Friday, March 27, 2009

Insert Witty Title here. Commence Reading Immediately.

There are only a few shows on TV that I watch with any consistency, so my exposure to commercials is limited, but there is one commercial that stands out in my mind right now. Maybe because I need coffee...but probably because I want to yell from my rooftop about finding your gifting and operating in it.

Do you know which commercial I'm talking about? It's a silly Dunkin' Donuts commercial where they are all yelling about their extreme love of coffee. =) Have you seen it? They also mention going to their website for free samples, but they are all already gone. Hrmph.

Never-the-less, it's a good picture of how I feel about the ministry of Proverbs 31. Lysa Terkeurst and her team do a phenomenal job encouraging moms in the ministry of balancing motherhood, marriage, and finding and operating in your gifts and calling. Specifically if you have a hankering to be a speaker or writer. The She Speaks conference is coming up and I just want to climb to the top of the house and holler about it. No painfully shy bones in THIS body.

In fact Lysa is giving a scholarship away to the conference to one very blessed blogger. Since I know God is ultimately in control of who the team decides on, I will be extremely happy for whomever they select.

But it never hurts to enter. Especially when I feel that God has a burning desire in me to share with and encourage women in the daily grind. I have always wondered what I would do when I 'grew up.' I have also heard that Life gets 'Fabulous at 40.' Perhaps both those together make for the perfect opportunity for me to attend this conference this summer.

I have found that I really enjoy teaching women about Personality Styles. Surprisingly, there are lots of gals (and guys) who are unfamiliar with the differences between specific personalities and how to relate to and communicate with others who are wired differently than they are. It is positively energizing to see faces light up with understanding when they have the A-HA moment that says, "So THAT'S why xyz happens when I do ABC."

It is rewarding to empower families with this new information because I know that it can transform the way they communicate with each other. It's no secret that satan is after families today. It's my opinion that learning about the different personality styles (and applying that knowledge!!) coupled with the parenting/marriage nuggets found in God's Word can deliver a one-two punch that will defeat satan's schemes. Really.

I have a passion in my heart to share this knowledge with others...I just need a launching pad. I believe She Speaks might be that pad. =) know, a story about alien abduction might get me noticed too...hmmm.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Ultimate Blog Party '09~ Howdy

Ultimate Blog Party 2009

Welcome to my little corner of the web. I love to have fun and a good party is one thing I simply can't pass up. The Ultimate Blog Party is a week long super fun bloggy hoedown that gives bloggers a chance to both get their blog noticed and meet other bloggers. I'm so excited to participate.

A little about me. I've been married to the love of my life for 15 years and I am mother to four great kids (three boys and a princess). I've been homeschooling them for 9 years and have used a good mix of different curricula over the years. The core of our learning has been Unit Study and delight directed, although the older they get, the more need I see for a little more structure. That could be a challenge...or it could be God's very sneaky way of boning me up in an area where I mostly resemble jelly.

I love dark chocolate, hot coffee, my sweet husband, Jesus Christ and really good books...not necessarily in that order. I am a bit of a resource girl and I can burn up the internet looking for the answer to what ever today's dilemma is. I was a better mom before I got a computer though as I am totally addicted to blogging, shopping, reading recipes, gathering information and often aimless surfing...usually a search gone wrong, probably started with good intentions. I am terribly disorganized and struggle with time and money management. Good thing is, I know that those are my weak spots, so I am not disappointed when I miss the mark. I am always trying to improve...if READING books on organization made you organized, I would have a Better Homes and Gardens model home!

I am generally positive and very outgoing. I like to have fun and laugh (and when I do, you'll hear it!). I like to play games, board games are the best. If there was a way to teach my kids using only board games, we'd be soooo there.... haven't found that yet, but there's still time.

I believed for a long time I was born for the stage (as in acting) but then I gave a talk/presentation on something I was already passionate and knowledgeable about and it was *AWESOME*. There were no lines to memorize, no blocking to think through, the words and thought were all mine and the feedback was tremendously positive and encouraging. So now, I want to grow up to be a public speaker, probably to moms...definitely women. I adore being in front of a's even better if I have something relevant to share. I have enjoyed sharing encouragement for homeschool moms with regard to Casting a Homeschooling Vision and also on Personality Styles. I hope to expand my speaking repertoire to include more subjects as I get more gigs. If you are looking for a fun presenter who is passionate about encouraging moms, I might be it...

I'm so glad you popped in. I really love meeting new people. If you'll leave me comment, I be sure to pop over to your blog and say hello back. Because we both know, we are in this for the comments. Comments=blogger crack.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Coupons, Schmoopons... and, what's that? Massive savings?

Hello bloggy friends,

My goodness it's been too long. After all my posting on the internet love of my new flock browser, my favorite feature being the easy blog clipboard, it has failed me. Yes, I have been unable to blog from flock. I have tried to figure it out, but it's no secret that technology and I are not really good friends. As a result, my poor blog has been neglected...and just as I was beginning to build momentum and see more than two hits a day! Ah well.

So I am back at the blogger platform because I am busting at the seams to share a huge, HUGE success story. No, the skinny fairy did not visit me...

But the Coupon Maven did. =D I have shared before about my abysmal failure with couponing. Anything that seems to require a level of discipline and organization eludes me. Maybe because I have spent my alloted quantity of brain cells in that area homeschooling for the past 9 years. (and with many more to go, I need to use those cells wisely!)

Even though organizing or crafting a system from the ground up seems frightening and overwhelming, if you show me a system (again, only in baby steps, please) I can run with it. I am very good at taking directions!! Once I am comfortable with an idea/system, I do not mind making it my own and tweaking a bit, it's just the pulling it together part that is too much for me.

About a year ago, I saw a blog button for a site called "the Grocery Game." Whaat? Grocery shopping, a game? I despise grocery shopping, unless there are lots of free samples through out the store and I do not have to think about the money being spent just ending up in the toilet (get what I mean?) I love games and so I was intrigued. What I don't love are complicated rules and directions. Although I read the rules before playing a new game (what, doesn't everyone??!), I like to 'get it' the first time through. If I have to keep referring to them to understand what happens next, it's going to e-bay friends. That's how I felt about that particular site. I gleaned some useful information and got some new ideas, but overall, the directions seemed to complex and the buying window to maximize savings way too short.

I was not a lost cause though, because the main idea that stuck with me was 'need shopping versus building a stockpile.' My curiousity had me reading blogs and finding out more over the last year. I've just been mariniating my brain in the how-to part a little at a time...those baby steps are really important.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago, I took a coupon class at a local church on how to maximize your savings shopping the sales and using coupons. Many of the same ideas I had been introduced to before were presented and this time I decided to really explore further on the web and in the blogosphere the great big beautiful world of coupons shopping.

Oh my bloggy friends, couponing is rockin and rollin the blog world. I found some fabulous resources, some recommended at the class, others on my own. It is worth exploring!

Some basic principles to make coupons work hardest for you are to wait until an item is at it's best sale price and THEN use your coupon(s) to get it even lower, in many cases *FREE*!! As inspirational as free sounds, it would be too much work if *I* had to scan the sales papers to find the sales and them match the coupons, but Jenny at Southern Savers does it for me! Another great resource for learning to work the drugstores to get almost all your personal care items free is Claire at ChoysterCash. She is running a ten week e-course right now on how to do just that! It's not too late to toothpaste, people!! A couple other favorites are & MoneySavingMom. Any of these have links to lots more resources (it can be overwhelming, go slow).

So here's my bottom line. After the class, I was truly inspired. It was like a late night infomercial where the gal waves a mile long register tape and says, "I got $250 worth of groceries for $8.00!!" Only, these gals were right in front of me and had three tables loaded with stuff they got for free or pennies on the dollar.

I clipped, I printed (internet printable coupons)I went to e-bay and bought some coupons (you have to have coupons to start!). I sorted and organized. (I almost fell off the wagon at this step. Organization is so paralyzing to me. Perhaps I need professional help.) I made my list and checked it twice. I was very worked up about the whole experience by this time. I have a lot of time and effort invested, what if I didn't so something right? What if I don't have enough coupons? What if it doesn't really work?

On the way out the door, my 14 year old, noting my frayed condition, said, "You're nervous?! About coupons??!

Bloggy friends, gather round. I can tell you, couponing this way does work. If I can do it, anyone can.

My total savings for the night was a whopping $114!!! That's right, 40% of my total bill was wiped out using coupons on my first time out!!

Cue, "I'm a Believer" music now. I understand the game now. And the high of winning. Now I want to beat my best score. Which, incidentally helps me relate to my boys and thier love of all things competitive. Who knew couponing would make me a better mom?

I'm completely sold. So sold that last Sunday, I gathered the children around the dining room table for what will become the weekly ritual of clipping sorting and filing. If you're not planning to use your coupons, send 'em on to me. I'll play for both of us.