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A lot of people have asked me why I don't have family pictures with me, around me, or even posted on my blog, facebook page, etc... Well, to be honest, it's all because we rarely take pictures together, the 3 of us. As you already know, I take tons of Joshua photos, but this one is a rare one... Taken on Valentine's Day at a friend's V-Day party. :)
Also, you're wondering what in the world is Joel wearing, right? Yup, a PINK TUX!! He got it during his college days, "just because", on one of his thrift store runs. What can I say? Real men wear pink, right??
I had a very interesting Saturday. About 2 weeks ago, my friend Jessica had invited me to attend a Coupon Workshop. Since I've been sporadically using a coupon here and there, I told her "Sure, I could use a tip or two about cutting coupons...why not?" Let me tell you... LIFE CHANGING! Seriously, the ladies that put this workshop together save HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS of dollars every week! Sure, it takes some organization, dedication, and PATIENCE. But I guess if you really want to save big bucks during these hard economic times, it might be worth the try.
I could go on and on about the things I learned, but here are a few of the highlights:
1. Worthy stores to buy & save: RiteAid, Walgreens, Target, and Giant Eagle (our local grocery store)
2. Stacking, stacking, stacking (using a manufacturer's coupon WITH a store coupon)
3. Take advantage of Rewards Cards (on top of stacking coupons)
4. Organization is KEY
5. Carry the coupon policy of the stores you shop with you (some employees are unaware of their own policies).
6. You might be able to use coupons on travel size items... and get them for FREE or next to nothing.
7. Different sources for coupons: Smart Source, Blinkies, Tearpads, Peelies/necktags, Direct Mail, Pamphlets, Parade Magazine, All You magazine, RefundCents.com, ets...
8. Catalinas are gold!
If you want to read the article on these ladies, click here. LOTS of information, especially on how they use their coupons.
You can also check out their blog here at SistersShoppingonaShoestring.com
I'm snowed in. I've been snowed in for the past 2 days. Being a girl who grew up in California, then lived in Seattle for 7 years, I am SO not a fan of snow! However, ironically, the Lord brought me to the mid-west some 6 years ago... I endured winters in Chicago, and now in Cleveland. Still... NOT a fan of snow.
Anyway, this last weekend, my husband and I took Joshua to Cincinatti to attend our district's Pastors and Wives Retreat. It was a good and relaxing time - a time to reflect on God's calling and future direction. I was encouraged by the speaker's challenge to all the pastors present. He said, "Make sure you take care of your family first. Remember that God created family before the Church ever existed!" That's good wisdom.
It was Joshua's first time staying at a hotel, away from his crib for more than a night. He didn't want to sleep in his pack&play, so we "let him" stay here... between mommy and daddy.
And it was also his first time being mesmerized by turtles and fish... look at his precious face!
And here he is looking down from the fancy elevator.
Fun and insightful times! Thank you, Lord!
On a different note:
I've been busy creating new designs for my Etsy shop onesies.
Also, I've been trying out different ways to make them fun (and cute).
I'll be posting and listing them by the end of this week!
I've been reading and meditating on the Psalms lately, and I am humbled by the honest cries and praises of each psalmist. I like to think of myself as someone who is not afraid of being completely honest with people. Sometimes I actually find myself avoiding levels of confrontation, just so I wouldn't have to display my conflicting desire to care and challenge someone, and "speak the truth in love."
This morning I realized how much I NEED and DEPEND on my Creator. Recently I've been contemplating a change in direction regarding my career and business. I spent some time praying that God would make it clear whether the paths I've been considering are the rights ones, or the wrong ones. God speaks. I believe He speaks through His Word and through my times in prayer. Today He spoke through Psalm 63.
This Psalm is all about admitting my entire dependence on HIM, and HIM alone! If I were in a desert, I would LONG and THIRST for water, right? Well, my heart's desire is to depend on His direction, wisdom, and UNCONDITIONAL LOVE, in the midst of confusion and questions about the future (my desert). Well, I go back to Matthew 6, where Jesus tells me to "Seek first His Kingdom..." I know, I know, I know... My head knows... but my heart?
The human tendency is to seek INDEPENDENCE. We think of FREEDOM as the ultimate gift for every human being. Freedom of speech, freedom of thought, freedom of religion, freedom to bear arms, freedom of choice, freedom of... you name it!! But what is TRUE FREEDOM? I believe it's FREEDOM from sin, freedom from death. The assurance that I am no longer separated from God and can trust in His promise of ETERNAL LIFE. What about YOU?? What do you seek freedom from?
And as I look at my baby Joshua today, I am also reminded of my role as a mother: To prepare him to be "independent". To raise him and equip him to be a responsible and respectful adult. And 2 days ago, he started to depend less of me. He started to CRAWL...