. I know, same story, you got this. I'm learning. You began a good work in me and one day you'll complete it. My job is to know you. I want to know you.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

A couple things...

Our church is moving to a new location where we are going to need a few things for our children's ministry. I know I have a lot of mommy friends out there so please look through your stuff and see if any of the following that are in good condition that you might be willing to donate: 2 Baby play mats, with the stuff that hangs over them for baby to look at. 2 Baby bouncers, that they sit in and bounce in, with toys on them. 1 Baby gate for the entry door. Like the one at the church now. 1 Rocking chair 1 large area rug, bright color. Green or red or blue, etc. 1 Huge baby fence. (It's going to go inside the class to keep the kids and teachers in one area.) Any toys you can find that look like they are in good condition for the kids. Ages 0 to 2 years. Or any toys you wanna donate or friends, etc... Also, please check out our new blog for our business and become a follower! http://www.pristinesolutions08.blogspot.com/ and please participate in our facebook and twitter campaign!! Thanks everyone! I promise, I'll write a more exciting blog some other time...lol...soon...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

We are PUMPED!

Next week on Wednesday, Josh and I will be leading our first FPU class. If you don't know what FPU is, it stands for Financial Peace University and it's through Dave Ramsey. It's a 13 week course that talks about savings, debt, insurance, investing, etc. Call us nerds, but this is a dream of ours to be able to share what has helped bring us to the place we are at. Dave Ramsey's principles coupled with our hardwork and all the doors the Lord has opened has brought us an abundance of financial Peace! I started a fan site on Facebook so you can follow the journey of our FPU class. We will anonymously be collecting money saved and debt paid off. We will be sharing helpful tips and victory stories!! If you're on a financial journey, we'd love to hear from you, too and we especially love money saving tips! Check us out and "LIKE" our page. Josh and I just paid off our car last week and we got the pink slip in the mail yesterday. That was an amazing feeling! And we are beyond motivated to pay off the student loans! We need your help in cheering us on as this will be an uphill battle for sure! We can't thank friends and family enough for blessing us so much already. More than anything, we are looking forward to the day we can pay forward all the blessings we've received!!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The battle wages

Most everyone is fighting some sort of battle; some big, some small. And on top of these battles we are waging one huge battle: the battle for souls. The Lord owns it, but Satan wants it. Ephesians 6:12 says "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." What that means is our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Seriously.

And the victims caught in the middle? Oh, those are our spouses, children, moms, dads, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, grandparents, friends...the list goes on. Why does it seem like so many of us are crossing our fingers, closing our eyes and maybe throwing up a prayer and merely hoping our loved ones are saved? Matthew 7:13-15 says “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." Keyword: Few. adjective, -er, -est, noun, pronoun
–adjective
1. not many but more than one: Few artists live luxuriously.
–noun
2. a small number or amount: Send me a few.
3. the few, a special, limited number; the minority: That music appeals to the few.
–pronoun
4. a small number of persons or things: A dozen few volunteered, but few have shown up.


What if the Lord returned RIGHT now and said, "Ok, let's go. Destination: Heaven. Oh and here is a panel of every single loved one in your life. Pick a FEW to come with you. "? I don't know about you, but I would plead the case of every person there and would agonize over selecting a FEW. Fortunately, some of our loved ones are saved. Heartbreakingly, some are not.


The word 'Christian' means 'little Christ' or 'Christ-like'
Luke 19:10 "For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost."
If Jesus' was here to seek and save, shouldn't we be seeking and saving?


I've heard that an atheist once posed this question, "Assuming your God is real and this Bible is 100% true, How much do you have to hate someone to not tell them about Jesus Christ, your Lord and Savior. If you know about heaven and hell: Why would you allow someone to go to hell, because you didn't tell them about Jesus?" Same concept with speaking truth or reminding people of God's love, why aren't we constantly doing it? I include myself in this.

Christians: We know we have loved ones whose eternal destination is unknown to us. We know the road is narrow. We know the Bible is 100% true. We know each day is a day closer to this earthly life coming to an end.

So the Mystery Remains:
WHY ARE WE NOT SHOWING UP TO THE BATTLE?
What do I mean by that?:
Why are we not on our knees, praying? Why are we not telling people the gospel? Why are we not speaking truth to those around us? Why do we sugarcoat it? Proverbs 27:6 says,"Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses."
One major component of showing up for the battle is preparing yourself for it. When someone signs up for the military, he doesn't get shipped off to fight on the front lines as soon as the ink dries on his signature. No, he goes to basic training and mabe even some specialty training for months and months before heading to war.
There is an epidemic of people who call themselves Christians and have grieved hearts, petitions laid out for the Lord, most of which stem from a plethora (HUGE AMOUNT; opposite of FEW) of unsaved loved ones, but they can't be bothered to prepare for battle, much less show up for it.
They don't have time for devotions. They work hard so they're too tired for prayer night. Sunday is their day to relax so church is out of the question. Other Bible studies interfere with highly important things such as grocery shopping, cleaning, the Laker game, etc. I honestly dont say this to condemn anyone, you could definitely find me guilty of some of the above, but every day I GET IT more and more and want others to get it because the LORD IS COMING BACK. I just want to shake people when I hear they're "B.U.S.Y." (being under satan's yoke) excuse and say, "Really? REALLY? Washing your car is more important than your brother or sister's soul?" Because that's pretty much what we are saying, not intentionally, but still. The rapture hasn't happened yet and when it does we don't get to give a free pass to a FEW of our unsaved family or friends. In fact, NONE of them will make it. They will depart because He never knew them. BUT we're here NOW and we can tell them now. We can pray for them fervently, worship our creator and draw near to Him and set ourselves apart to be even more of an example and encouragement to those unsaved or on the fence loved ones.
DUDE.
GET TO THE THRONE.
GET ON YOUR KNEES.
PREPARE FOR THE BATTLE AND MOST IMPORTANTLY:
SHOW UP.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Fabulous Finds & etc.

I did it.

I bought the 2011 Swimmy. And I heart it. I don't mess around anymore. If I see the "one", I know to just buy the darn thing because if you wait, you will come back to a rack of 2XL bottoms and XS tops, although sometimes I feel like those are my proportions, they are not. Plus now it can stare me in the face while I do the shred or maybe I'll hang it on my fridge...anyway, here she is (please excuse my not so artistic pics):


Yesterday was Valentine's Day and Josh and I went and had lunch at CPK at the Shoppes at Chino Hills. Then he took me over to Forever 21 and bought me a couple goodies. A cute top and a cardigan. I'm obsessed with the coral color. I want to wear it like every day.




On Friday when I came home from Bible study there was a rose, a card and a $50 GC to Nordstrom. Wow. Totally unexpected! I felt totally spoiled and loved. Thanks, Boo.

Life updates:

Still doing the Shred. Honestly haven't lost that much weight. Only about 4-5 lbs. I'm okay with the fact that it's coming off slowly. I do the Shred usually every other day. Sometimes there are some consecutive days, but never less than every other except when I was sick, then I missed 3 days. Lame. Still watching my calories.

So I decided to part with some of the cash and pay down a major chunk on the car. Only $900 and that beast is PAID. OFF. Holy smokes! I'm excited! First time in my driving life of not having a car payment.

Although rain is not ideal for our line of work, I'm really looking forward to it. This weather has been whack. I really shouldn't complain when the majority of the country is digging themselves out of snow, but it's winter for Pete's sake! Where is the cold and rainy and winteriness??

Business is going good even though January and February are typically our slowest months. It's crazy to think that as of March we have been a legit business for 2 years. Today at lunch (at chick-fil-a, of course) I was reflecting on how far we've come. I feel incredibly blessed to get as much family time as we get together. Josh and I practically do everything together. 3 years of crazy ridiculous hardwork has paid off for us. Quick recap for those that don't know. In January of 2008 we began the journey of paying off our debts. Josh worked his 7-4 and an hour of overtime every day for awhile until they didnt let him. On top of that, him and I would find odd jobs to do on the weekends. I ran an ebay store from home and then in the spring he got a job working at Grazianos EVERY FRIDAY, SATURDAY AND SUNDAY NIGHTS all the while doing his full-time job and his side jobs on the weekends during the day. I took care of our 2 kids, soon to be 3 kids. For a short period he also worked at a tire distribution center on the weekends. And at Christmas he worked the tree lot. At the very end of 2008, we started cleaning windows. So we had our business + full-time job+tree lot+grazianos. Obviously the tree lot was done by January, but he kept all 3 others until September of 2009 and then he quit Grazianos! The feeling of having Josh home on the weekend nights was AMAZING. Keep in mind we only had one car this entire time. So if he was gone, I was home. Finally in November of 2010, Josh quit his job and we've gone full throttle with our business and haven't looked back. We missed fome family time and some events, but it's alllll worth it now. We are so blessed to have amazing people in our life that have helped make this possible and also that God has continued to provide and bless us. I'm so excited for what's in store for our business and our family.

If you got this far, thanks for reading!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Yay! We're finally all starting to feel better from knocking on deaths door. haha. not really, but some people seemed to think so. So excited that this weekend is so beautiful. Gives us a chance to go do some fun stuff before the rain rolls in this week and we'll all be couped up inside again.

So what's new? Well, the pressure washing went off without a hitch. Minus Josh running over and killing a dog that ran in front of the truck after he picked up the equipment. It was pretty unavoidable. Josh felt terrible. Sorry, Fido. Other than that, it went great and was very successful for us. It's so amazing that an idea seems so daunting and then it finally comes together and you're like, "oh, that was easy." So we're pressure washing and we are also venturing into blind/shutter cleaning. We have our first one on the books for 2 weeks from. Also, God Bless YELP! They have sent us 3 new clients in the last week, not to mention a few others we have from YELP who are some awesome clients, as well. This just goes to show it's super important to leave positive feedback as it is negative feedback. Thank you YELP and thank you to those who have left us 5 Star ratings!

Our marriage study started up again this week and I'm stoked for all God is going to do to strengthen marriages and prepare singles for a godly marriage. I'm incredibly grateful for our church family and that they are so encouraging to us. Love the huge emphasis they put on marriage and family when the world is constantly trying to tear those institutions to shreds.

So we have the $$ in our bank account to pay off our car, but I just dont want to part with it. LOL...It's moments like this that remind why we will NEVER go into debt again. Never. did I mention Never? We were SO close to financing a Toyota Sequoia a month ago and I'm SOOO glad we didn't. Once I can part with our money LOL, we only have Josh's students loans and I plan to try and knock those out like nobodies business.

The shred is going well, but I did miss 3 days since I was sick. I did half of level 1 this morning, but still felt really weak, so we'll try again tomorrow, but I am sticking with it and the lbs are coming off slowly, but surely and things fit so much better. I bought the cutest pair of size 7 skinny cargo pants the other and I was 100% sure they'd be snug. WRONG. They fit like a glove! With room to spare! I was stoked!!

In other news:

Egypt. The world is about to change. Did you know that 27% of the prophecy in the Bible has already been fulfilled? Did you know that Isaiah 19 talks about what is happening in Egypt RIGHT NOW?? Jesus is coming back, people, and that means people will get left. If your bff is Jack Daniels and your extra-curriculars include fornication I would seriously get it together because the Lord is coming back and he will leave you to those things if you've made that clear conscious decision not to live for him. If you aren't for Him, you are against Him. I urge you to evaluate how you're living not bc the end of the world is near, but because being in the Lord's will is the best place you can be, He loves you so much and has so many amazing things in store for you. Ultimately, it's up to you and I'll love ya'll regardless, but God has a plan and purpose for your life, let Him fulfill it.

On the front page of the PE today was a story about three 13 yr old boys raping a 13 yr old girl who was a classmate. One boy participated bc he was promised use of an ipod. WHAT?!? Who are these kids' parents?? I'd like to know what kind of people these are. What tv shows do they let their kids watch or video games do they play?? What on earth is happening to our society?? I don't know, but I wish my generation would RISE up and say enough is enough and let's turn this around. Let's go back to having modesty on television and when marriage is between a man and a woman and divorce wasn't at 60%. When Mom's could stay at home with their kids because it was valued as the most important job ever (and no vacation/private school/material things are not good enough reasons to work when you dont have to, whoops did I say that out loud?) Dad's were real men who didn't runoff and not support their wife and kids. For every single mom I know working her tail off, there is a shell of a man who wont step it up and support their kids. Not cool. Where is the sense of responsibility? Where is the outrage for the trash on ABC Family? Why do so many people support gay marriage? Look at the statistics - It's NOT what is in the best interest of our kids. Why are we not more broken over divorce. I see more people on my facebook that are divorced (some definitely legit, unfortunately) than I've seen married and are living happily and FIGHTING for their marriage & we're not even 30. I know a 20-something on their 3rd marriage. It's time we stop acting like all this acceptable. Let's offer support and love to those married couples on the rocks. Let's vote according to 1950's morals. Let's be BROKEN over what breaks are heavenly Father's heart. Stop being so blind to the lie that advancing in a liberal direction is what is best for our society and our kids. IT. IS. NOT. No, let's put prayer back in school. Let's stop boycotting companies like Chick-fil-a that support marriage and enriching people's lives and let's boycott companies like Chili's that support groups that fight for the right to film pornography next door to your son's pre-school. True Story.

Well, that was a mouthful and totally took a left turn from what I thought I was gonna blog about, but everyone is walking around with their head in the sand while America is falling apart at our Christian Seams. It's heartbreaking.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Rina

I can't stop dreaming of my dream house. It's beautiful and perfect. I knew the second I walked in, it had my name all over it. I've been praying for my dream house. I pray 2012 is the year we move into 'Rina'. That's what we'll call her. We went to visit her 2 weeks ago. I sat on the couch and I envisioned how I would decorate, how it would scream "WELCOME! COME IN! ARE YOU HUNGRY, THIRSTY, TIRED? GREAT! YOU'RE IN THE RIGHT PLACE!" I envisioned our church family coming over for small groups or home studies. Having our kids birthdays there and growing up. The kitchen is to DIE for. I could almost smell the turkey and fixings I'd make on Thanksgiving and Christmas! Did I mention the kitchen??? Amazing.

I know we are right where God wants us and when I think about all the things we are doing right now, it makes sense why it has panned out this way, but I do still get down sometimes that we are not in our home, but we will be soon enough and I can be patient because God's plans are so much more awesome than our own and I'm trusting Him.

This is a rather short blog, but I just wanted to get that out there because I think and pray about it often. And one day I can look back on it and smile. I love keeping note of all the times God has come through for us, blessed us, heard our cries and reponded. Just this morning in Bible study, the Lord spoke so clearly to me about something I had been praying for wisdom and discernment for. It almost brought me to tears because it was such a great reminder that He hears me and He is responding and He loves me.

We serve such an Awesome God.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I really should be doing other things...

like getting my kids dressed, cleaning, reading my Bible, etc., but here I am nonetheless. I'm justr drained. I really think I am quite superb at keeping things in line and being balanced, but it's been quite chaotic this week. blah. Levi has been so sick and teething on top of all that. It's been awful. I've never had a baby require this much attention EVER and he's my 3rd! On tuesday I literally did NOTHING. We sat and cuddled with cartoons on, on the couch, for anhour and a half. then I rocked him for another hour while the girls played. He took a short nap and when he woke up he sat in my lap and we watched the bachelor. I really didn't want to go to Prayer Night after all that. I did WANT to go, but I didnt physically want to get dressed and look semi-human to go, BUT I did and I'm SO glad I did. I was around healthy people, who weren't screaming and demanding to be in my lap or on my hip and most importantly I got to spend time with the Lord and in fellowship with my church family and give the Lord all the things that are laying on my shoulders and heart. Sadly, I hate to admit it, but I am a work in process in learning to truly just give it to the Lord instead of trying to be on top of everything and not trusting Him. HELLO! It's GOD! HE CAN HANDLE IT! I don't know what my deal is :/


Today we are having our taxes done. Hopefully this lady will give me some tips on how to stay more organized throughout the year so I dont feel like a wreck on days like today.


The Shred is going fabulous. I have lost 3 lbs in 2.5 weeks. Slowly, but surely, which is fine by me. Amongst all the chaos I have still managed to squeeze in the 20 minute workout most days and I am religiously sticking to my calorie allowance. I definitely feel much better when I'm on a good workout schedule. And I've had less muffintop in my britches. woo!

Talked to Kathy from CHEP yesterday about getting all setup for homeschooling. She's mailing me a packet and we have orientation in April. I am VERY excited, so is Madison. I'm really excited for them to start all these new adventures! I'm learning more and more about the program and will probably have a whole blog dedicated to how we're going about homeschooling because there are many options out there and many people have questions.
The girls are also starting dance this week as long they aren't sick tomorrow.

Our business has officially expanded to include pressure washing and blind/shutter cleaning. Can you say OVERWHELMING? Who knew so much went into sparaying down a place with water?!? We have to recalim the water, test the PH, pull out any gravel or like items, dump in appropriate places, etc. It's not the job itself, but just making sure we purchase all the right equipment to do the job efficiently. We need a truck or a work van. Definitely going to be praying about that.


The wedding this last weekend was an absolute blast. See more fb pics for details LOL


'nuff said.


That's about as thorough of an update that's happening right now. Hope everyone has a great day. As soon as my brain is less scattered, better blogging to come!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

the Shred

For the past 2 weeks I have been doing Jillian's 30-day shred. I have missed a couple days, but I have been extremely diligent with my calories. I actually have only lost one lb, but I can definitely feel a difference in the way things fit and the way I look. Very small differences, but I am not stopping until I reach my goal of at least 125ish. Last year I got down to 136 and it's crept back up slightly since then. Bummer, I know. BUT, I am extremely motivated and I am definitely making even more of a lifestyle change than I have in the past and not deterring from that. I am extremely motivated because a. summer is coming around. & b. I cannot confirm nor deny there may be a huge wedding for one of my favorite persons EVER coming up in the next 7 months that I'm not sure I'm at liberty to discuss, but I need to look fabulous nonetheless!

I've been in a cycle for a long time of losing weight, then gaining a small amount back, then I lose even more weight, then I gain a small amount back. I am definitely not pushing the 180 like I used to. Yes, you read correctly, 180. I liked dessert and coke when I was pregnant and not pregnant. What can I say? I actually gained alot in between babies 1 & 2 and then of course with 2 I gained even more. I was almost 190 the day I had her. OHMYGOODNESS! LOL

Anyway, I like sharing because many of us ladies share the same struggles, especially if you have had kids or even if you haven't. I'm not going to share my weight, like I normally do, but I am going to keep you posted on my slow journey from time to time. Maybe share new recipe's I try and so on. Hope everyone has a great rest of the week!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Shopping Excursion & miniature update (clever title, dontcha think?)

Went out on Monday to get a dress for Pat's wedding and to spend my Nordstrom gift. Got the dress, didn't spend the gift card. I realllly wanted the new Pink Sperry's, but Matt Wandel confirmed that they did indeed look goofy on my feet, so I left them there.

Fast forward to Tuesday. I decided to hit the Nordstrom Rack in Chino. DUH! Why didn't I think of this before?? I find the most AMAZING treasures at the Rack. This time I happened to find ONE pair of tan Sperry's in the 64 racks of size 8 shoes (not exaggerating, ok maybe a tiny, but 8's definitely outnumbered all the other sizes put together). Call them old lady shoes if you must, but I love them.




And of course they were $20 cheaper bc were at the Rack! So yay, my gift card can now stretch to include a top as well! Woo! So I tried on quite a few, but the winner was this one, a cute knit buttonable (new word alert) vesty thing. If someone knows the correct term for this garment do share, otherwise, thats what were callin it!




There was one more shirt I loved, but they only had it in a large and I was swimming in it, but I HAD to have it. I was in LURVE! Since I believe in miracles, we went up to the checkout and asked if they had this shirt at another Rack. Then the heavens opened and the cashier said in her heavenly voice they had one in a small at the Ontario Mills Rack. HALLELUJAH! We hopped in the van, grabbed us some Chick-fil-a and headed to Ontario. At this point in the blog I'd like to thank my husband for driving all over Creation for this shirt I HAD TO HAVE. You are theeeeee BEST!! When we got there, the kids and husband went to the Rainforest Cafe to see all the goodies and I was on a mission! I found the shirt almost immediately!! YES! THEN, I found it in green as well, but I was good and only bought the one color I set out for. I cannot confirm nor deny I will go back for the other color at a later date... Here's the little beauty. May not be your cup of tea, but it's sooooo cute and flowing and will look awesome with leggings or skinny jeans and I heart the spring color!


I would love to take part in WIWW (what I wore Wednesday) LOVE her site and LOVE seeing your guys' concoctions of outfits, but I just dont think I'm diligent enough and I have a very similar 'mom' look most days that will not excite most people. We'll see.

In other news, our Van is almost paid off!! SOOOOOO looking forward to NO car payments!! Hopefully no later than the end of February. $2500 left! I have had a car payment since I was 17 and Josh has since he was 19. We've been able to make major strides last month and this month. Then we will slowly, but surely conquer the student loans. God has truly provided and blessed us in our business! January & February are typically the slowest months for us, but we've been blown away by the growth we've had this month and our customers that are ridiculously awesome and loyal. You all are AWESOME and so appreciated. Thank for all your prayers, too. We couldn't do any of what we've been able to do without the Lord keeping his hand on us and opening doors.

Have a great week everyone!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

bye-bye Altura

Dear Altura Credit Union,

You really stink! Way to stoop to the level of the Chase's and B of A's, in my humble opinion. A $20 non-negotiable charge EVERY MONTH for having a business account?! HOGWASH! You've left us no choice, but to take our businesss elsewhere. I'm so disappointed that you, as a credit union, would start charging such an absurd fee. I have referred so many people to use your institution and I have taken advantage of many of your other services as well. I'm also not thrilled about your $5 a month charge for personal accounts, but at least that can be waived by using my debit card 5 times. Seems silly, but whatever. Perhaps this is a blessing in disguise because I have wanted to check out Perkstreet Financial that Dave Ramsey is always talking about. They are going to pay ME for having an account. Sounds like a wayyyy better deal. Peace, business Altura!

xoxo
Pristine Solutions Window Cleaning (check us out) =]