Movies and other stuff January 18, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — spicemama @ 11:32 pm

Went to the movies with hubby today (he had a gift card – yay!) and saw the movie “The Dilemma” with Kevin James and Vince Vaughn. It was funny, but I thought it could have been betters- seemed a little underdeveloped. At least we had a nice “date day” together.


Speaking of movies, we love to watch movies. We rented “Shutter Island” last night. Now, I didn’t even want to watch it when I saw the previews because it looked so spooky and freaky. So many people told us that it wasn’t and that it was a good movie so we decided to watch it. First off – it isn’t spooky at all – but a bit freaky in the “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” type of way. Couple times I jumped and there is one scene with rats that totally made me cover my eyes. It wasn’t scary – but apparently I have a very strong aversion to hundreds of rats that I never realized! Second  – my brother looks eerily like Leonardo DiCaprio

The real Leonardo DiCaprio



The look-alike, with my adorable nephew








– so most movies with him in it are just a little too real to me. For example – there is a torture scene in “Body of Lies” that made me sob – I just couldn’t take it (not that enjoy torture scenes on a normal day), I truly felt like I was witnessing my brother be tortured. Terrible! Then in the movie “The Departed” he gets shot at the end – (sorry for the spoiler, but come on the movie is like 6 years old – if you haven’t seen it by now…) again – tears. Have you seen “Blood Diamond?” That movie is a tear jerker at the end anyway- but just imagine if it was your brother dying….


So, back to Shutter Island. I won’t spoil this one for you since it is relatively new – but let me just say that the fragility of the human psyche is mind-blowing – no pun intended. Psychological thrillers are really one of my favorite genre’s of movies – but this one really got me. Again, it didn’t help that I kept picturing Andy up there on the screen. It got to me so bad that D and I were talking about it again over lunch and I started crying over my fries. Really. D just laughs and says “Titanic all over again I am sure glad we are going to see a comedy!”


Side note – when Titanic came out – I was barely 21 years old, had been married just 3 years and had 2 kids under the age of 4 – I was on an emotional roller coaster much of the time. A friend of mine had seen Titanic and thought I would like it, so she offered to babysit and sent us on our way. While watching it, I cried like crazy. But I didn’t want anybody around to know it – so I cried the silent cry. You know – the cry that makes your throat hurt, head ache and your body is shaking. It didn’t stop there. I cried for a good week. I cried every time “My Heart Will Go On” came on the radio. I cried at dinner talking about it with friends. I cried in the car. I cried in my bed. I cried. It was ridiculous. I now firmly believe I was suffering from post partum-depression – but that’s a whole ‘nother story.


Anyway, I am sitting in McDonald’s (isn’t that where all married couples go on their weekly date?) bawling about how sad the movie was. How terrible it would be to have that happen to you. It feels like we are all [this close] to going insane. Kind of freaks a person out. Then it got me to thinking about how thankful I am to have Jesus. If my world fell apart (think Job), He would still be there for me. He will never leave me nor forsake me.  (Joshua 1:5)


God doesn’t promise us that we won’t have trials – we will, after all we live in a fallen world.  In James 1, he tells us “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,  because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”


Do you see that? It says WHENEVER you face trials. That means we will face them. We all will – we all do. Later on in the chapter, verse 12 to be exact – he (James) goes on to say “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” I don’t know about you – but I sure want that crown of life. You will bear suffering and affliction in this life – but it is only for a short time – but if you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who died on the cross for your sins – you will wear the crown of life for eternity.



A new haircut and other random ramblings January 15, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — spicemama @ 12:12 am

New Haircut

I got a haircut today and I love it! I hated my last haircut. I tried to live with it but every morning when I looked in the mirror I felt like an old lady – it was terrible! So I finally went in and got it cut by a different lady who I KNOW does a good job because she gave Jordan the best haircut he ever had a few months ago. Now I just need to color it to cover all the gray! Maybe that is why I saw  “old lady” every morning in the mirror! Ha! By the way – props to my 11-year-old daughter L for the great pic!

Did some more coupon shopping today. Did pretty good, but something went wrong at Walgreens and I ended up not buying anything. I don’t know what I did wrong, but things didn’t calculate out right. Let me tell you – people who are getting amazing deals are working for it big time! You have to pay such close attention to the fine print – sizes, quantities, limits, etc…and you need to know all the stores coupon guidelines. I printed those out and put them in my coupon binder because often the checkers don’t even know their own stores rules!

On another note, I have been doing pretty decent with my New Year’s Goals.  Some by my own doing, others because of extenuating circumstances – either way it works for me!

1. Waking up earlier – ummm not so great. Today I got up at 7am because a friends kids are staying with us for a couple of days and I needed to take their son to school. It worked out great though, I was able to get so much accomplished! Safeway, Rite Aid & Walgreens and back home by 8:30am! Have to get up again tomorrow by 7:15am to get K (my 15-year-old daughter) to a babysitting gig by 7:50am and they live about 15 min. away. Hope to go regular grocery shopping on my way home!

2. Jesus time – did the Inductive Bible Study two times this week. It was great, I really did retain the information better. I was amazed that several times I came across other scripture that related to what I had studied on and I was able to really associate it in a way that I hadn’t before. Of course, I also had specific prayer time/quiet time as well.  I also got better colored pencils – GO Crayola!

3. Lists – haven’t done great on this – been so wrapped up with couponing I have fallen down on the job with other stuff. I am going to start a list now though for this week, maybe the public accountability will keep me on task:

  • clean the garage – again!
  • make some of these adorable fabric birds- love me some birdies!
  • pay bills
  • clean the van
  • build something!

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend and accomplish much and also take some time to rest!

‘There are six days when you may work, but the seventh day is a day of sabbath rest, a day of sacred assembly. You are not to do any work; wherever you live, it is a sabbath to the LORD.” Leviticus 23:3


I did it! So can you! Crazy Couponing January 14, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — spicemama @ 12:21 am
Tags: ,

All this for $8!

I realize I am not a pro here, but for my first trip out, I think I did pretty well.  I even got $4.50 in Register Rewards to use on my next trip! So really, I think that would mean I technically got everything shown for more like $3.50!

Now, this was a much planned out trip and unfortunately, I wasn’t able to purchase everything I wanted due to many items being out of stock such as:

Quaker Quick Oats (2 for $3 with in ad coupon + 2 $1 off coupons) = 2 for $1

Stayfree pads ($3 off in ad + buy one get one free) = 2 for .79 cents

Go Kids Vitamin Gummies (buy one for $5, get $5 Register Rewards) = FREE

It is not all a loss, I will hit up the other Walgreens nearby tomorrow and see if I can get those items there. I am also going to hit Rite Aid and Safeway tomorrow. Nothing super exciting, however the 80/20 ground beef is on sale at Safeway which is an awesome deal – I will definitely stock up.

I am really hoping that once I get in the routine of doing the couponing that it will go faster. Between cutting, sorting and writing out my detailed list for all three stores and then going to just ONE of the stores, I felt like I spent hours working on it. I imagine it will speed up. It was really fun to see the checker point out what great deals I was getting! I can see how it would become addictive to the people on the TLC show Extreme Couponing, but it really could become a full-time job if you let it.


So now I want to know, do you coupon?


Hunting and Gathering…Deals January 8, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — spicemama @ 9:58 pm
Tags: ,

So I made it to the dreaded grocery store today. Let me tell you, Saturdays are NOT the day to do grocery shopping! It is a madhouse out there. But I persevered – I hunted and gathered food for my family for the week. Doesn’t that sound so much more noble that “grocery shopped?” It makes me feel like perhaps I lived up to a bit to the Proverbs 31 woman.

“She is like a merchant’s ship, bringing her family food from afar.” Proverbs 31:14

Of course, if you go on to read further, it also says She gets up while it is still dark and prepares food for her family.” verse 15.

Ummm, yeah, no. Not here. As my kids would say “FAIL.” I am such a night owl, the only time I get up when it is still dark is if there is a sick child in the house.  I have always stayed up later at night than I should and slept later in the morning than a lot of moms I know. Thankfully, my kids are all pretty good sleepers!

However, years ago when we lived in California I used to get up at the ungodly hour of 5:45am almost every Saturday to go to garage sales. Insane!  But the love of a deal and perhaps a newfound treasure lured me out of my nice warm bed into the dark misty morning. I would strap my little ones (just had the older 2 at that time) into their car seats with their blankies, toys and breakfast and off we would go. I was usually home by 8:30am. Where we live now, the typical garage sale doesn’t even start until 8 or 9am. I still head out once in a while, but it doesn’t feel quite like the same hunt that it used to be.

Now I typically do my prowling at the Goodwill or on Craigslist. Hubby and I both have Monday’s off work, so occasionally we will have a “date” and go scout out other thrift stores in town. I am always on the hunt for a deal, and with enough patience – I usually find them. I have earned a reputation of sorts in my circle of friends as being able to get crazy good bargains. If someone is looking for something specific, just let me know and I will keep my eyes open! Betcha sooner or later I’ll find it!

I have to give credit for my bargain hunting nose to my mom. My mom always took me (and often a friend) to garage sales and thrift stores as a kid. When I was old enough and had my own job and money – one of my favorite things to do was go to the big Goodwill in the town 45 minutes away to scour the racks for name brands that everyone else paid an arm and a leg for. I still remember my first pair of Guess jeans. I bought them for $7 at Goodwill when they were selling at Gottschalks for $45! If I wasn’t hooked before then, I was now!

Thankfully, my daughters seem to have caught the bug. Recently, my 15 year old daughter was shopping with a friend. She found a shirt that she liked and looked at the price tag. I don’t even remember what it cost, but she said “that’s the bad thing about having my mom, I can’t make myself spend more than $5 for a shirt.”

Fail? I think not!

The Good Wife

10 It is hard to find a good wife,
because she is worth more than rubies.
11 Her husband trusts her completely.
With her, he has everything he needs.
12 She does him good and not harm
for as long as she lives.
13 She looks for wool and flax
and likes to work with her hands.
14 She is like a trader’s ship,
bringing food from far away.
15 She gets up while it is still dark
and prepares food for her family
and feeds her servant girls.
16 She inspects a field and buys it.
With money she earned, she plants a vineyard.
17 She does her work with energy,
and her arms are strong.
18 She knows that what she makes is good.
Her lamp burns late into the night.
19 She makes thread with her hands
and weaves her own cloth.
20 She welcomes the poor
and helps the needy.
21 She does not worry about her family when it snows,
because they all have fine clothes to keep them warm.
22 She makes coverings for herself;
her clothes are made of linen and other expensive material.
23 Her husband is known at the city meetings,
where he makes decisions as one of the leaders of the land.
24 She makes linen clothes and sells them
and provides belts to the merchants.
25 She is strong and is respected by the people.
She looks forward to the future with joy.
26 She speaks wise words
and teaches others to be kind.
27 She watches over her family
and never wastes her time.
28 Her children speak well of her.
Her husband also praises her,
29 saying, “There are many fine women,
but you are better than all of them.”
30 Charm can fool you, and beauty can trick you,
but a woman who respects the Lord should be praised.
31 Give her the reward she has earned;
she should be praised in public for what she has done.

Proverbs 31:10-31


Time to shop…

Filed under: Uncategorized — spicemama @ 1:40 am

Have you seen that show “Outrageous Foods” on the Food Network? Man it is making me hungry. Which is really absurd considering the weird stuff they have on there. At least it is somewhat motivating me to go to the grocery store. I hate the grocery store. OK, not the grocery store itself – but the act of shopping doesn’t thrill me.

I shop primarily at Winco. Winco’s prices are great, but man you sure have to work for it! I mean, think about it.

#1 You walk down the isles putting food in your cart as you go. Typically having to play bumper carts with people who don’t understand the concept of two lanes of traffic on an isle. It is just like a street people! Northbound on the right, southbound on the left – it really isn’t that hard! So you load up your cart while trying not to get mown, mowed, ??? down.

#2 You get up to the register and try to figure out which check out lane has the best checker with the least people waiting. You’re up. You now start UNloading your cart onto the conveyor belt. It goes along nicely with the checker speedily scanning your food and sending it on its way down the next conveyor to the bagging area. You then proceed to the end of the lane and TURN YOUR CART AROUND AT THE END OF YOUR OWN LANE. It would seem though that all the people who don’t know the proper traffic patterns on the isles also do not have the sense to do this so their carts are all willy-nilly in everyone’s way.

#3  Your now purchased food is ready to be bagged. You try to bag as quickly as you can because those checkers book it! They have 2 sides of the lane that they can check out. I feel like I am always in a race against the person across from me to see who can get done first. I usually lose. For one, I have 4 kids and a husband along with myself  that I have to shop for. That alone already puts my quantity of groceries above the average family (you should hear some of the comments I get when I purchase our weekly 6 gallons of milk). On top of that, I am quite anal about HOW I bag my groceries. I have a method. It makes perfect sense, and I am sure others do this or would benefit greatly if they did. I put all refrigerated items in the same bags, freezer items in same bag, fruit together, boxes together, cans together, etc, etc…

#4 Now, you have to make your way out (in the pouring rain much of the time in the beautiful Northwest) to your car and UNload your now bagged groceries from the cart and LOAD them into the car. All the while people are parked waiting with their blinker on to take your spot. I feel so much pressure to get done and get out of there. Interestingly enough – I saw one time a study they did on Dateline that showed that people who KNOW someone is waiting for their spot take like 30% LONGER to finish than people who don’t have anybody waiting. Crazy huh? Well, I am not one of those people.  I rush to get the heck out of the way.

#5 Finally, I get home and holler for the husband and kids to get the groceries. Since I did the shopping, they bring the groceries in the house. I think it is only fair, don’t you? So the kids mope skip happily out to the car and sing songs of joy as they bring in my bounty. Actually, they usually are thrilled to bring in the groceries so they can pilfer through and call dibs on whatever snacks I have brought home, since of course it has been ages or at least 6 days since the last time I went to the store and everyone is starving!

#6 Last of all, it is time to put away the groceries. Everyone usually chips in and puts away a different category of food (see how handy bagging the different types of groceries together is?). The shopping trip is now done.

Each item of food has now been handled how many times? Hmmm, let me count. Shelf to cart, cart to conveyor, conveyor to bags, bags to cart, cart to car, car to house, house to pantry. SEVEN times! No wonder I hate going to the grocery store – it is exhausting work.

I think I just lost my motivation. And my appetite.


Why am I still awake? January 6, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — spicemama @ 1:32 am
Tags: ,

It is 12:22am and I am still up. Why? Because everyone else is sleeping peacefully and I am enjoying the quiet time. The tv is off and the cat is snoring on the couch next to me. This is holy time in my home. 4 homeschooled kids who sing and play instruments, 4 cats, a 15 month old we babysit and a husband who plays guitar doesn’t make for much quiet time around here as you can imagine.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my life. I love the busyness and the chaos.

OK, I lied. I don’t like the chaos. I like a clean house. I like children who do chores without prompting. Yeah right – what would that be like? I doubt I will ever know. I wasn’t lying though when I said that I love my life. I do. It is a bit crazy at times, but that’s just how we roll.

Speaking of crazy life, I didn’t do a New Years resolution list or anything (I never do). However, I did kind of come up with a few things I would like to try to accomplish this year. Of course, I had to write it down for prosperity (or at least so I can come back in 2 and a half months and see how miserably I failed. OK, 3 weeks…) but here goes.

Get up earlier. Like 8am. I mean, that is early for a chronic night owl like myself.

Jesus time. First thing in the morning. I am trying something new – Inductive Bible Study. Check out Mandipidy’s method- easy peasy. I think I shall try it. I even bought colored pencils today at the Dollar Tree. They stink – I need Crayola brand ones or something.

Coupons. I saw the Extreme Couponing show on TLC and couldn’t resist. I had a Jesus Loves Me* moment at the Goodwill today when I found a binder with business card page protectors inside for only .99 cents. I knew it was meant to be that I start couponing when I found that! (I was on my way to Office Depot to buy some baseball card page protectors for $5 for 10 sheets when I though to run by the Goodwill first. Said a quick prayer and voila! Jesus loves Me!

Lists. I find that I accomplish much more on a daily basis if I keep a constant list going. I enjoy the process of marking things off my list (even if I write down things I already did just so I can mark them off).

So, that’s it for now. Hopefully some of these things will stick around longer than 3 weeks. Even if I realize certain things need modified for our schedule or lifestyle – at least I am giving it a shot! What about you? Do you have any New Year’s Resolutions or undertakings?

*At my church’s yearly Women’s Retreat, our fearless leader – I mean Pastor’s wife – encouraged us to remember even in the little things that Jesus Loves Me. Whether it is an empty parking space right at the front door of the grocery store on a rainy day, or a brilliant sunset as you drive home from work after a hard day – Jesus loves you! So now, anytime something happens that just gives me the happy chills – I think to myself “Jesus Loves Me”!