Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sweet Baby Girl's Birthday Today!

Today, my sweet baby girl turns 14!  She has been an amazing blessing in our lives these 14 years.  She was only 1 day old when we brought her to our home and our lives have never been the same.  It took alot of cuddling that first year to help her overcome her total independence, but she has blossomed into a loving young lady who will often come to me for a hug.  She always is full of laughter and giggles.  All her life, she has been able to make new friends in an instant.  When we would go to the beach every week in Myrtle Beach, she would make a new friend within 5 minutes of arrival.  She is sensitive to others and a very caring friend to her friends.
She loves music and has an incredible voice that I am sure God will use for His glory in her future.  Roller skating is another passion of hers, as well as dance - right now she is taking Hip Hop/Krump at a Christian dance studio.
She is a strong and independent young lady, not afraid to be herself with others.  Although extremely shy as a child, she is full of self-confidence and comfortable with herself and others.  I don't know what her future has in store, but I know that God can and will use her for great things in her life.  My prayer for her is that she will continue to grow in the Lord, draw near to Him and learn to know His voice above all others.  I pray that she will walk in His footsteps as He leads her on a great adventure for her life!
Happy Birthday, Alissa!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

My Baby Boy's 16th Birthday

Today my baby boy turned 16 years old!  Wow, I can't believe it!  His arrival in our lives was SO very momentous!  We had tried and waited for 12 years to have a baby and God brought this beautiful little boy into our lives to change us forever!  From the day we received him (he is adopted), we knew that God had an incredible call on his life and that has been confirmed prophetically many times.

He is an incredible man of God with a heart to help people.  We have been so blessed by him over the years and watching him grow and become the man God has called him to be has been an awesome journey!  He is full of passion for God, music and football!  Everything he does, he does with all of his being.  He is an encourager and a tremendous helper (that's what his name means:-).

I wish my son all the multitude of blessings that God has in store for him this year and in the years to come as he follows his Savior on the path He is leading him.  Love you, Buddy!!

Earning $$ with SwagBucks

I have been earning Swagbucks for several months now, and have accumulated $30 in gift cards so far!  All this just for using Swagbucks for my internet searches and keeping an eye out for Swag codes which give you extra bucks.  I installed the Toolbar, which gives me one buck each day just for using it and I do all my searches via Swagbucks, which is on the top of my screen as my search engine anyway, so very easy!

If you want to earn some $$ just for searching, sign up for Swagbucks and download the toolbar.  Then do your searches via Swagbucks (especially on Fridays - they give some big bucks on Fridays:-) and you, too, can earn $$ for searching.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Calories Needed to Sustain Football Player

A couple days ago, my son told me he was not recovering adequately from practices and games like he was accustomed to in the past.  He was concerned that something was wrong with his metabolism.  he was dragging and not feeling the energy he needed for his grueling schedule of 1 hour weight lifting/wrestling practice and 2 hours football practice each day.

So I did some research online and found out that there is no way he is consuming sufficient calories each day to sustain himself with this kind of schedule.  My son is going to be 16 years old next week, about 6 feet tall and weighs 195 lbs.  He is not a very big eater.  In fact, most days he only eats twice a day and not huge meals at that.  However, I discovered after some research that he should be consuming between 3300 and 4500 calories per day to sustain his body!!  Well, I am SURE he has not been eating that many calories per day.  We eat pretty healthy here, but I just didn't realize how many calories he was burning each day and what his caloric requirements were.

So the very next day I began taking charge of his diet and cooking more food for him to eat.  Amazingly, he had no trouble increasing what he ate and in just one day he felt SO much better!  I make sure he eats a good breakfast, then I prepare him a banana whey protein smoothie before he heads to school for wrestling/weight lifting and football practice in the afternoon.  And when he comes home, I make sure he eats a good dinner, plus a snack later in the evening.  We may even add another snack late morning or early afternoon to get his calorie count up to what it needs to be.

I just figured he would eat what his body needs, but apparently he is just not a big eater unless I make it happen.  So I got a wake-up call about my son's diet and will make sure he gets what his body needs.

If you have a child in sports/athletics, you may want to read this great article called Fueling for Football by Leslie Bonci, MPH, RD, LDN, is Director of Sports Nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and serves as a consultant to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pitt athletics, and several area high schools.  She discusses the importance of carbohydrates, fluid intake, pre-game meals, post-game snacks and weight issues.   I was very impressed with the information shared and will follow her suggestions in order to keep my son in top performance mode during the football season.

And just a side note:  even though they did not win their game last night, my son played REALLY awesomely!!  Even the coaches said so - not just Mom:-)

Make Your Own Ice Gel Pack

It seems we are constantly in need of an ice pack in this house - between my son and my husband, they are almost always using one for some kind of pain or another.  And we had two of the gel ice packs until recently when one mysteriously disappeared.  So the two of them were having a hassle over sharing one ice pack (and one of them seemed to forget to put it back in the freezer when done:-).

I knew I had seen directions online sometime back about how to make your own and save money, rather than buying another one.  So I did a search today and made one.  It came out great and cost only pennies!!

Here's what you need to do:

Get 2 ziploc freezer bags (one sandwich size and one quart size)
Mix 3 parts water and 1 part rubbing alcohol together
Add a little blue food coloring (or whatever color you like:-)
Put the water mixture into the smaller bag and seal, getting out all the air that you can.
Then put the smaller bag into the larger one and seal, again getting out all the air that you can.
Place in freezer for a couple of hours and it is ready for use!

You can make a larger one, too, if you want to.  We mostly had hand and feet needs, so the small one works for now.

This is better than using frozen peas (especially when your guys forget to put them back in the freezer when they are done:-) and so easy to make!  Now, if only we could avoid the injuries that create the need for the ice packs.....NOT gonna happen with a son playing football and a hubby who works out hard all the time!!!

Best Grocery Deals in Phoenix Area This Week (Sept. 8-15, 2010)

Sorry this is a day late - football game yesterday!  There are some good deals going on this week and there are quite a number of catalinas running, but I can't get all that info together just yet.  I may add to the post later when I can sit down and gather the catalinas.  So here's what I see as the best deals this week:

Milk $1.67 gallon
Malt-o-Meal Cereals $1
V-8 and V-Fusion Juice 2/$5
Seedless Red, Green or Black Grapes $0.79/lb
American Beauty Pasta or Hunt's Pasta Sauce $1

1/2 gallon milk $0.87
Ground Round (5 lbs or more) $1.67/lb
Utah Peaches or Gala Apples $0.77/lb
Fritos or Cheetos $1.19 w/in ad coupon (limit 4)
Coca-Cola 2 liter $0.88
Cheez-It $1.88
Challenge Butter $1.98

Food City
Peaches 3 lbs/$0.99
Cantaloupe 5 lbs/$1
Large Tomatoes $0.39/lb
American Beauty Pasta or Hunt's Pasta Sauce $1
Granny Smith or Red Delicious Apples or Bartlett Pears $0.59/lb
Red Bell Peppers 3/$0.99
Chicken Thighs $0.59/lb
Strawberries $.99/lb
20 lb. bag of Blue Ribbon Rice $4.99

Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts $1.67/lb
Gala Apples or Bartlett Pears 2 lbs/$1
Gallon Milk $1.77
Cascade or Dawn Twin Pack $3.99
Wesson Cooking Oil 48 oz. $1.99

Pros Ranch Market
Tomatoes 4 lbs/$0.99
10 lb. Bag Potatoes $0.89
Farmer John Link Sausages $0.98
Chicken Thighs or Drumsticks $0.68/lb
2 liter Coca Colas $0.75
Bartlett Pears 3 lbs/$0.99
Peaches 2 lbs/$0.99
White Onions 4 lbs/$0.99
Cabbage 6 lbs/$0.99
Celery 2/$0.99
Carrots 3 lbs/$0.99
Radishes 4/$0.99
Red Grapes $0.69/lb
Tilapia Filets $1.88/lb

London Broil $1.99/lb
On the Vine Cluster Tomatoes $0.99/lb
Ragu Pasta Sauce $0.99 when you buy 6
Welch's Healthy Start Juice $1.99 w/in ad coupon
Lucerne Large Eggs 18ct. $1.99w/in ad coupon
Mission Tortilla Chips $1.29 w/in ad coupon
Barilla Pasta 5/$5
Minute Maid OJ 2/$5
Jimmy Dean Sausage Rolls $1.99 w/in ad coupon
Oreos $1.99
2 liter Pepsi or 7Up $0.77

Yellow Peaches or Nectarines $0.49/lb
Gala Apples, Bartlett Pears, Vine Ripe Tomatoes or Cantaloupe $0.77/lb
Fresh Green Beans $0.88/lb
Stash Tea 2/$4

Well, that's what I see for this week.  Couple these with some coupons, and there are some great deals.  Don't forget to load your digital coupons onto your shopping cards from Cellfire and Shortcuts, as well as on Fry's and Safeway's websites.  These can be combined with paper coupons for extra savings.

Happy Grocery Shopping!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

The Math Tutor Review

To read more about an interesting and helpful Pre-Algebra and Texas Instruments Calculator DVD Tutor, click here.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

My Access! Home Edition by Vantage Learning Review

To learn about an incredible online writing program, click here to read my review!

Lovin' the Pride Card!!

My son sold these discount cards for his football team and we ended up buying 2 of them (still have one other one to sell, just in case....:-).  They were $20 each, but are good until July 31, 2011.  So we thought that ought to be long enough to get our $$ worth.

Well, let me just tell you....I am LOVIN' this card!  We were able to go out for Blizzards at DQ the other night and saved over $8.  Then tonight, I didn't know what to cook for dinner, so we decided to try Filiberto's.  A friend who bought one of the cards recommended it, saying they ate there alot.  Some of you know that we are VERY particular about Mexican food, having lived in Mexico for 6 years. So we try new Mexican restaurants with reluctance because it is hard to find "good" Mexican food around here.  But, Filiberto's is AMAZING!!  We had to buy burritos, because that is what is on the discount card - buy one burrito and drink, get one free!  So we each ordered a different one - Adobada, Green Chile, Extreme and Chicken.  They were HUGE!!  AND DELICIOUS!!!  The total came to only $12 and that was 4 large burritos (my daughter could only eat 1/2) and 2 big drinks (their mediums are BIG!).

Can I just say WOW!!  We will be using our discount card at Filiberto's ALOT over the next 11 months:-)  We have already saved $17 of the $40 we spent on two cards, so it won't take long at all for us to come out ahead.....with many months still of use, too!!

I just LOVE a great bargain....AND great Mexican food!!

Best Grocery Deals in Phoenix Area This Week (Sept. 1-7, 2010)

I apologize for not posting these deals much lately.  I get my mail SO late in the day, that the days just seem to get away from be before I can get this done.  But I am going to start posting just the main grocery stores early, and then ad the ones I get in the mail later.  So here goes:

Whole seedless watermelon $1.88 (limit 2)
Pork loin baby back ribs Buy 1, Get 2 FREE ($6.99/lb)
Lay's Chips or Nabisco Snack Crackers 3/$5 (limit 3 each)
Blue Bunny Ice Cream 56 oz. $1.88 (limit 2)
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts $1.77/lb
Gatorade 32 oz. $0.69 (limit 10)
Hot dog or hamburger buns $0.88
Cool Whip $0.88
Rosarita Beans $0.88
Popsicles 12 ct. $0.88
Kraft BBQ Sauce $0.88
Hebrew National Beef Franks $1.97 (limit 4)
8 piece fried chicken $3.99
Mt. Olive Whole Kosher Dill Pickles 80 oz. $2.49 (there is also a coupon SS 8/1)
Clorox Bleach $1.99 (coupon SS 8/22)

Ro-Tel 10/$10
Rib Eye Steak $3.98/lb (first 2 value packs)
Split Chicken Breasts $0.98/lb (first 2)
Colorado Olathe Corn 6/$1
Watermelon $0.15/lb
Haas Avocados 2/$1
Blue Bunny Ice Cream $1.67 (w/in ad coupon - limit 1)
Bar-S Meat Franks $0.47 (w/in ad coupon - limit 2)
Lay's Potato Chips $1.77
Gatorade $0.77 32 oz.
Food Club Cheese 6-8 oz. $0.99 (first 4)
Oscar Mayer Beef Franks $1.88 (there is a coupon on

Hebrew National Beef Franks $1.97
Lay's Potato Chips $1.77
Dole Salad Blends $1
Red Seedless Grapes $0.77/lb
Popsicles 10/$10
Kroger Cottage Cheese $1
Kraft Cheese 50% off
Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce $0.97
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts $1.77/lb
Steamfresh Frozen Veggies 10/$10
Doritos $1.99
American Beauty Pasta 10/$10
Kroger American Cheese Singles 4/$5
Heinz Ketchup 40 oz. $1.47

Lay's Potato Chips $1.79 w/in ad coupon
Bar S Franks $0.88 w/in ad coupon
Hot Dog or Hamburger buns $0.89 w/ in ad coupon
Kraft Cheese $1.69 w/in ad coupon
Lucerne Slices 12 oz. $1.49

Well, that's it for now!  Some good deals on hot dogs and bbq sauce, for sure.  Can also load up for that last hot weeks with some Popsicles!  I will come back later tonight with the other ads and their deals for the week.

Happy Grocery Shopping!