Sunday, June 28, 2009

Worth Driving To The Other Side Of Town

I have never stepped inside an Old Navy Store until today. I know, I know, I'm behind the times. We've had an Old Navy in our town for almost two years now. I've never felt the need to go in there and it's clear on the other side of town

I saw an online blog post about Old Navy having swimsuits on sale for $5. Well, that right there got me motivated enough to take a little trip. I walked out of the store with a giddiness of having saved lots of $$$$.

It's been three years since I've bought a swimsuit for myself and I felt it was high time to get a new one. The swimsuits were originally priced at $29.50 a piece. At the great price of $5 each, I bought myself two swimsuits. (FYI, the $5 sale ends tonight)

I also bought each of my boys long sleeve hooded shirts to wear this winter. They each retailed for $19.50 and I bought them for 47 cents a piece. No, that's not a typo. I paid less than a dollar for each one!! Nothing wrong with them either.

I paid a total of $11.79 for all four items, and that's including tax. And the kicker is that I got a $10 gift card just for applying for an Old Navy credit card.

The only downfall I saw was in the store itself. I'm not sure that all the Old Navy stores are like this, but the interior looked more like a warehouse to me. I was expecting a little more comfy, trendy feel.

I've been reading about the great sales going on at Old Navy. Now that I've made my first shopping trip and was satisfied, I will be going back.

Friday, June 26, 2009

At The Lake is a great sponsor and they are looking to find the best summer photo out there, so they are offering $250 in prize money and a free 16x20" Gallery Wrapped Canvas Print! I have submitted my photo in the hopes of winning. is a leading online provider of business cards, color brochures and mailing postcards.

This photo is of three of my children looking out into the lake where they play around and go fishing. I like this photo because it is of a place we enjoy and it shows a great bond between the three.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

My Super Savings

I live a fairly frugal life and I'm always on the lookout for sales, bargains, and freebies. Getting a great deal on something is like a natural high for me. No need for drugs here! I get super excited when I find a great deal. My friends, family, and co-workers consider me lucky in this department because I'm always finding great items at great prices.

I've been hunting for a pair of silver dress shoes to wear for a wedding that I will be in this September. After a lot of searching, I've finally found 'em. By the way, I didn't realize dress shoes were so darn expensive. Too bad I couldn't get the bridesmaid dress on sale too. I do have to pay full price for that. It's a beautiful dress but I'm sure I'll never wear it again. $200 for a one-night affair is a bit over my regular price range. But it'll be worth it, I'm sure.

I found the dress shoes on Amazon. They are the Annie's Women Audrey Pump in silver. The regular retail price is $49.95 and they are now on sale for $13.98. That's a 72% savings!!!

I've also been planning for the upcoming birthday party of my oldest son and youngest step-daughter. We hold a joint party for them every year. I found some cool party favors on Amazon. One of the party favors this year will be Inkology Autograph Kitties Novelty Ballpoint Pens. They regularly retail for $29.88 and they are on sale right now for $8.17. That's a 73% savings.

Another fabulous deal that I got was at a yard sale a week ago. I bought an Xbox system with two controllers and 10 games for a total of $35. My boys, especially, were excited about this great find.

I'll continue to post when I find other great deals, sales, and freebies. Let me know of yours.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

Have a Happy Father's Day
New MySpace Layouts

Happy Father's Day to all fathers! Hope it's a great one!

I lost my father to cancer in March 2005. He and I didn't have much of a father/daughter relationship during the younger years of my life. He was a great guy, but not didn't do so well in the father department. He traveled a lot and his kids were not a top priority for that reason and many others.
A weird turn of events happened and, at the age of 25, I really got to know my dad and spend quality time with him. My mother and father got back together after being divorced and away from each other for over 20 years. It's not often you see that happen. I was a little weirded out at first by it, but I'm glad they got back together. Because my mother and father got back together, he moved to the area and finally got to know his kids and grandkids. The quality time was short, as he was diagnosed with cancer and died within three months of the diagnosis. I spent more time with him in a year and a half than I did for the first twenty-something years. That quality time with him meant the world to me and I'm grateful that God granted me that.
Shortly after his passing, I got my first tattoo. It's of an electric guitar with the word 'Dad' above it, in rememberance.
I miss my dad lots and think of him often. Happy Father's Day to you, Dad.

On a lighter note, we spent the day at the local campground and went swimming in celebration of Father's Day for my husband. Had lots of rain at first, but the sun broke through and we had a wonderful day.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Celebrate Chocolate Truffles Giveaway Winner

The Celebrate Chocolate Truffles Giveaway has ended and comment #16 was randomly chosen as the winner. Winner is Secret's Custom Creations. I will email the winner and they have 72 hours to respond or I will randomly draw another winner.
Congrats Secret's Custom Creations!

Socratic Forum Friend Referral

I'm a longtime member of Socratic Forum, a survey site in which members participate in state-of-the-art Web-based surveys about products, services, and technology. In exchange, members have the opportunity to receive cash, online gift certificates, and/or other rewards.
From now until June 30th, Socratic Forum is holding a Refer A Friend Sweepstakes. It is a special program to reward members and those who join. If you use this link,, to join Socratic Forum you and I both have the opportunity to win $5,000. That's $5,000 for you and $5,000 for me. Sweet money!! I get an entry into the drawing for every friend that becomes a member of Socratic Forum through the link and the person joining gets an entry as well. For full rules of the referral sweepstakes, click here.
Come join me at Socratic Forum to give your opinion and to get rewards.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Anyone Tech Savvy?

Can anyone tell me how I add the Feedburner e-mail subscriber option to my blog? I have searched far and wide on the Internet for this answer, to no avail. I may be kidding myself by thinking that people may want to subscribe to my blog by e-mail, but I have hopes that one or two people out there will.
I do not use Google Reader or the such to read the slew of blogs that I subscribe to (and let me tell you, it's A LOT). I like to get updates by email. Therefore, I would like to have that option available to my readers if they so wish.
I'd be grateful if somebody could tell me how I add this feature to my blog. Many thanks in advance.

Monster Jam Madness

me standing in front of the Grave Digger (wearing a shirt I won on one of Household Treasures giveaways)

Whoo hoo! I had a blast at Monster Jam 2009.
Rarely do my husband and I get to go out together to do something without the kids. Saturday night was one of those rare nights. Monster Jam came to our town over the weekend and my husband was one of the participants for the Street Warriors race. Because he was a race participant, I was able to go back into the pits with him for free. Being able to hang out at the pits is a privilege only few people get. I got an up close look at all the monster trucks, got to chat with the drivers of all the races, got lots of autographs, and took many pictures.
I wasn't even sure I was going at first because I was on only four hours sleep after having worked all night long. The lack of sleep was well worth going.
my husband in the Street Warriors race
my husband in the pits lookin' rough

My husband placed 4th on Friday night (I didn't go to that one) so he won a payout of $75. He placed 5th on Saturday night. A total of ten vehicles competed in the Street Warriors race.
I got dirty from all the dust and my ears were ringing from the loud noise, but I had one helluva time.
Captain's Curse

Friday, June 12, 2009

Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone

I stepped out of my comfort zone and volunteered to do something that I wouldn't normally do. It even went better than expected.
Without going into a huge religious theme, I have to first start off by saying that I've just started attending church again within the last few months after a six year hiatus. The church that I've chose to attend is considered a mega church in my area. There are approximately 2000 people that attend the weekend services.
Within the first couple of months, I volunteered to cut out and assemble over 200 donkey puppets. That was quite an undertaking, but I didn't mind because I had a little help and it was something I could do to feel like I was an active member of the church.
About a month ago, I signed up to be a Group Leader during vacation bible school. I figured that since my kids would be attending, I may as well put myself to good use and help out. I later found out at a meeting what being a Group Leader entailed. Before the meeting I assumed (yep, I know what happens when one assumes) that I'd just be leading kids from station to station or helping keep them orderly. Unbeknownst to me, it actually meant that I would be having a group of six 3rd graders that would be in my care during the whole two hours (okay, I CAN handle that part) and that I would be teaching them bible stories and verses and situations for half an hour (okay, I CAN'T handle that part).
I'm more of a behind-the-scenes kind of person. I like to work in the background. And, to top it off, I know nothing about the bible story that we were supposed to be teaching the kids. By nothing, I mean nothing! I read the story over and over and just couldn't comprehend it. I tried to figure out how I could teach (not good at teaching much) children the things they needed to learn.
I fretted and worried and fretted and worried for days. I seriously was beside myself as to what I was going to do. I even wondered if God would strike me down if I called and told them that a replacement needed to be found because I had the swine flu. Hey, whatever works!
I did end up e-mailing the coordinator of the event and explaining the situation to him. I didn't get much of an answer besides to pray a lot and worry little.
At any rate, I showed up for all three nights of VBS. I did falter a little the first night during teaching but I had a wonderful time with my group and I learned a lot myself. The energy and excitement was awesome and I'm pretty sure my group of kids was okay with me.
I had put too much pressure on myself. It all worked out in the end and I'm glad that I actually went through with it.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Cleaning Out The Closet

Holey Moley! I didn't realize how much clothes my boys had until I cleaned out their closet. I decided to do so when I could no longer fit another hanger on the rod. I pushed and prodded and tried with might, but no more hangers would fit.
Being that they're so close in age, the boys share a wardrobe. All of their shirts get hung in one closet. I'm pretty positive that they do not need any more shirts of any kind for a long while.
I think this stems from the fact that I'm kind of OCD with their clothes. If they've wore an outfit to an event, they cannot wear that same outfit to another event within months of each other. I don't want somebody to look at them and say "Oh my, didn't those boys wear that outfit just two months ago to little boy's birthday party!"
I do have girls but they won't let me pick out their outfits and they won't let me get near their closets. Probably a good thing for them.
The shirts that I did end up getting rid of from the boys' closet will be donated to charity so some other mother can try to stuff them in their closet.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Getting A New Pet...Sort Of

Later on this evening I will be taking my boys to the store to get a pet. Is it a fluffy cat, a cute bunny, a furry dog? Nope, it's nothing as fancy as that. It's a beta fish.

It all started last weekend when I took a few of the kids to a rummage sale at a church. My 10 yr. old son spotted a rather large vase and brought it over to me. I proceeded to tell him that I was not in need of any vases at this time and to be on the lookout for books instead. He told me that he knew we needed it because it would be a great home for a beta fish. After pleading his case I caved in and bought it, knowing full well that I was going to have to get a fish once I made my vase purchase.

On the way home later that afternoon, I told my kids not to bring it up to my husband that we'd be getting a fish. I advised that I'd be the one to break the news. I came home and set the large vase on the counter without saying anything. I figured sooner or later my husband would ask why I bought a vase that was not needed. When he did not say anything after a while, I gave him the puppy dog eyes and asked if we could purchase a beta fish. He then smiled and shook his head and said he should've known something was up.

Hubby agreed after some short pleading from me as to why it was important for our children to have a beta fish in the house. I'm not sure if he fell for my case or if he just wanted me to shut up. It's been a busy week so we've not yet bought the fish. I also wanted to do some research on how to properly take care of one before I actually brought the poor guy home.

This evening a new "pet" will become a part of our world.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Great Toy Giveaway at What's That Smell?

What's That Smell? is hosting a great toy giveaway sponsored by Toys & Games Online! They have a BIG prize where the winner gets to select from three fantastic outdoor toys from Little Tikes or Step2. The prizes range in value from $50 - $260 and the winner will get whichever one they choose! Giveaway ends Thursday July 2, 2009 at noon CST and is open to the USA.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Fun At The Library

Juliann and Logan making tiger face masks

Adam and Logan enjoying the festivities

Our local library has kicked off it's summer reading program. Last weekend, they had an event to kick off the program. I loaded up some of the kids and took off for it. The kids got to make animal masks, pet animals, jump in a bounce house, eat popcorn, and more. The only downside was the long wait lines. This is our third year participating in the program and I've gotta say, I love it! It gets the kids excited about reading and there's lots of great activities to do. This summer, because of the reading program, my kids will read books to earn prizes. They'll also get to see exotic animals, see snakes, see bugs/insects, and make crafts. ALL FOR FREE! The library also offers an adult reading program, which I've signed up for. I have to read any 5 books and will receive a travel mug and coffee certificate upon completion. So, I'm up for suggestions on any good reads that I should check out at my local library.

Shelby checking out the goats

The look on Adam's face is priceless!

Birthday Bash at The Giveaway

Hey everyone! I was just wanting to let you know about The Giveaway's 1st Birthday Bash that will run June 5th - 12th. Haven't heard about 'The Giveaway'? It's this great blog that has several easy-to-enter giveaways starting every week!
And the Birthday Bash will be the biggest week ever! There are over $2100 in prizes to be given out! Starting with a Giveaway Carnival on Friday, June 5th, a Photo Contest on Saturday, a Scavenger Hunt on Sunday, regular giveaways Mon-Thurs, a LIVE Grand Prize Giveaway on Friday, June 12th, and daily door prizes. This is going to be HUGE!
For more info on the Birthday Bash, here's the link:

Remember, it starts this Friday, June 5th with The Giveaway's 1st Annual Birthday Carnival! So if you are hosting a family-friendly giveaway on your blog, you can enter it in the Carnival and be entered to win a great Prize Package, as well as Fridays' Door Prize!

And if you blog about this too before Friday, June 5th (just copy and paste this post), then you will be entered to win the special Early Bird Prize! Just come back here: and leave a comment with your blog post url.

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Junior Razor Giveaway at Busy Mom Blog

Head on over to Busy Mom for the chance to win a Junior Razor in pink or blue provided by Toys and Games Online. Giveaway ends June 22nd. Be sure to check out the other giveaways on the Busy Mom Blog!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Club Pogo Giveaway Winner

Dina of Just Another New Blog was chosen by (#2) as the winner of my first giveaway. She has 72 hours to respond by e-mail. Dina has won a 1 yr. subscription to Club Pogo. Congrats Dina and thanks to all who entered.
I tried to upload the image to show that #2 was chosen, but I couldn't figure it out and gave up before I threw a tantrum.

The ABC's of Me

I snagged this from J. Leigh Designz and thought it would be fun to try and be a good way for my readers to get to know me. Feel free to snag it and let us know about you as well.

A - Age: 32
B - Bed size: Queen
C - Chore you hate: Mopping Floors. I detest it!
D - Dogs' names: I don't have any dogs at this time. Our last two dogs were black labs named Muncie and Tremic.
E. Essential start to your day: Mountain Dew - it's my vice
F - Favorite color: hunter green
G - Gold or Silver: I'm not picky; I'll take either one
H – Height: 5'6"
I - Instruments you play: I'm not musically inclined.
J - Job title: Mother to wonderful children is my first job title. My second job title is 9-1-1 Telecommunicator.
K - Kid(s): 15 yo daughter, Shelby; 10 yr old son, Logan; 9 yr old son Adam; 14 yo step-daughter Allyson; 8 yo step-daughter Juliann; 6 yr old step-daughter Emma.
L - Living arrangements: home with my husband and kiddos
M - Marriage: married for 6 1/2 yrs to Jason
N – Nicknames: I have two. One is Taradise. The other is Helen. I'm called Helen quite often by those who know me. It was started a few years ago when a co-worker started calling me that after Hellen Keller due to my hearing loss.
O - Overnight hospital stay other than birth: I think most of my hospital stays have been one-day surgeries or one-night stays. They've been for ear tubes, tonsils taken out, adenoids taken out, gall bladder removed, and deviated septum surgery.
P - Pet Peeve: My biggest is conceited people. I don't think I'm better than anyone else and I sure don't deal well with people who think they're better than me.
Q - Quote from a movie: Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore.
R - Right or left handed: I'm a lefty.
S - Siblings: I have three sisters who are older than me and one younger brother. I also have a brother that passed away by suicide when I was six years of age.
T - Time you wake up: I usually wake up around noon or 1 pm because I work overnights
U- Underwear: yep, I wear them
V - Vegetable you dislike: I'm not a fan of cauliflower.
W - Ways you run late: I rarely run late, but sometimes do when I get lost. My sense of direction is not the best.
X - X-rays: I've had a few
Y - Yummy food you make: None of the food I make is yummy....just ask my family! I'm Susie Homemaker, not Betty Crocker.
Z - Zoo animals: My favorites are the penguins