Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Marsh ad highlights - 7/1 through 7/7

I'm LOVING the Marsh 4th of July sale!  Sometimes they make a special four-day only sale (Thursday through Sunday) near a holiday but this sale lasts the whole week!

Ground beef - $1.38/lb (save $1.11/lb) limit 10lbs
Ground chuck - $1.68/lb (save $1.61/lb) limit 10lbs
Aunt Millie's bread or buns - B1G2 (yes TWO!) FREE - grillin' dogs and weiners for the 4th?  What a great way to get free buns!
Whole seedless watermelon - $1.99 (with in ad coupon and additional $15 purchase, limit one)
12pack 7-up, Coke or Pepsi - $1.99 (when you buy two with in ad coupon and additional $15 purchase, limit one)
Johnsonville brats - 2/$7 (save $2.98 on two)
Perdue chicken leg quarters - $.68/lb (save $.61/lb) limit three
Lay's potato chips - 2/$4 (save $3.98 on two)
Kraft cheese - $1.69 (save $.80 or more)
Western style pork ribs - $1.68 (save $.71/lb)
Spareribs - $1.98/lb (save $1.01/lb)
St Louis style spareribs - $2.98 (save $.51/lb)
Indiana Kitchen pork baby backribs - $3.98/lb (save $1.01/lb)
Country style ribs - $2.48/lb (save $.51/lb)
New York strip (bone-in) or Boneless Top Blade Flat Iron steaks - $5.98/lb (NY strip - save $4.01/lb, Flat Iron - save $1.01/lb)
Perdue boneless, skinless chicken breasts - B1G1 FREE (save $4.49/lb) limit four
In-husk bi-color corn - 10/$2 (save $4.70 on ten)
Oscar Mayer bologna or weiners - B1G1 FREE
Nabisco crackers - 2/$4 (save $2.56 or more on two)
10lb Russet potatoes - B1G1 FREE
Blue Bunny or Weight Watchers ice cream novelties - 50% off
Sara Lee turkey breast - $5.99/lb (save $1.70/lb)
Eckrich ham - $3.99/lb (save $2.00/lb)
Propel Fitness water - 10/$10
Sweet Baby Ray's bbq and dipping sauces - B1G1 FREE
Kraft Mayo or Miracle Whip - $2.49
Country Time lemonade - B1G1 FREE
Kraft bbq sauce - 10/$10
Betty Crocker brownie mix - 10/$10
Food Club sauce or McCormick marinades - 10/$10
Mission tortillas - 2/$4
Hershey's candy bars - 2/$1
Del Monte Gold pineapple - $2.99
Red Cluster tomatoes - $1.99

And I'm sure there is more than would catch your eye...these are the items that caught my eye or might match up with current coupons.  Happy shopping!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

We're not homeschoolers but I had to share...

Our kiddo isn't in kindergarten so no homeschooling for us but we do know that she'll be attending a public school when the time comes.  This summer though, she is attending School de Mamaw and Papaw!  My parents have worked for the school systems for a combined 55 years (my dad teaches 7th grade Earth Science and my mom works in an elementary school as a paraprofessional...many years in the library) and have dedicated their summer to helping my niece and nephew and LeeAnn with their learning.

The three kids are seven-, five- and four-years-old (entering second, kindergarten and preschool this fall) and love to learn.  They all have things they struggle in and things they excel in and my parents are working hard to help them excel even more.

Since my niece and nephew are at my parents daily (in the mornings) they get to play "school" all the time.  C works on learning her letters and number.  L reads outloud to Papaw and is working his math too.  And when Mamaw is home (she also works part-time at the public library) she does the same work with them.  LeeAnn is so jealous that they get to play school so often (she only goes in the afternoon for an hour or two) so this evening we went over so she could show me what she was able to do this afternoon.

Enter pudding.  Yep.  Plain ol' pudding is used at my parent's house as a teaching device.  And LeeAnn LOVES it.

Mamaw spoons a cup of pudding onto a plate and then also sets another plate, a spoon and a napkin on the table.  As LeeAnn is going through her flash cards, she is writing the letters she doesn't recognize right away into her pudding and then when she's done she'll lick the pudding off, use the spoon to smooth the pudding and go on to the next card. 

While using your finger to write isn't the same as using a pencil to write, it gives her the same basic concept and she loves that she is playing in the pudding.  And when she's done, she'll eat what's left of the pudding and get cleaned up.

Another game LeeAnn was able to play tonight involved her letter flash cards and a fly swatter (and a quick, or sometimes not so quick, Mamaw).  Mamaw sets several (four to six) flash cards on the table and then calls off a letter.  LeeAnn is supposed to try to swat the right letter with her fly swatter (a brand new clean one, by the way) before Mamaw reaches up there and swipes the card she called off away.  This is supposed to get her going with quick recognition of the letters.

The time that my parents have spent working with other kids is amazing.  The fact that they are spending multiple hours per day helping their grandkids is even more amazing.  My dad often teases me during the summer that he's just going to lay around and read a book while I work (because I work year-round).  This summer though, between teaching the kids and carting them around to various swim lessons and library classes, I'm not sure he (or my mom) have had any time to read just for the joy of it.  And I had to share these because I thought they were fun, easy and cheap ways to maybe show your kids another way to learn. 

Monday, June 28, 2010

So the Heluva Good dip we bought last night?

Yeah.  The whole container got decimated.  Brian and I put a good hurtin' on it and then he took it to his brother's and that was the end of the that.  BUT I had another coupon so I stopped by Marsh again tonight.

1 jalepeno cheddar Heluva Good dip was $2.49 for $.75 (on sale 2/$3.00 and then used a $.75 coupon)

Total spent:  $.75
Total saved:  $1.74 (70%)


Oh and I got more of those coupons from a friend today.  I think I might be going back for more before this sale ends on Wednesday!

Regular weekly shopping at Marsh

And our regular weekly trip to Marsh involved Brian running out to the car for a $5 (from my blow money!) because we didn't have enough in the envelope to cover what I had bought.

1 Dixie plate was $3.75 for $1.00 (for my granny)
3 Frosted Flakes was $8.55 for $4.47
1 No Yolk noodles was $2.29 for $1.54
2 Marsh large 12ct eggs was $2.98 for $1.76
1 Aunt Millie bread was $2.99 for $1.44
2 Heluva Good dips was $4.98 for $1.50 (and these are GOOD - ohmygosh...if I had known before how good these were, I'd a been buying them a LONG time ago.)
2 Edy's ice cream was $10.98 for $4.49
4 Uncle Ben's Ready Rice was $10.20 for $7.96 (not the best price, but better than full price)
2 YoPlus 4ct yogurts was $5.00 for $2.00
2 Bar-S bologna was $1.98 for $.98
1 Lawry's marinade was $3.29 for $.99

All that along with milk, marked-down pork tenderloin (saved more than 50%), a yogurt for shorty (an M&M one), lasagna, fresh fruits and veggies and Shorty's favorite pasta salad from the deli and we spent $49.41, saving 39% or $32.05 for the day.

Hit up Walmart this weekend...

I was hoping for some FREE (or at least cheap) items with coupons but a $4.00 Oil of Olay Total Effects body wash coupon made the product 1/2 price and the $2.00 Secret whateverkinditwas coupon made the product just over 1/2 price and that wasn't enough for me.  We still purchased a few things and we had two transactions.  Our store had a recent remodel and we had two of those $5 gift cards that our whole town received in the mail (my granny dislikes Walmart more than I do so she just gave me her $5 card).

First transaction:
4 California personal pizzas for $8.00

Total: $8.00
Saved: $5.00 - free gift card (62%)
Spent: $3.00

Second transaction:
2 Gillette body wash was $5.94 for $2.97 (B1G1 free coupon)
2 Kraft ranch dressing was $3.00 for $1.00 (two $1.00 off coupons)
3 Crystal Light PureFit was $5.91 for -$.09 (three $2.00 off coupons - $.03 overage on each)
2 bags softener salt for $10.88
1 scrub pouf for $2.00
1 furnace filter for $4.58
1 18ct Tampax Pearl was $3.96 for $1.96 (one $2.00 off coupon)
1 8ct Poptart for $1.81
2 M&Ms was $1.74 for $1.00 (one B1G1 free coupon)
1 itty-bitty "very cute and soft" stuffed animal for a special girl - $2.50

Total: $44.53
Saved: $5.00 - free gift card plus $13.76 (appx 30%)
Spent: $25.77

And that's it.  I'll be staying out of Walmart again for a while.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

So it's been a while... Sunday coupon preview

It has been so long since I've gone and purchased a newspaper for the sole purpose of getting the coupons from it.  I even searched my posts of what I've purchased at the stores (I track almost everything I buy!) and since November of last year don't have any record of purchasing a paper for coupons.  I've really come to count on getting inserts from my granny and from a lady I work with and if there are some really good coupons that I want a lot of - I phone my friend Stacey who can easily get me between six and eight inserts (between herself, her mom and her nana).  She's my go-to when there's a GOOD coupon and a deal in the same week. 

Anyways, just because I don't purchase coupons doesn't mean I can't share the love with anyone else.  So check it out below - the links to both inserts for this Sunday. 

Thanks to The Coupon Clippers for posting these coupons every week!

Valassis (Red Plum)

Smart Source

I hit up Kroger last night to grab a few bargains before the sale ended...

10 Eckrich pepperoni was $21.90 for $10.00
15 Kroger bacon bits was $34.35 for $15.00
8 Cocoa Pebbles was $20.72 for $10.00
6 Creamette pastas was $10.14 for $5.28

Total spent $40.28
Total saved $46.83 (53%)
Total saved at Kroger for 2010 $261.71 (which is just Kroger Plus card savings)

It is trips like this that make me LOVE self-scan checkout.  Can you imagine the look I would have gotten when I threw a combo of 25 packages of bacon and pepperoni up on the belt!?  Yeah...  It would have been interesting.  Instead I scanned it all myself and no one knew what I purchased.  Love it.

Record your Life - How I lost lost a tooth.

Is it strange that I only have one vivid memory of first grade? I know I spent an entire school year in Mrs. Morris's classroom but really there is only one day that sticks in my mind and it wasn't even a full day - it was just one particular recess.

I live in Central Indiana, always have and I'm guessing always will, and this particular memory must have been during the winter because we were having indoor recess (which meant it was too cold to be outside playing even). I don't remember if I was playing a game with someone or if I was just reading by myself (which is highly likely) but I was sitting by the windows on the heat vent.

The heat vent was the best place to sit and read or chat with friends. These vents were right on the floor, raised maybe just an inch above the standard tile school floor. The top of the vent was a shiny silver and there were small square holes that the air came through. These holes were big enough to get our fingers into but not big enough to get a hand into. And I don't know how far down the vent went but it was far enough that if you dropped something in there, you couldn't see it any longer. And when the heat kicked on you were just wrapped in this warm blanket of heat.

So in this memory I'm sitting on this heat vent - alone or with someone, I'm not sure. But I know I had been playing with a loose tooth and the next thing I remember I'm crying because my tooth is down in the vent, I've got some blood on my lips and chin and all the kids in my class are just watching me.

Because recess time was when the teacher's had prep, our teacher wasn't in the classroom. The person who was in charge of recess though roamed the hallways and he came into the room (did someone get him? did he hear my cries?). He took me to the nurse and she helped me clean up and rinse my mouth out. She sent me back to my classroom and the custodian was trying to see my tooth in the vent with a flashlight but he couldn't even see it.

So that recess is forever stuck in my mind as the recess that I lost, really truly lost, my tooth.

This is my third posting at Mommy's Piggy TALES recording my memories in just 15 weeks.  If you're interested in doing the same for yourself, swing by her place to check it out!

Click here to read about my preschool and kindergarten memories.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Marsh ad highlights - 6/24 to 6/30

Saturday Only!!!
33% off Lay's, Fritos, Cheetos or Doritos - final price $1.67/item

Win FREE groceries for a year!!! Up to $5200 value - two weeks to enter: June 24th to July 7th, 2010!
Be sure to read all the fine print - it looks like you don't have to make a purchase to enter even. Good luck!!!

Boneless chuck steak - $1.98/lb (save $2.41/lb)
6-pack Pepsi products - 4/$9.88 (save $9.28 on four)
Boneless Top Sirloin steaks - $3.88/lb (save $3.11/lb)
Bing cherries - $2.99/lb (save $2.00/lb)
Green or Red seedless grapes - $.99/lb (save $1.00/lb)
Marsh dozen large eggs - $.88 (save $.61)
Van Camp's pork and beans - $.48 (save $.41 or more)
Sargento shredded cheese - 50%
Edy's ice cream - B1G1 FREE (and when you purchase $12 worth of any participating Edy's item in one transaction with your Marsh card - get $4.00 off your next grocery purchase)
Breyers or Yoplait yogurt - 2/$4
Breakstone's or Heluva Good! dip - 2/$3 (match recent $.75 coupon for Heluva Good! for a final price of $.75 each)
Nature's Pride bread - B1G1 FREE
Montgomery Inn bbq sauce - B1G1 FREE
Kellogg's cereals - $1.99
2-litere 7-up - 10/$10
Assorted drinks - 10/$10
Powerade - 10/$10 (get five free when you pruchase 10 in one transaction)
Allen's, Popeye or Veg-All canned vegetables - 5/$5
Lawry's marinades - $1.98 (match recent $.50 coupon for a final price of $.98 each)
Sunbeam bread or Aunt Millie's buns - $1.19
Keebler snacks - $1.99
Wet Ones towelettes - B1G1 FREE

And that is what I consider the good stuff!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Some quick trips... Marsh and Meijer.

So Sunday when we hit Marsh, the deli was already closed.  Since I worked at our bank branch inside the store on Monday there were two items I picked up (one before lunch, for lunch and the after work for dinner that I'd forgotten about).

Trip #1:
.58lbs Sara Lee oven roasted turkey breast was $4.54 for $3.53

Spent:  $3.53
Saved:  $1.01 (22%)

Trip #2:
1 Aunt Millie's dessert shells (for strawberry shortcakes) was $1.49 for $.99

Spent:  $.99
Saved:  $.50 (34%)

And for Meijer - I wasn't going to do the Skippy deal but after looking at the prices, I decided to go ahead.

6 Skippy crunchy peanut butter was $13.74 for $6.00
4 Tositos was $15.96 for $7.98

Spent:  $13.98
Saved:  $15.72 (53%)

Monday, June 21, 2010

We hit up Marsh for our normal weekly shopping...

We didn't get much really, or at least it didn't seem like we did.

5 Eckrich smoked sausage was $20.95 for $7.25
2 Armor meatballs was $7.58 for $5.00
2 Wavy Lays was $7.98 for $4.00
1 Aunt Millie's Slimwiches was $2.99 for $1.70
2lbs strawberries was $5.89 for $2.98

Along with ricotta cheese, yogurt, sour cream, frozen corn, lunch meat, fresh fruits and veggies, black beans, ranch seasoning, roasted red peppers and milk and we spent $55.06, saving 32% or $25.51, a measly amount in my eyes.

But there were a few things we bought that weren't on sale and I didn't have a coupon for (which is highly unusual). Items like the frozen corn, sour cream, black beans, roasted red peppers and ranch seasoning were all full price with no coupons. I knew though that we weren't going to spend our full budget (just because the sale was lacking in my opinion) and decided to get a few things we wouldn't normally.

I used the black beans and roasted red peppers to make a parmesan black bean dip (I had the rest of the ingredients in my pantry - only needed parmesan cheese, italian dressing and green onions (which we left out)). We hadn't had it for a long time but had a bag of Lime tortilla chips open and it sounded good so that's what we did!

We've saved $1300.86 at Marsh alone this year.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Record your Life...Posting on Thursdays now have purpose!

I have joined up with Mommy's Piggy Tales to share the stories of my youth - or at least what stands out to me in my memories.  So be watching on Thursdays for the next 13 weeks (the first two weeks are can find them in prior postings) for the story of my life as I remember.

I was thinking earlier today though about my dad (duh, it's Father's Day - of course I'm going to think about him!).  I've been blessed when it comes to my dad and the dad-like figures in my life.  I wanted to record for myself (and for my baby girl when she's older) my first memories of my dad and even my grandpas, both my mom's dad and my dad's dad.

There are two distinct memories of my dad that I keep in my head.  I'm not sure how old I am in either one but I think I'm a bit older in the second memory, maybe five- or six-years-old. 

In my first memory we are out in the yard behind Mrs. Bailey's house and we are just playing around.  I know there were dandelions out, so it must have been spring and probably the weekend as well since he was at home with us and not at school.  I don't remember my brother being there, so I'm thinking I was very young - two-years-old or just older than that and he wasn't outside with us.  In this memory I'm plucking dandelions and he grabs one and swipes it under my chin to make it yellow.  And that's about it to the memory.  I think we even have pictures of this day, so maybe I just remember the pictures but it is in my mind as something I really remember taking part of.

The second memory of my dad isn't such a good one...  My mom babysat for other kids and it involves Tammy, one of the girls who was at our house a lot and the only one I still to this day consider my "sister".  I don't remember exactly what was going on or if it was early morning or late afternoon but I do know that my dad was leaving the house (he walked from our house to the school where he taught if the weather it was morning when he was leaving or afternoon when he was going back for a sport practice or game) and I had yelled at my dad that I hated him.  I honestly don't remember why I said it or what had happened to make me say it but I remember Tammy and I both got sent to separate rooms (she to mine and I to my parents) and I cried and cried and cried because I felt so horrible for even saying it. 

To this day it makes me sick to my stomach to think I yelled that at my dad.  And I'm guessing that he probably doesn't even remember this happening (although, as far as I can remember this is the only and only time I ever told my dad that).  The comment also had no truth behind it.  I love my daddy...he'll always be my one and only daddy.

As for my grandpas - for my maternal grandma, my earliest memory is standing between him and my grandma in their big 15-passenger van as we were headed to Kentucky.  I don't remember puking in his pocket but apparently I did!  I've heard the story a hundred times too.  And I remember him playing his guitar too.  Man could he sing!  My earliest memory of my paternal grandpa is when I was older...probably seven- or eight-years-old and he kept calling me Windy because I did such a good job at blowing up the beach toys at the beach!  He actually called me Windy for many, many years - every time we went to the beach!

And now...the daddy that is in my life daily is my husband.  He is an *amazing* daddy to our baby girl.  He is patient and nurturing and has a teaching way about him.  Every little thing they do becomes a learning experience for her.  He is her protector and comforter.  I couldn't ask for a better daddy for her.

Who is your dad to you or your dad-like figures?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Booking It 2010 update - again!

So I finished up the Carson Springs novels series by Eileen Goudge.  They were such a good set of books!  When I last shared about my reading progress I had some others to read still:  James Patterson's Pop Goes the Weasel and two Karen Kingsbury books - Waiting for Morning and the next one in that series.  Sadly, I took the second one back to the library without reading it because it was due, I'd already renewed it once and had other books I needed to read first (an inter-library loan book that can't be renewed).  I also received The Help by Kathryn Stockett in between the Carson Springs novels and the two listed here so that kinda threw me for a loop.  But Patterson's and Kingsbury's books are done and I'm to something new.  Here's what I've read in the last couple of weeks and what I've got going on now...

James Patterson's Pop Goes the Weasel is the next book in the Alex Cross series.  And while these books aren't listed as Book #1, Book #2, etc it truly helps to read them in the order he wrote them because each progressing book might refer back to a case in a previous book. 

As with other Alex Cross novels, there is a search for a killer.  A cold-blooded killer.  There is always a lot of suspense and plenty of action.  This one is about a killer who is playing a fantasy game online, a game called The Four Horsemen.  But this killer has decided to take the fantasy game into reality.  A synopsis on James Patterson's website says,
Detective Alex Cross is back- and he's in love. But his happiness is threatened by a series of chilling murders in Washington, D.C., murders with a pattern so twisted they leave investigators reeling. Cross's pursuit of the killer produces a suspect, a British diplomat named Geoffrey Shafer. But proving he's the murderer becomes a potentially deadly task. As Shafer engages in a brilliant series of surprising countermoves, Alex and his fiance become hopelessly entangled with the most memorable nemesis Cross has ever faced.
A great book (as always when it is coming from James Patterson!) that I couldn't put down - I'd recommend James Patterson's Alex Cross novels to anyone who enjoys a good mystery.

Once I finished up that one I picked up Karen Kingsbury's Waiting for Morning.  I really enjoy Karen Kingsbury's books and this one was no different.  When I pulled it off the shelf at the library I thought I had read it before but didn't remember how it ended.  As I started reading, I knew it sounded familiar but a few chapters in I was completely blank.  So I'm guessing I must have picked it up before and for whatever reason, never finished it.  I'm glad I did now. 

In this novel, Hannah Ryan seems to have the perfect life - a wonderful husband and two daughters who are the best of friends until a tragic accident tears it all apart.  In the aftermath of the accident and then ensuing court battle against the drunk driver who caused the accident Hannah loses her faith in God and becomes a bitter, angry woman.  With the help of a MADD advocate, the prosecutor on the case and the book of Lamentations from the Bible, Hannah finally finds the peace that she was so desperately looking for. 

This was another quick read for me and I'm looking forward to getting the next book in this series (the one I had to take back).

And when we went to the library this past week I picked up Lynne Truss's Eat, Shoots & Leaves and a book called Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters by Meg Meeker which came from Dave Ramsey's recommended reading list.  Dave says, “This is the best book available on being a father to daughters. I have two daughters, and this book inspired me. I liked it so much that I provided a copy for every dad on my team who has a daughter. If you are a dad with a daughter, you must read this book TODAY.”  So while I'm the mom in the equation, I'm excited to read this book.

And finishing these two books will get me to 34 books read this year.  When I first started Booking It 2010 I was scared to set a goal of one book a week because I didn't want to overwhelm myself.  So I decided that reading 52 books in a year would be my goal.  At this point we are 24 weeks into the year so I think I'm doing pretty well on my goal!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Kroger ad highlights - 6/17 to 6/23

Not too much going on at Kroger this week either but there are a couple things I'm excited about!

Ground chuck - $1.79/lb (when you buy 3lbs or more)
Creamette pasta - $.88
Post cereals (Cocoa Pebbles - woohoo!) - 4/$5
Ronzoni pasta - 10/$10 (and if there have been any recent coupons this could be cheap or FREE pasta!)
Dial and Softsoap pumps - 10/$10 (match with $.35 or $.30 coupons for cheap soap)
Philly cream cheese - 4/$5 (match with recent $1 printable for cheap cream cheese)
Eckrich pepperoni - 10/$10
Kroger Meals Made Simple bacon pieces (woohoo!) - 10/$10

And that's it for me.  Told you it was kinda boring...

Record your Life...My vague memories of being in preschool and kindergarten.

Is it strange that when I think of preschool/kindergarten all I remember are boys? I don't remember a lot of those days but I do remember the boys. I've always had more male friends than female friends and it looks like that started as far back as when I was just five-years-old.

My only memory of preschool is Tom jumping out of the swing during play time and breaking his arms. Yes - that is plural. He broke both of his arms in that one jump. Now I'm sure he had jumped plenty of times from the swings at his house (where I spent some time in kindergarten playing, so I know he had swings) but for some reason when he look that leap on that particular day he landed just right and broke them both. I don't remember if an ambulance came (I'm sure it did) or if he had casts (I'm sure he did) or what happened after that. I just remember that he broke both arms.

And maybe I don't so much remember the actual act of him jumping but just remember hearing the stories...but I always associate preschool and Tom together.

When it comes to kindergarten I remember two boys...Joe and Matt. Joe is still in town, we see him at church every Sunday (at the same church where we all went to preschool together) and the thing I remember from kindergarten is only a memory to Joe as well. Matt though...well, I see his family around town but not Matt.

Joe had to wear leg braces in kindergarten (I don't remember him having them in preschool...although he could have). These leg braces prevented Joe from standing up straight and walking or even bending his knees. When he walked (only short distances) his legs were spread pretty far apart and he had to kind of rotate his hips to move one leg forward and then the other.

Because of these braces and the fact that our classroom was as far away from the playground as you could be (and still be in the school) Joe had to ride in a wagon to recess. Each student was able to take turns pulling Joe to the playground and it was quite the privilege to be able to do so. There is even a picture of a few of us (myself, Joe, Cherish, Tom and maybe Ky?) on the indoor slide and Joe was right in front on the slide with his legs and braces spread out in front of him...a memory forever saved in our kindergarten yearbook.

And why don't I see Matt? He was killed in a freak accident at a pumpkin patch in the fall of our kindergarten year. He was six. Brown eyes, brown hair - just a small kid still. He and his family had gone to a pumpkin patch one weekend and back then the wagons were pulled to the pumpkin fields by horse (they are now pulled by tractor).

No one is 100% sure what happened but the wagon driver recalled seeing some bees and there was a possibility that one of the horses got stung, causing it to bolt and the wagon flipped. Several people in the wagon and a couple standing nearby were hurt but Matt...he didn't make it.

To this day, I can still go to the elementary school and show you which tree we planted in Matt's memory that next spring. This all happened many years ago so that tree is now a huge shade tree that is a great place to sit under and remember and reminisce. I don't think of Matt nearly as much as I used to. I'll pass the school and see the tree and think of him or will see his younger sister (born after he was gone) and will remember. But he does cross my mind every so often and especially when I remember my kindergarten year.

Matt, Joe and Tom are a very delicate part of my early memories...

Click here to read why I love (and hate) my name.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Marsh ad highlights - 6/17 through 6/23

Well - it looks like a boring week at Marsh (at least to me). There wasn't anything that really jumped out and grabbed me. Here's what you can check out though:

Thursday through Sunday only:
USDA Choice T-bone steaks - $5.98/lb (save $6.01/lb) - half price but too pricey for me still!
In-husk Bi-color corn - 8/$2 (save $3.36 on eight)
Wonder hot dog or hamburger buns - B1G1 FREE
Lay's potato chips - 2/$4 (save $3.98 on two)

For all sale dates:
Kellogg's - $1.99 (select types)
Marsh buns or bread - 10/$10 (save $4.90 on ten)
Boneless English roast - $1.98/lb (save $2.51/lb)
Kraft cheese (cubes, chunk or shredded) - 2/$4
Eckrich smoked sausage - 2/$5 (save $2.98 on two)
2lb strawberries - $2.98 (save $2.91)
Georgia peaches - $.99/lb (save $1.00/lb)
Morton salt pellets (yellow bag) - $3.99 (save $1.60 or more)
6-pack Coke 24oz bottles - 4/$9.88 (save $10.88 on four) - limit one offer, when you buy four in one transaction
Sara Lee deli lunch meat - $5.99/lb (save $1.70/lb)
Food Club sour cream, dip or Reser's dip - 10/$10
Prego - $1.89
La Choy - 25% off
Aunt Millie's bread or buns - B1G1 FREE
Thomas' english muffins - B1G1 FREE
Pop Secret - B1G1 FREE
Manwich - 10/$10
Betty Crocker cake mix - 10/$10
Campbell's pasta - 10/$10

And that's it. About the only thing I'm interested in is the Eckrich and the Lay's. I just might stick to that leftover $15 from last week!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Regular weekly shopping...

was a GOOD trip - we stayed under budget for the week.  Woohoo!  Brian hates when I get a stockpiling bee in my bonnet but it makes so much sense.  Really, it does.  Here's what we got:

8 Cheez-Its (the smaller boxes) was $23.92 for $3.92
2 Keebler sticks was $7.98 for $1.99
2 Keebler NutCrisps was $7.58 for $1.79
(so 12 boxes of crackers for $7.70 - only $.64/box!)

1 Charmin Ultra 9roll was $9.18 for $5.99
3 OreIda fries was $11.34 for $5.00
2 pork loins was $21.17 for $12.16

And of course the staples like fresh fruits and veggies, lunch meat, deli salad (Shorty's FAVE!), pickle spears (Claussen's - 'cause they were on sale), yogurt, eggs, bread and milk and we spent only $59.25 - saving 51% or $61.38 for the week!

I had guesstimated our cart before picking up the toilet paper at $50 and the TP was $6 so I didn't do too bad on the guess.  Now we've got $15 extra dollars to use for next week if we decide to do so.  I wonder if we should try to spend only the $15?  Hmmmm...that might be quite the challenge!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Record your Life...Why I love (and hate) my name.

So...1977 was an interesting year for my parents. They found out they were going to have ME - their first born child...twins and boys at that! Or at least that was the story I've heard. I guess my mom was told by her doctor that she was carrying twins (the doctor thought he heard two heartbeats) and that it was boys (because of the slowness of the beats).

That was early in the pregnancy though and my parents later learned I was a girl...just one of me. By the time I was just about done baking, my parents decided to name me Dora Lynn (after my mom's older sister who had passed away a few years earlier, Doris, and my mom's middle name Lynn). Dora Lynn. They were going to call me Dori. And I would have been called Dorky Dori for all of my life. Or - been an airhead like Dori from Finding Nemo. Although, my dad swears if I had been twin boys he was going to name me Bozo and Zeke. I think Dorky Dori would have been better than that!

My mom went into labor and got to the hospital and had me within just a few hours (I guess women on her side of the family have quick births - even first-borns!). She called her younger sister and was sharing the excitement and all the long I was, how much I weighed and that my parents were going to call me Casie.

Now - I was hours old at this point and couldn't know what my aunt said but I'm sure it went something like this:

Sandy: You're calling her what!?
Peggy: We're going to call her Casie. C-A-S-I-E, pronounced like Casey.
Sandy: Why in the heck are you doing that!?
Peggy: Well, we didn't want to call her Sandy and I don't like Cassie so we picked Casie.
Sandy: How in the world did you shorten Dora to Casie!?
Peggy: We didn't. We named her Cassandra Jean - after you.
Sandy: *sobbing, blubbery mess of tears*

Yep! Instead of being named after my mom's older sister, I was named after her younger one. Sandra Jean became Cassandra Jean, shortened to Casie for ease (and plenty of confusion in pronunciation).

Why do I love my name? It's a family name and while I might make fun of my aunt (she is truly an airhead!) I love her to pieces and there is no one else I'd rather be named after. Why do I hate my name? Most people look at it and immediately think Cassie - there is only ONE 'S' people! That makes it CASIE. Like Casey. Like the boys name. I often wish my mom had spelled it the boys way too... But I love my name. It's unique but not totally off the wall either.

Cassandra Jean - that's me.

Why I Relay...

In my daily life I don’t think about cancer. I don’t wake up and think about it, I don’t think about it during the day and I don’t go to sleep thinking about it yet it affects me and my family every day. As much as I do not think about it (and as morbid as the thought is), I’m pretty sure I will have some form of cancer in my lifetime.

Cancer is a disease that touches EVERYONE you know in some way. I’d be willing to bet a lot of money that there isn’t a single person out there who doesn’t know someone who has been touched by this disease.

I have lost three of my four grandparents to cancer. My mom’s dad (Barney Belt) smoked for many years and spent just as many years working in the coal mines in Kentucky and the steel mills in Indiana. Lung cancer took him from us on February 15th, 1991 after a seven month battle with cancer.

My dad’s parents (Gerald John and Joan Bachman) passed within six weeks of each other in 1999. My grandpa had been fighting leukemia for two years and passed June 27. My grandma was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in March and she lost her battle just two months later on May 22.

My brother spent four months in Florida the beginning of that year. He went to help take care of our grandpa and then ended up taking care of our grandma too. At the end, she didn’t know who he was or who she was but at 20-years-old he was there taking daily care of her while my grandpa struggled to take care of himself.

No child should have to take care of their grandparent like that. No parent should have to take care of their child like that. No one should have to face the devastating effects of cancer and the pain and hurt that it causes everyone involved.

I am walking in the Frankfort Relay for Life in hopes that one day a cure will be found, so that when LeeAnn is 13-years-old that she won’t lose her first grandparent to this disease. I’m walking so that when she is 40-years-old that she won’t have to watch her dad or I succumb to the disease. I’m walking so that there is no chance that her children will be affected by the disease. I’m walking so no one I know will have to fight for themselves or for their family members against this disease. I’m walking so that one day no one will have to fight this disease.

If you have any questions about Relay for Life in general, you can contact 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit for more information.  If you're interested in learning more about Clinton County's Relay (for 2010 or in the future), please let me know - I'd be glad to answer any questions you have.

A quick Booking It update...

I got The Help! I got The Help! And it was A.MAZING.

First recommended by another Booking It participant, I thought this book sounded great from the first mention. I quickly put myself on the waiting list at our local library. I took my kiddo and niece into the library for Story Hour last Thursday and renewed a couple other books and then found a quiet corner to read. As I was leaving a little while later - the girls from the front desk hollered at me and said a book I had requested was ready (in the 45 minutes between renewing my books and leaving) and it was The Help by Kathryn Stockett. I was SOOOOOOOOOOOOO excited!

If you've read any Jodi Picoult then you've seen this style of writing...several people (in this case three women) telling the story every few chapters...each woman's story intertwining with the other stories. A #1 New York Times bestseller - this book is extremely well written and for so hard to even wrap my mind around.

Three women, Skeeter, Aibileen and Minny are living in Jackson, Mississippi in 1962...not all that extraordinary until you realize Skeeter is white and Aibileen and Minny are black and are maids for Skeeter's friends. And Jackson, Mississippi in the 1960's was not a friendly place to be for blacks or anyone who supported the movement of equality between blacks and whites.

Now...I don't claim to be a genius or to hide away from things that happened in the past or even currently but I sometimes have a hard time wrapping my mind around things. Events like 9/11 or Katrina hit me but I can't totally comprehend what happened in these places. I know about them because I'm a big news hound and will stay glued to the TV, newspapers and news websites for hours on end but really...unless you are there and experiencing it - how can one truly understand?

This book is the same thing...I know the history of the United States and slavery and how poorly blacks were treated but really? In 1962? This was happening? Really!? My mom was 10-years-old in 1962 and for some reason I just can't see my family having a maid (well, for one they were poor and for two they lived in Northern Indiana) and maybe if they had lived in Mississippi they would have but to me 1962 doesn't seem that long ago and it seems like the kind of treatment that happened in this book should have been long over...but I also know that it still happens - even today in 2010. It is just hard for me to even understand.

The flap says, "Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed."

An incredibly moving story...this is one book you shouldn't miss and one book you won't be able to put down until you've read every single page.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Want a great way to tell your life story to your kids?

Check out Mommy's Piggy Tales new series!

Visit her today and plan on linking up weekly to share about your life!  I'll be working on my post for tomorrow throughout the day and linking up in the evening...  This is a great (and easy) way to get your life story on paper (or on the computer) for your children to enjoy at a later date.  And who knows - you just might enjoy your trips down memory lane as well!

Marsh ad highlights - 6/10 to 6/16

Bummed you missed some great deals with Marsh's Mega Sale? Don't be! It looks like the sale is on again this week - with all of the exact same items!

Click here to see the Mega Sale items from last week!

Perdue thighs and drumsticks - $.98/lb (save at least $.81/lb)
Keebler or Kellogg's crackers/snacks/cookies - B1G1 FREE (save $3.18 or more on item must be the same kind as purchased item)
Ore-Ida potatoes - 3/$5 (save $4.89 or more on three...when you buy three in one transaction, more or less than three will be $2.50 each)
Emge roll sausage - B1G1 FREE
Butterball turkey (patties/burgers/links) - B1G1 FREE
Oscar Mayer wieners/bologna - B1G1 FREE (free item must be same kind as purchased item)
Eckrich loaf or variety pack - B1G1 FREE (free item must be same kind as purchased item)
Tom's snacks - B1G1 FREE
Krispy crackers - B1G1 FREE
Kool-Aid drink mix - B1G1 FREE
Ore-Ida Bagel Bites - B1G1 FREE
Sunbeam bread - B1G1 FREE
Home Pride bread - B1G1 FREE
Smart Balance sour cream - B1G1 FREE
Reser's potatoes - B1G1 FREE
Aunt Millie's buns - B1G1 FREE
White bread (from the deli) - B1G1 FREE
Garden Fresh salads (in the deli area) - B1G1 FREE
Hostess Donettes - B1G1 FREE
Food Club stuffed manzanilla olives - B1G1 FREE
Emeralds snack nuts - B1G1 FREE
Orville Redenbacher's popcorn - B1G1 FREE
Kozy Shack pudding - B1G1 FREE
Famous Amos cookies - B1G1 FREE
Food Club seasoning or gravy mix - B1G1 FREE
Miceli's ricotta cheese - B1G1 FREE
Kellogg's cereals - 3/$4.98
Sunny Delight - 10/$10
Charmin or Bounty - $6.49
Red or Green seedless grapes - $1.48/lb (save $1.51/lb)
Del Monte Gold whole pineapples - $2.99
5lb bag of Idaho Russet potatoes - B1G1 FREE
Yogurt or chocolate pretzels (in the produce section) - B1G1 FREE
Concord Foods smoothie mix (in the produce section) - B1G1 FREE

And so what do you do with all those things where you B1G1 FREE?  If you don't plan on using the second item, give it to a friend or donate it to Salvation Army or a shelter.  Or go with a friend and split the cost of the one item so you're paying just half price for the one item you get.  You could even just approach another shopper and say, "Hey - I'm buying this item but don't need the second, would you use it?"  And just give it to them...doing this after you check out (so maybe to another shopper as they are leaving) so you're sure the items are scanned and paid for properly.  I'll be doing one of these things with the two bags of potatoes I end up with - I'll only need one!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Regular weekly grocery shopping... Ugh.

If we don't quit blowing budget, I'm not sure what I'm going to do with myself! This is the second week in a row that we have WAY blown the budget. I even had to use the debit card...I had no other cash with me. Dang it. Well - here's what we got!

Bounty was $10.28 for $5.99
Charmin was $9.18 for $5.99
11 cans Stokely's veggies was $11.55 for $5.50 (eight being donated to church)
4 cans Libby's fruit was $7.40 for $4.00 (donated to church)
1 Food Club black pepper was $3.59 for $1.80 (closeout - marked 50% off)
2 Ken's marinades was $5.98 for $2.99 (B1G1 FREE)
10 Kraft Velveeta shells and cheese was $18.70 for $9.90
2 Shamrock Farms milk was $2.78 for $0.00 (FREE!)
2 Edy's ice cream was $10.98 for $2.98
3 Tombstone pizzas was $17.34 for $8.97
2 Dean's gallon milk was $5.98 for $3.98
2 Lawry's marinades was $6.58 for 3.29 (closeout - marked 50% off)

Along with slice cheese, lunch meat, yogurt, cottage cheese, cream cheese, bread and fresh fruits and veggies we spent $95.35 and saved $69.60 or 42%. Not spectacular but not too bad least the savings part of it. The spending part is killing me though. We have GOT to behave these next few weeks!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Week of 5/7 through 5/28 grocery budget

Okay, I know straight up I blew budget this month!  We went into last weekend knowing that with all the Coke and Pepsi products we were buying, that there was no hope of not going over.  But we decide together that it's wise for us to do that every so often to get a deal that we don't want to pass up.  I'm actually going to break down my listings I can see how close my regular shopping did in comparision to the budget.

5/7  Kroger - 3.41, saved .84 (21%)
5/7  Kroger - 16.00, saved 28.00 (63%)
5/8  Marsh - 5.38, saved 9.40 (65%)
5/8  Marsh - 51.19, saved 68.84 (58%)
5/15  Marsh - 1.39, saved 1.30 (48%)
5/16  Marsh - 56.84, saved 25.62 (31%)
5/16  Walmart - 17.53, saved 5.94 (appx - based on Walmart's "regular" price versus the rollback price) (25%)
5/22  Marsh - 60.47, saved 78.19 (56%)
5/22  CVS - 2.01, saved 17.00 (appx 90%) - used gift card
5/22  CVS - 5.19, saved 19.97 (appx 80%) - used gift card and left with $5 in ECBs too
5/23  Marsh - 68.64, saved 57.20 (46%)

5/28  Walmart - 27.01, saved 6.04 (appx - based on Walmart's "regular" price versus the rollback price)
5/28  Walmart - 40.30, saved 18.08 (appx - based on Walmart's "regular" price versus the rollback price)
5/29  Walmart - 12.00, saved 17.76 (appx - based on Walmart's "regular" price versus the rollback price)
5/29  Walmart - 24.08, saved 8.12 (appx - based on Walmart's "regular" price versus the rollback price)

5/30  Marsh - 93.37, saved 73.54 (45%) - and about $20 of this was stockpiling pop and razors

Total spent (EVERYTHING):  484.81
Total spent (subracting CVS (gift cards) and stockpiling):  354.22 (bummer dude...over budget by $54.22!)

Total saved (EVERYTHING):  435.84
Total saved (subtracting CVS (gift cards) and stockpiling):  328.87

Percentage saved (EVERYTHING):  appx. 47%
Percentage saved (subtracting CVS (gift cards) and stockpiling):  48%

So...  For sure not the best month but there have been some months were it was worse!  I just have to keep working on it and see where we get to.  I'm thinking this next month will be better because we got a LOT of stuff in the last few weeks!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Marsh ad highlights - June 3rd to June 9th

Ready for another Mega Sale?  You better be because Marsh has one starting tomorrow!  As always, save $5 instantly when you buy 10 specially marked items.  There is no limit on these - so you can buy 50 of the specially marked items and save $25!  Match these sale prices with coupons and you've got even better deals!

Mega Sale items (price after final reduction of $.50 per item)
Kraft, Food Club or Sargento cheese (select varieties) - $1.49
Dean's milk (gallon) - $1.99
Kellogg's cereals or Nutri-Grain bars - $1.99
TombStone 12-inch pizzas - $2.99
Kraft Velveeta shells and cheese - $.99
Gatorade Thirst Quencher - $.58
Minute Maid or Simply Orange - $2.49
Keebler or Nabisco snacks - $1.99
Keebler Cheez-It snacks - $1.49
Kellogg's bars or fruit snacks - $1.49
CapriSun or Kool-Aid Jammers - $1.29
Kraft cheese - $2.49 (includes Deluxe - which has had recent coupons and string - which is a fave at our house)
Dean's cottage cheese - $1.49
Bull's-Eye BBQ sauce - $.99
Edy's or Dean's ice cream - $2.49
Jell-O, Yoplait yogurt or frozen smoothies - $1.99
Pillsbury strudel, scrambles or pancakes - $1.49
Marie Callender's pot pies or dinners - $1.99
Swiss sweet tea - $.99
Wanchai Ferry - $5.49
Welch's grape juice - $2.99
Palmolive - $1.99
Olay or Gillette - $3.19
Juicy Juice - $1.99
Food Club ketchup - $.69
Food Club dressing - $1.39
Yoplait fridge pack - $3.49
Yoplait greek yogurt - $.49

Perdue boneless, skinless breasts - $1.87/lb (save $2.62/lb)
Vine ripe or Red Roma tomatoes - $.99/lb (save up to $1.50/lb)
Stokely's vegetables - 2/$1 (save $.98 on two)
Food Club butter quarters - $1.88
Center Cut boneless pork loin - $2.28/lb (save $1.71/lb)
Hershey's or Dean's milk - 10/$10
Libby's fruit cocktail, peaches or pears - 10/$10
Brownberry wide pan bread - B1G1 FREE
Ken's salad dressings or marinades - B1G1 FREE
Mission tortillas - $1.79 (match with recent $1.00 of blinkies for cheap shells!)
Aunt Millie's breads or buns - $1.29
Snapple teas and juice drinks - 10/$10
Bounty or Charmin - $6.49 (match either with recent $.25 coupons for $5.99 prices)
Handi-foil pans - B1G1 FREE (great if you plan on a bake sale or taking meals to a shut-in or new mom, etc)
Secret - $3.48 (not the best price by any means but probably as about as cheap as I'll find it right now when I match with a $.50 coupon)

And that's it for me!  Well - that's more than enough for me - that's what I see as the good (or better) bargains in this next week's ad. 

Made a quick trip to Marsh for my granny and had to share!

Since she's gotten older, my grandma has gotten to the point where 99.7% of her meals are eaten on paper plates.  She loves Dixie plates (not sure why those are just what she buys) and they were on sale at Marsh this week - add in the fact that there were coupons in a recent Red Plum insert and I had a deal on my hands!

8 Dixie paper plates (four big/four small) was $30.00 for $8.00

By the time you add in tax I spent $8.84 but I saved $22.00 - that's 73%!  That's probably one of my higher percentages for recent trips - too bad it was for her (meaning I used the debit card for her account) rather than mine (which would greatly help my percentages for the month)!  I'm glad I was able to get a good deal for her though - now instead of buying them at the store when she needs plates, she'll just have to let me know she needs them and I'll be over to stock her up (she's not got the space to keep them really).

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Booking It 2010 update

I went to the library recently in search of something to read - I had nothing in mind and nothing was really jumping out at me. I remembered though that I'd read an Eileen Goudge book called Woman in Red some time ago and decided to pick up a couple of her novels.

Well - I picked up just one at first...Stranger in Paradise - the first of three books in a mini-series called "A Carson Springs Novel." I read 20 pages of it last Thursday night before I fell asleep...Friday I finished the other 301 pages (at 1:30am Saturday technically - I couldn't put it down!).  The story of a mom, Sam, who in her late 40's falls in love with a man (who just so happens to be more than 15 years younger than her and her youngest daughter's step-son - yeah, did you catch that?) and ends up pregnant (while her oldest daughter has been trying for years to conceive and is now divorced because her husband left her when she couldn't provide children).  The story that folds is one of love, family and learning that life isn't what it seemed to be.  A fabulous story that makes you feel like you're in Carson Springs - you won't want the story to end.

Because I finished the first one so quickly I HAD to get my hands on the other two (I knew there were more but only got the first one because I had also picked up two Karen Kingsbury novels which I have yet to touch) and so I went to the library that Saturday afternoon!

It actually took me almost another week to finish the next book, Taste of Honey. It wasn't that it wasn't just as smashing as the first - I had meetings and/or prior engagements Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights this past week and just didn't have the time to sit down and read like I like to.  It was the story of Gerry (the best friend of Sam in the first book), a middle-aged divorced mom of two (well, three) who gave up a daughter for adoption and the trials she faces when she reaches out to that older daughter - and how it affects her family at home as well as the life of the adopted daughter.  Throw in a love interest who is famous and mourning the death of his wife and you have another novel that was splendidly written with clear details and a great story line.  When I read the front cover and there was a quote from Kristin Hannah (Firefly Lane and Between Sisters) that said, "This wonderful novel is filled with characters as real and honest as your own best friends," I knew this was going to be a good one!

So I finished that one up on Saturday morning and started the third one, Wish Come True, that morning as well. I'm not quite halfway though it yet but it is just as good as the first two!  The story is about another Carson Springs resident, Anna Vincent who is employed by her sister, Monica, and whose life comes crashing down on her when Monica is found dead, floating in her pool at her house, LoreiLinda.  I've just gotten to the part where Anna meets the man the flap describes as "an ally" who becomes her partner in the hunt for the real murderer.  You'll see Sam and Gerry again, along with other characters mentioned in the other Carson Springs'll be just like being home again!

If you're looking for some good reads, I would highly recommend these books!  There were a few love scenes that surprised me (while I was reading at work!) and a tiny bit of foul language but everything else that is amazing about these books way outweighs the tiny bit of bad. 

Now, I still have to finish Wish Come True plus the two Karen Kingsbury novels I picked up almost two weeks ago AND the James Patterson novel (Cat and Mouse maybe?  Pop Goes the Weasel?  I can't remember which) that I picked up before the long weekend (just in case I needed it!).  I'm gonna be busy these next two weeks or so!