Thursday, July 30, 2009


Tonight after Young Womens a few of us were talking about using coupons so I thought I'd blog a little about my coupon adventures...

I feel like with a family of six we spend so much money on groceries/toiletries/diapers, etc. and I have been trying to figure out how to use coupons effectively to really save money. I have been doing it the last three or four weeks and am starting to see real savings. At first I was frustrated and kept thinking the following excuses...

*it takes too much time to clip coupons
*coupons are only for products I don't use
*I don't have time to go to five different stores and sort through coupons while I shop
*I'll end up buying things I don't really need
*It's cheaper just to shop sales and buy generic
*I shop at Walmart which is probably just as cheap
*the list goes on...

Anyways, my sister Brenda showed me a website called that does all the work for you in matching up the sales at the stores with the coupons. At first I was skeptical, especially since at first I didn't have all the coupons saved up from the newspapers, but each week I am buying more and more using coupons and saving a ton of money. For example...Below I put a picture of a "coupon run" I went on today to Kroger. The total retail value of all of this (plus two more yogurt packs and another toothpaste I forgot to put on the table) is almost $80. However, with coupons I got it all for $25.33. I felt like I was stealing as I walked out of the store with such good bargains (all the yogurts and toothpaste was free, butter for 11 cents, etc.)

The things I have learned so far and tips I have for anyone aspiring to be a coupon queen like I'm trying to be:) are these...

*I've had to learn to shop differently by buying lots of something when it's a really good price instead of when I need something...stockpiling
*it takes about an hour or so to plan my shopping trips. I go on and look up the various stores and plan what I am going to buy and get the coupons I need from the coupon booklets. However I figure that if I saved $50 in a shopping trip, than I just made $50/ worth it!
*I follow a couple coupon blogs as well that alert me to great deals at each store.
*I'm used to going grocery shopping once a week at one store (usually Wal Mart) with coupons, I go to Kroger, Walmart, Meijers, Target and even the drug stores...but I just go in and get the things I have coupons for on my list for that I spread my shopping throughout the week since it's too much of a pain to go to all the stores in one day. But I like shopping so I don't mind:)
*Each week I get a little better as I am figuring things out and learning tips as I go.

Anyways just thought I'd share...I have really felt lately that it is important to be frugal, be a good steward over the money God has given us, and stockpile for our three month supply as well... And I have found that my excuses were wrong...cuz I don't spend hours clipping coupons...I only buy products we will really use...I don't buy things I don't need...and it's way better deals than shopping generics and Walmart. There have been times in the last month when I've been frustrated because they didn't have the products I was looking for and other things, but over time I am slowly learning. I think it just takes time to master the art of saving money using coupons...hopefully I am on my way!

The Garden in Full Bloom

The garden is in full bloom...zucchini and pumpkins are really starting to grow. I am constantly amazed at what Heavenly Father, some water and sunshine, and a little help from us, can do! When I eat things from our garden, I have more appreciation for it because I have nurtured it and watched it grow...

Michigan Historical Museum

Last Saturday we took the kids to the Michigan Historical Museum in Lansing. When I taught 4th grade we would go to the museum each year as well as take a tour of the Capital building because our social studies all year was about Michigan History. I love this museum and thought the kids were old enough now to visit it. The museum shows everything about Michigan's history from the glaciers, right up to present day. It really is pretty great and the kids loved it. Unfortunately one of the floors was unders construction so we'll have to go back to see that sometime. Anyways, for anyone that lives around here, this makes a great educational field trip for the many cool things to look at, and it's FREE! (with free parking on the weekends and only $1/hr on it's a bargain)...and the Capital building gives free tours every half hour...anyways, we had a great are just s few pics...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tanner's Mowhawk

Tanner is so funny...every night when he gets out of the bathtub he wants to comb his hair into a mowhawk:) After a few nights of this I was getting a little concerned about his desire to have a "rebellious" hair style and asked him why he combs it that which he replied that he wants to look like a dinosaur...and the mowhawk is like the spikes going down the dinosaurs back:) Fine...I can handle biggie...then we went to the zoo and he wanted to gel his hair into a mowhawk...hmmm:) (See pictures below from our recent trip to Potter Park Zoo...they love to have their pictures taken in those little peek-through things)... Anyways, so I'm allowing him freedom of expression in his dino-mowhawk. Hoping this phase will pass quickly. It surely can't last as long as Logan's goggle phase, for those of you that remember that one:) Gotta love kids!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

yet more pics:)

more pics

More pics by Kirstynn

Photos with Kirstynn

My friend Kirstynn Evans was offering free photo sessions in order to practice photography and build her photo session...don't have to ask me twice!...yes please!! She met the kids and I one morning downtown Brighton and took some pictures. I think she did a great job! Check out her blog at She took 106 pictures so I can't put them all on here...but I did put a few more on facebook to check out... Thanks again Kirstynn!!!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


As kind of a continuation of the theme of my last post (self-reliance)...I have decided to try grocery shopping with coupons. I follow a few blogs of people who are saving hundreds of dollars each month just by doing coupons...they try to basically match things that are on sale with the coupons they already have. I've never given coupons a real try...seems like such a hastle...but according to some of the blogs I read, if you take the time to clip coupons and print them online, it can save soooo much money.

Is anyone else using lots of coupons and trying to save massive amounts of money?? I'd love to hear any tips:)


Happy Gardening...!!

I know that each of your summer's just wouldn't be complete without a little update on our garden (hehe)...

This year we are growing:

lots of corn
mini pumpkins
spaghetti squash
butternut squash
4 kinds of tomoatos (roma, beefsteak, grape, and cherry)
green onions

Some things we did last year, and some are new...we'll see if they work:) Last year we really enjoyed working in the has become a family affair. Somehow, though, I end up doing all the weeding, and the boys do all the watering?...hmmmmm...

Happy Gardening:)...


Farewell Mom and Dad

I said goodbye to my parents early this morning after a nice 10 day visit with them. I always get weepy when they leave and I feel a little "empty" inside for a few days after they go. We had alot of fun with them doing various things... and I am always so appreciative of all the service they render while they are here...yardwork, mending, cooking, cleaning, babysitting...the list goes on:) I feel really spoiled when they come. Most of all, I always feel inspired to be a better person after spending time with them. I sure love my mommy and daddy!!!:)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Hope You Had a Good One...

Happy Independence Day!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Feeling Sentimental....Pre-Birthday Celebration...

I am feeling very sentimental as I think about Tanner and Logan's upcoming birthday. Next Wednesday, July 8th, they will be 5 years old! I know this sounds like such a chiche, but it really has flown seems like just yesterday they were born! Their birth was such an exciting time that brought so many changes and joys to my life. I put a picture on of me almost exactly 5 years was taken just a couple days before I delivered. Man was I huge and uncomfortable...and it was so hot! Tanner and Logan's delivery was incredibly hard...22 hours of labor, lots of little things that went wrong, and just lots of pain involved! (Mallory and Preston's delivery by contrast was such a breeze!)... Anyways...I also put on a picture of me with them when we came home from the hospital. They were so cute and tiny! Don't let my smile in that picture fool you...The day of that picture, I remember non-stop crying from the hormone drop, major lack of sleep, and just general overwhlemed-ness:)....but it has all been so worth it! I love my little boys and all the joy they have given me this past five years! Today we were outside and I was just watching them play and thinking about them turning five. I started to tear up as I thought about the love I have for them and how much they have grown and changed in five short years.

Each year I write a letter to my kids on their birthday recapping the highlights of the year, telling of all their new and exciting accomplishiments and milestones, and just generally expressing my love to them. I save all the letters and am going to give them all the letters at once on their 18th birthday.

Last night we had pizza and cake and celebrated the boys birthday early with my parents since they won't be here on their actual birthday. So here they are with their birthday cake.

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

I love this picture of Mallory with her cousin Jackie. They are the only girl cousins on both Scott and my side of the family. Between both sides, there are 10 boy cousins and only 2 girl Mallory and Jackie have to stick together! My sister Kathy edited this picture...she does a great job:) Love it!