Thursday, July 28, 2011

People think we're crazy :)

Yesterday, one of my top 2 'deal alert' sites highlighted that Target was going 75% of on toys today and that some stores had in fact started theirs 1 day early. So this morning, I got the kids up, bathed, fed, and on our way to target by 8:15 am. Sure enough, they had JUST finished marking all the toys down! Fantastic 75%+ off deals! And so many BOY things! I was beyond lucky to get there so early because they had items that I have never, ever (in all my parenting days) been able to find on clearance!

Quickly, I went through the aisles and loaded the cart - so full that Michael had to get out and you could barely find Christopher in the front! The cashier looked at me like I was CRAZY too. Quickly, I started explaining, "well, Christmas and Birthdays for 2 boys, plus gifts for other kids, plus toy donations for the hospital." It seemed like a good explanation for an overflowing cart of 75% off clearance. But that got me thinking ~ maybe EVERYONE thinks we're crazy! After all, we're about to load tons of toys into our attic.

So maybe we ARE a little crazy? Of course, we won't feel that way when:

1. We find out about a birthday party last minute during a busy week - have no fear, we have something in the attic!
2. We deliver toys to the Palmetto Children's Hospital that are valued at way more than we paid yet priceless to an ailing child.
3. Christmas rolls around and we don't have to think about the kids or spend a dime on them!
4. Birthdays roll around and we already have awesome gifts at affordable prices.
5. We donate the toys to less fortunate families through angel tree programs (or others) at Christmas.
6. In a time of crisis, we sell it for more than we paid so we can feed our family (haha - just kidding)

Those seem to me like good enough reasons to look like a mad crazy woman in the toy clearance aisles. :)

Some highlights:
Some 2 Buzz Lightyear Trikes - $2 each (originally $60 each)
Handy Manny table - $10 (originally $100)
Nerf swords - $5 each (originally $13)
Step 2 water table - $12.50 (originally $50)/ umbrella $2.50 (originally $10)
My first Kenmore sink - $10 (originally $100)
My first Kenmore fridge - $20 (originally $80)
2 Buzz Lightyear SPaceship/wings/ball shooters - $2 each (originally $40 each)
2 Imaginext dragons - $2 each (originally $28 each)
Play doh pizza kitchen - $1 (originally $17)
2 Thomas trains for 18mo - $3.50 each (originally $10 each)
2 Mega Blocks pirate ships - $6.50 each (originally $30)
Weebles treehouse - $11 (originally $30)
Cranium game - $3.25 (originally $25)
2 Screature dinosaurs - $2 each (originally $40 each)
Fisher Price dino hand - $2 each (originally $20 each)
Torando Tee - $2 (originally $30)

A few more awesome deals at 75% off include THOMAS TRAIN items (which are like GOLD in a clearance aisle - rare!) and more. I am officially done toy clearance shopping! Good luck to all the other "crazy" people out there!

Stacy {<><}

Sunday, July 24, 2011


10 hr car ride:
Lunch at chick-fil-a for a much needed playtime (Michael)
Welcome to Florida visitor center - OJ and Grapefruit juice

Swimming at the pool (more like a little kid water park!)
Seafood dinner with the family
Harry Potter 7.2

Beach time - perfect for the kids!
More family time

Lowry Park Zoo (Parents magazine top 10 -- $5 day)
More family time

yummy food, lots of family, adorable kids, GREAT TIME!

Stacy { <>< }

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Always something

Seriously. We're about to embark on a family vacation and the van requires $700 worth of repairs. We have been so positive with medical bills and more this year, but our bank account hurts! I hate the guilty feeling I will now have every time I spend money. I can't even feel good about going on a nice date before school starts back up. I certainly am not worried we won't make it. God is awesome and has always met our needs. It just saddens me to know that Casey and I will be working double time when school starts in order to build our savings back up. And it hurts. It's time to tighten the belt again. (Hopefully no more vehicle repairs! We're up to like $1000+ this year!)

Having a frustrated moment.

Stacy { <>< }

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Vacation time!

Thursday we leave for FLORIDA! We will be visiting family, hitting up the beach, and hopefully going to the movies. We haven't been able to travel to Florida since summer 2009 and we're definitely looking forward to it. Once we get back (next Monday), we will have my birthday weekend and then... basically back-to-school! I can't believe it's almost time. I've definitely stayed busy (and productive) this summer! :)

In other news, Christopher has had a good week of eating! I took him back to the doctor for the 5th time for his ear infection (yes, it is returning), and he had gained 1.4 pounds in 10 days! I was shocked! I'm praying this becomes a normal eating pattern :) We've discovered that he loves CiCi's Pizza table foods more than any other place (including home). He eats noodles, chicken, and pizza crust and loves it!

It's almost 75% off toy clearance time so I will probably be stocking the Christmas/Birthday stash and the pantry over the last few weeks of summer break. All the stores are clearing out for Fall/Winter and *cough*cough* Christmas stuff!

I'm looking forward to trying out a new schedule at work this year and am hoping it will be less exhausting/mentally draining. Wish me luck on getting the details worked out!

Stacy { <>< }

Friday, July 8, 2011


1) Christopher went to the Doctor for the 4th time in 1 month. Today was a follow-up to see if his shot (Wednesday) had helped with his ear infection. His ears DID look better. He got a 2nd shot and will hopefully NOT need a 3rd one. If he needs something else, he will get some more oral antibiotics starting Sun/Mon. The doctor gave me his cell # in case I need him this weekend (which was overly nice considering the office itself is open too), but I am hoping we won't need to bother him! Christopher's eyes are clearing up and his ears looked better! Better days are coming!

2) My bronchitis is getting slightly better! I don't feel like death when I wake up!

3) We ate at Chick-fil-A for lunch today and dressed like cows for "Cow Appreciation Day"! Free food! So fun! Also had a great time chatting with Melissa Hatfield (adopted Columbia Grandma). What a clean/free way to have fun! What a priceless picture too.

4) I was frustrated that Christopher's xylophone is not a major scale, but was otherwise convinced today that he just needs to be exposed to modal patterns at an early age. (thanks Gb!) :)

5) Christopher had his 1st chiropractic adjustment today. I normally wouldn't pay for this, but hey - it's free considering all of the deductibles he has met already this year, so if it might help his ear infections, it's worth a shot. Plus, he actually DID have a greater range of motion in his neck/head aftwerwards. I guess he might as well enjoy this while it's free. (Uh, he also had 3 poopy diapers while we were there. 1 before we went in, one right before his adjustment, and 1 during MY adjustment. Glad he finally got it out!)

We'll be off to Chick-fil-A for Michael to dress like a cow too tonight! Family fun! A day-long wedding rehearsal/wedding tomorrow, church and a wedding rehearsal afternoon Sunday, and directing USC SP summer camp Monday-Thursday! I'm gonna be one tired person next Friday! At least I get to spend every minute with my co-teacher, Allison! SO worth it! Can't wait to help her get hitched in December!

Stacy { <>< }

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

God is working on me

I am ashamed to admit that my prayer life needs a lot of work. starting TODAY, I am going to be spending more time with God each day. Through book studies, Bible reading, and prayer, I can't wait to see how God can transform my life! I am also looking forward to spending more time praying for others. I have always felt 'encouragement' was one of my God-given gifts, but have been 'too busy' to use it. Recent sermons and lessons have shown me otherwise. I am re-prioritizing :)

I am currently looking for inspiration for my upcoming solo at church. I'm not happy with most of the sacred violin repertoire I have seen. Why can't Michael W. Smith sell his awesome "Freedom" music? It is FULL of violin stuff! I did as many google searches as possible and it only exists for piano. I guess I will continue to pray for wisdom in my song choice! I'm sure almost anything would be a blessing to others, but I want something that is touching and beautiful. I'll keep looking!


My 2 beautiful boys are reason enough to spend each day in a constant mindset of prayer.

Jesus loves the little children
All the children of the world
Red and yellow black and white
They are precious in His sight
Jesus loves the little children of the world

Stacy { <>< }

Friday, July 1, 2011

Thirty Attributes of the Lord

I am currently reading Praying God's Will for Your Life by Stormie Omartian (one of the many power of prayer books - this is my first one). I found this list to be very encouraging. She writes, "Every day you can, choose at least one name that is applicable to your needs and frequently thank God that He is that for you." So today, I choose #19 Peace .

Thank you God for being Peace in my life yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Thank you for revealing to me through otherwise difficult situations this year that knowing You fills me with a peace that passeth understanding. May my life exude to others the peace that they, too, may need from You and may I always be willing to share Your love with them. Amen.

Thirty Attributes of the Lord
by: Stormie Omartian

1. He is my Restorer Ps. 23:3
2. He is my Helper John 14:16
3. He is my Strength Isa. 12:2
4. He is my Redeemer Isa. 59:20
5. He is my Hope Ps. 71:5
6. He is my Patience Rom. 15:5
7. He is my Truth John 14:6
8. He is my Resting Place Jer. 50.6
9. He is my Overcomer John 16:33
10. He is my Light John 8:12
11. He is my Power of God 1 Cor. 1:24
12. He is my Bread of Life John 6:35
13. He is my Fortress Ps. 18:2
14. He is my Refuge from the Storm Isa. 25:4
15. He is my Everlasting Father Isa. 9:6
16. He is the Author of My Faith Heb. 12:2
17. He is my Deliverer Ps. 70:5
18. He is my Counselor Ps. 16:7
19. He is my Peace Eph. 2:14
20. He is my Rewarder Heb. 11:6
21. He is my Healer Mal. 4:2
22. He is my Shield Ps. 33:20
23. He is my Wisdom of God 1 Cor. 1:24
24. He is my Purifier Mal. 3:3
25. He is my Hiding Place Ps. 32:7
26. He is my Shade from the Heat Isa. 25:4
27. He is my Refiner Mal. 3:2-3
28. He is my Resurrection John 11:25
29. He is the Lifter of My Head Ps. 3:3
30. He is my Stronghold in the Day of Trouble Nah. 1:7

What is God to you today? Have you thanked him for it?

Stacy { <>< }