Saturday, September 27, 2008

Coupon Organization

This is another call for help! I have been on hiatus from couponing for a couple of months and I am finally ready to get back into it. My problem is that I have a ton of expired coupons and piles of coupon inserts I haven't even gone through!. My husband has been faithfully bringing home the coupon section from the paper every Monday...I think that is a sign that he is ready for me to start saving money again! I'm glad he's helpful! Anyway, what I want to know is how you organize your coupons? I'm looking for a fresh start-something that is easy-something that works. Thanks!

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Office

Can I just say The Office is the best show out there! Thanks, I feel better.

New Format

When I was still living at home, my mom used to tease me about how many times I would change my room around. I could disappear in there for hours pretending to be an interior designer. I'd try a hundred different options and enjoy every minute of the process. I absolutely love the feeling of walking into a room you've known for years and getting a different feeling from it. It's very cleansing for me. This urge to reclaim a space usually hits about every 2-3 months. Well - I have the urge now...except this time it is with my blog. I'm so tired of looking at the blue background! I want something new, vibrant, uplifting. The problem - I have no idea how to do it! So, I am asking for any help I can get. Does anyone know how to start with a blank blog and add pictures, etc. to make it my own? Is it even possible? For now - I'll use this new format and try to ignore the itchy feeling.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Well, Shawn informed me that I might have sounded a little bit like Sally Struthers on my last post. Sorry! I guess I just got a little fired up after seeing that episode. I'm not crazy....but I do want our children to be protected. Please keep that in mind should you read it! :)

Lauren is doing great! She is growing so much each day. She smiles now and has her own little voice. It is the most precious thing you could ever hear! I love to listen to her "talk" to me. She will even make facial expressions to go with her story. She loves her bouncy seat now! Hallelujah!!! She kicks and giggles and watches the little spiders moving up and down. Absolutely adorable. It also gives me a chance to do some things while she is awake. When she smiles it comes straight from her eyes and you can't help but smile back and thank God. I love being home with her to watch these milestones. Sometimes I just hold her while she sleeps and smell her sweet baby skin and try to memorize exactly what this time in our lives feels like. I know it will never be the same and that is okay, but I never want to look back and say that I didn't enjoy this time to the fullest. I understand how blessed I am to be able to stay home. I want this for every mother.

Shawn is working hard every day. This week has been especially crazy at work. He is a civil engineer and loves the work. We are very thankful that he works for an engineering firm that has a lot of work right now. He's been working on one project there for over two years. I think it is getting ready to go into the construction stage sometime soon. I know it is hard for him to be away from his little girl, but he wastes no time when he gets home to hold her. I think he may be wrapped around her little finger. I guess only time will tell... :) He has also been studying since March for his Professional Engineer test. He will take that in late October. That has been interesting with a brand new baby, but I'm really proud of him for preparing so well. We'll be so relieved when it is over!

I am home with Lauren and I love the freedom. There isn't a whole lot new with me other than I am trying to lose the extra baby weight I gained and I am looking forward to Fall!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Please Help

I don't normally watch Oprah, but today I tuned in for an episode about the horrific acts of violence and abuse against babies and children. I was appalled to say the least. I am a very naive person and I had NO idea that children as young as infants are being sexually abused in the United States and that these evil acts of abuse are being photographed, videotaped and shared on the internet. I just can't believe there are people out there who would do this. I was shocked at the vast number of individuals who have such material on their computers and how quickly it is shared. Apparently there are even "how-to" guides out there for how to molest children broken down into age groups. Is anyone else sick yet?

Thankfully, there are organizations and law enforcement agencies trying as hard as they can to track down these predators and bring them to justice. The problem is there are way too many cases and too little funding and man power to catch all of them. The agency may have a lead on a case but be unable to act on it quickly or at all. This means that while the case sits there, there are children being abused and exploited who desperately need a hero to come and rescue them.

Right now there is a bill getting ready to go before the U.S. Senate. Senate Bill 1738 PROTECT Our Children Act will:
  • Authorize over $320 million over the next five years in desperately needed funding for law enforcement to investigate child exploitation.
  • Mandate that child rescue be a top priority for law enforcement receiving federal funding.
  • Allocate funds for high-tech computer software that can track down Internet predators (
Here is what I am begging you to:
#1 - PRAY for the thousands of children that are being abused right now. Pray that someone will be their protector. Pray that someone will save them from their horrifying situation. Pray that they will survive the night. Pray that their abuser will be caught and brought to justice. Pray that our justice system gives the harshest penalty available as even that cannot undo the wrong done to the innocent children. Pray that someone will speak up for them.
#2 - Contact your state senator immediately and let them know this is a bill that needs to become a law! For you Missourians I have listed our state senators and their contact information below.

Bond, Christopher S.- (R - MO)Class III
(202) 224-5721
Web Form:

McCaskill, Claire- (D - MO)Class I
(202) 224-6154
Web Form:

On the Oprah website there is a letter you can copy and paste to send or email to your senator if you're not sure how to express your feelings on the bill. The thinking is taken out of the there is NO excuse!

Having an eight week old daughter makes me ultra sensitive to this subject, but I believe that there is no excuse to let innocent babies and children go through these horrific acts of violence when there is something we can do. Please spread the word about this bill. I think it will be voted on at the end of September.

I'm so sick from the blurred images I saw today. Tiny babies are being targeted because they cannot vocalize the abuse they are going through. How can we let that happen? How can anyone be so evil?

I'd love to hear your thoughts about this.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Bring Your Daughter to Work Day

Lauren visited Shawn at work this week. Obviously she was a huge help while there!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


I am all about things that make my life easier. One thing that has really been difficult since having a child is dinner prep and finding the time to cook. Before Lauren I used to have dinner all made and ready to eat when Shawn got home from work. Now I am lucky to have eaten lunch when he gets home. It's not that I am totally incapable of having a meal ready, it's just that most days I am taking care of, playing with, feeding, loving on, etc. Lauren. Dinner does get made eventually but it has been a source of stress for me. So, I have started thinking about dinner in the morning. I lay out anything that might need to defrost. If I have time during the day while she naps I will make hamburger or cook noodles, basically anything I can cook ahead of time. If it is a casserole dish, I will try to make it during a nap so I know that later all I have to do is pop it in the oven. The other wonderful thing I totally recommend for everyone is a Food Saver. This thing is remarkable!!! If you don't have one, you need one! Basically you have this roll of bag paper (I don't know how better to explain that) that you can cut to whatever size bag you need. The food saver will seal one end and you put the food in the open end of the other side. The machine will then suck all the air out of the bag and seal the other side. When you freeze the food there is NO freezer burn taste!!! I have fried several pounds of hamburger, for instance, and then put them in individual bags. When I know I am going to have a dish that needs ground hamburger, I simply pull out one of my bags and boil it. The meat inside heats up and tastes like I just made it. My mom did this with a meatloaf she made Shawn and I after Lauren was born. I just boiled the bag, opened it up and served the meatloaf. It tasted like I had just made it. This contraption has helped me to not waste food and be more prepared when it comes to family dinners around here.

Monday, September 08, 2008


This past weekend my sweet husband packed Lauren and me up and took us "home". It had been over two whole weeks since I'd felt my mom and daddy's arms around me or gotten the famous bear hug from my youngest brother. It had been even longer than that since I'd set foot in my childhood home, smelled the crisp country air, or seen the beauty of our farm. Let me just say, I needed it badly! There is something wonderful about going home. We had the best time. Mom made homemade chicken and dumplings (yum!) and blackberry cobbler. We went to eat catfish at a new little restaurant near town. We cuddled up on the couch and watched movies. We slept late! We also got to go see my Meme and Papa! It is always wonderful to get to spend time with them. Shawn helped pick apples from their orchard and got fresh eggs for us from their chickens. They are seriously the best eggs ever!!! I also got a picture of Lauren, Meme, my mom, and me together. I am so thankful for the time I had at home.