Friday, February 29, 2008

Keeping Watch Over My Lips

Psalm 141:3
Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.

I LOVE this Bible verse, ... it is probably my single favorite verse. I feel like it was written as a prayer just for me because God knew some day, I would be born and need it my whole life:). (Yes, I can hear all of my family laughing out loud from halfway across the country).

I found it in college and have prayer it on a regular basis ever since. When I say too much, when I say things I shouldn't, when I am feeling weak I pray this prayer. I never want to use my "gift of gab" to hurt others, and yet I know I have over the years. I still need this prayer and I am sure many others can agree they could use it, at least from time to time.

Celebrate the gift of our extra 24 hours we get today. I often hear others (and myself) pray for extra time - well here we go. We shouldn't waste it.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Thrifty Thursday: Prescription Coupons, FSA Accounts

Thanks to my mom for this one:). If you go to individual drug makers web sites (just Google search them) you can often print off coupons or rebates for your prescription and non-prescription medicines. She said she got $20 in coupons the other day. Some it looks like you can do it every time you want one and some are a one time deal.

I take Zyrtec D and I found a $2 off coupon here and a $10 off rebate coupon for Astelin here.

Also, if you have a flexible spending account, make sure to claim all your money in your account with reimbursable drug and medical costs. Most companies allow 2007 claims up until March 15, 2008, so you still have a few weeks. If you do not use the tax-free money, you lose it so make sure to use all in the account.

If you do not have an FSA account, you can deduct medical expenses and costs if you itemize on your tax returns.

Leap Year Specials

So marketers will use any "special" day to give away items or sell items. There are a lot of deals out there, but some of them are only for people with leap year birthdays or those currently vacationing in the Bahamas, so I will stick with the ones that apply to a broader group of average people.

You can get a free McSkillet Burrito at McDonalds today and tomorrow (but only today for fasting Catholics) with the purchase of a large or medium drink. Apparently, you can get a free 4-piece chicken nuggets after 11 today as well.

If you are traveling, check with your hotel and you may get a deal. Here are a few I saw posted:

From the daily deals blog in the LA Times:
A couple of hotels are offering discounts on bookings that you make on Feb. 29. On that Friday, reserve a $179 room (pre-tax) at the James Chicago for any holiday weekend in 2008, and get a continental breakfast and free room upgrade thrown in.

The Buckingham Hotel in Manhattan is holding a sale between 7 p.m. (EST) Thursday, Feb. 28, and 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 29. Under this promo, you can book Friday-to-Monday stays from Feb. 29 to July 7 for as little as $169 per night (pre-tax). Use booking code “LEAP.”

From the NY Times:
Papa John’s will give customers whose birthdays fall on any of the other 365 days of 2008 other special online offers on Friday, like three large pizzas with three toppings, all for $29.29.

There are a lot out there, but these are just a few I found.

According to the Mercury Papa John's is offering three large pizzas for $29.29 on Friday. In our household, we wouldn't eat that much in weeks, but if you're having a party, maybe you would.

BTW, for all you Chipotle fans, Chipotle's free burrito on Leap Year they do every leap year is apparently not happening this year according to their Wikipedia entry. I could not find anything on their (non -searchable, Flash site:( ), but whatever. So sorry to all my friends who are Chipotle fans, especially those working just across the street from one:(.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Thrifty Thursday - Digital TV Transition - Converter Coupon

Yes I know it's Friday, but whatever:).

Therefore, next year, television will no longer be broadcast in analog and the television signals are to be converted to digital. I am not an expert, by any means, but have figured out this means our television, which does not have a digital converter box, will be obsolete. After a bit more research, I found out that I don't have to go out and buy a new TV if we want to still have TV (much to my husband's dismay).

First of all, if you get cable, I believe you don't have to make any major changes until 2012, but don't quote me on that.

If you are not getting an HDTV or DTV anytime soon and we would like to still have our basic stations even. You can get a coupon for $40 off a converter box (they are supposed to retail at between $50 and $60) while the coupons last.

Click here to get your coupon.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

For All Those Toys

We have been trying to figure out good ways to organize our toys and get our son, who is 21 months, to help clean them up. I picked up these really cool Sterilite containers at Target (I think they are new because I've never seen them before).

We took pictures of the three main containers of toys and got them printed. Then we took some contact paper and labeled each container so he has a picture and a word to go with each box. The labels are not perfect, he spent the whole time trying to hold the pictures of his favorite toys, but they work.

The best part is the containers stack on top of each other so at the end of the day, we stack them up and wheel them into a corner. Also our son is so excited to pick up his toys and match them with the pictures on the boxes. Who knows how long that will last, but works for now:).

Friday, February 15, 2008

A Lenten Prayer

A woman in my Lenten faith-sharing group handed this out the other night. I think it is a great challenge for all of us who often think fasting ends with no meat and less treats ... I know I need to be reminded.

Fast from judging others; feast on the Christ indwelling in them.
Fast from emphasis on differences; feast on the unity of all life.
Fast from apparent darkness; feast on the reality of light.
Fast from words that pollute; feast on phrases that purify.
Fast from discontent; feast on gratitude.
Fast from anger; feast on patience.
Fast from pessimism; feast on optimism.
Fast from worry; feast on trust.
Fast from complaining; feast on appreciation.
Fast from negatives; feast on affirmatives.
Fast from unrelenting pressures; feast on unceasing prayer.
Fast from hostility; feast on nonviolence.
Fast from bitterness; feast on forgiveness.
Fast from self-concern; feast on compassion for others.
Fast from personal anxiety; feast on eternal truth.
Fast from discouragement; feast on hope.
Fast from facts that depress; feast on truths that uplift.
Fast from lethargy; feast on enthusiasm.
Fast from suspicion; feast on truth.
Fast from thoughts that weaken; feast on promises that inspire.
Fast from idle gossip; feast on purposeful silence.

I believe that God has created each soul, that that soul belongs to God, and that each soul has to find God in its own lifetime and enter into His life. That is what is important. All of us need to seek God and find Him. - Blessed Mother Teresa

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Thrifty Thursday: Employer Discounts, Watching Receipts

For those of you who work with big companies, it is worth a bit of time to look into what type of discounts they have with other companies. Oftentimes, you don't get a packet saying "take advantage of these discounts," but they do exist.

My husband and I looked into this with his company this week and realized our wireless carrier offers a 19% discount each month on voice plans. For us, that comes to another $20 a month. All we have to do is set up the information with them.

I know his company and health care also offer discounts everywhere from the gym to travel and car rental discounts.

Also, I was reminded of a good lesson this week: ALWAYS CHECK YOUR RECEIPTS. I got home from Wal-Mart and realized the skillet I had bought for nearly $30 had been charged twice on our bill. It was the first thing the cashier rang up and I was still unloading items from my cart. That mistake had increased my bill by 25% so I brought the receipt back and spoke with customer service and was refunded the extra money.

I didn't actually check my receipt for many days though and almost missed out on the opportunity to get it corrected. It was a good reminder for me.

Have a great day!


So this is kinda funny...

It's called iGod and has the tagline "repenting made easy." I am sure someone had a blast creating this.

On a more serious note - every church in our local diocese is holding confessions each Wednesday night of Lent in addition to their regular Saturday ones. Not sure what other dioceses are doing, but it's a great thing to do, especially since it is the season of repentance and forgiveness. My husband found this out and suggested it to me.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

*FREE* Suze Orman's 'Women And Money' Book

Suze Orman was on Oprah today. I have read a bit of her books and like her frankness on budgets and managing money. I don't agree with her on everything, but do think she is very practical and real about what are needs and what are wants. Anyway, who doesn't like a free book:)? It usually retails for almost $25.

So if you are reading this today (February 13), you can download her entire 'Women And Money' book from the Oprah site until 8 pm EST tomorrow (February 14) night.

Since we have been working so hard at saving money, it is of particular interest to me, but I know we are not alone, especially in this day and age.

So go get your free book:). It's 274 pages I believe.

Happy reading!

Loving Our Bodies Just The Way They Are

I was reading Good Housekeeping (yes I know I'm getting old:), but truthfully I have been reading it regularly since I was about 10) and I came across this column by Geneen Roth.

She recounts a very interesting story and it reminds you, many things in life are just a matter of perspective.

She talks about women hating their bodies and getting down about having large thighs or not being able to lose the baby weight. Then she recounts the story of a graduate student she knew who had been misdiagnosed with a brain tumor. She points out that during the time the woman thought she had a brain tumor, at no point did it enter her mind she wished she had spent more time getting the "perfect" body.

I have struggled with this tremendously over the years, as have many in my family and many friends as well. I spent a summer as the director of an art program at a camp on the East Coast during college and for the first time in my life, the idea of the perfect body wasn't a 100-pound blond haired blue-eyed girl (which I'm not). Not long after that, I spent time in Mexico and both experiences together gave me a broader perspective on beauty and helped me become more grateful for the body God gave me, even with all its imperfections.

I love articles like this that put "problems" like a crooked nose or a little bit extra weight into perspective.

My body, flawed as it may be, has carried two of the most precious gifts, my boys, into my life, not to mentioned nourished them and helped them grow into babies for nine months in the womb.

My body has helped me travel around the world, helped me hike around Europe, study in Mexico, live in several states and experience many new communities. My heart has worked hard to keep pumping. My cells work hard to repair themselves when I clumsily fall and sustain injuries, usually in an effort to save my camera:). My muscles built themselves up so I could play soccer, tennis, basketball, run and do scuba.

I know many people can tell you it just takes a serious illness to make you really appreciate normalcy.

How cool is it that God created our bodies to know what we need, when we need it? I know I can often think about what I don't like about my body, but when I sit down and think about it, I am so grateful it works and has given me the opportunity to live life. I challenge everyone to take a moment and thank God for our bodies and the way they were made. I love the column made me remember what I love about my body. Hope it does the same for you.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

A Time For Reflection

Today is Ash Wednesday, the official start of Lent and a period of reflection in Christians' lives. I always have a million aspects I want to improve, but none more important than being more faithful to God and His plan for me in my life.

One of my favorite quotes of all times really has made me think over the years.

From this vantage point, he could see clearly that those who pursue holiness can find both holiness and happiness, while those who pursue happiness find neither.

~ from "Deadline" by Randy Alcorn

Powerful, bold and very true. Most of the times I am filled with the most holiness and happiness is when I am serving others and focusing on following where God is leading me, not when I focus on myself, my material possessions or other relatively trivial matters.

A little kick off for the next 40 days of reflection:).

Monday, February 4, 2008

Why I Love Kids

I love kids for so many reasons, but oftentimes things happen that put a smile on my face and remind me how much I love my little boys:). I was cleaning up today when I realized a parking lot had formed underneath our rocking chair. It put a big smile on my face as I saw all the little cars lined up. I love kids and their imaginations:). Hope you find something that puts a smile on your face today.

About Me

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I'm a mommy, wife and educated woman with an inquisitive mind. I am always looking in ways to challenge and grow in my faith. Many wise people I have known have reminded me if I am not growing, I am going in the wrong direction.