Monday, July 27, 2009


Recently I started going to CVS to take advantage of the ECB's and so I could start getting some free stuff. This Sunday was my first official trip and I think I did fairly well. I learned a lot and made some mistakes that I know I'll never do again. Overall, it was a successful trip...or should I say trips. I went a total of three times because I knew I wouldn't have time to go to Monday or Tuesday. Here's the run down of the three trips:

Trip One (this was my plan)
Starting with $5 ECB Buy:
(1) Colgate Total Toothpaste $2.88
(2) Composition Note Book .99
(2) CVS Erasers .99
(2) Neutrogena Cosmetics $5 B1G1
-$1 off Colgate
(2) -$3 off Neutrogena
-$5 ECB
Total Due: Nothing
Get Back: $5.96 ECB ($2, $1.98, $1.98)

When I got to CVS the whole Neutrogena thing threw me off. I thought I had it figured out when I left the house but my brain turned to mush once I was there. This was basically due to having both kids and Nate with me. I won't do this again - Lesson #1. My problem was that I didn't read the instructions correctly on - Lesson #2. I should have had 2 coupons for $3 off. Instead I had two coupons but they totalled $3 instead of having two coupons that totaled $6. The instructions also read that the product should be $5. I couldn't find any of these lower priced products which is why I bought a $8.99 item - Lesson #3 (when in doubt...don't buy). I basically walked out with all the above and I paid a little over $9 bucks. I was a little bummed with myself for paying that Neutrogena stuff but after using it this morning I think it was a good buy.

Trip Two
(3) Kashi Products $3.33 ea
Use:(3) -$1.50 off Kashi
-$5.96 ECB
Total Due: -47 (bought a treat for the girls - who were with me - Refer to Lesson #1)
Get Back: $5 ECB

After this trip I walked out feeling very successful. Who doesn't like to get one of the most expensive cereals for free? On top of that, I got $5 ECB back. Now... if only the cereal were that good. After I opened it up last night it's no wonder I got it for free. That stuff is nasty! Because it was free we will eat may take a month but we will get through it!

Trip Three
(1) Colgate Total Toothpaste $2.88
(2) Generic Post Its .99
(2) CVS Staplers .99
(1) CVS Tampons 1.89
.75 off Colgate
-5 ECB
Total Due: $3 something
Get Back: 3.87 (1.89, 1.98)

OK, so here is where I learned Lesson #4. If it says Limit really means Limit 1 FOREVER...not only for that visit. I got the toothpaste for 2.88 minus .75 but I didn't get the ECB that went with it. Bummer. I have no idea where my other ECB of 1.98 went either. I know the 1.89 was for the tampons and the 1.98 was for the Post Its, but I think I should have gotten another 1.98 back for the staplers. I think I should have kept it to two trips in one day because by trip three my brain was fried to even ask where my other 1.98 ECB was - Lesson #5.

ECB Remaining: $3.87
Total Out of Pocket: $12 something
Total Merchandise Purchased: $43.57

Overall, like I said, it wasn't a bust but I definitely could have done better. Here's to next week. I better have a heck of a plan if I'm going to start out with $3.87 ECB's!

Thursday, July 23, 2009


I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the country of Africa and all of the things that we are so unaccustomed to seeing in America. My heart truly hurts for this country. About two years ago I read the book “Purpose Driven Life” and for once in my life, had a yearning to go to Africa on a mission trip. I’ve had a half dozen or so opportunities through the years to go on trips but never felt the Holy Spirits prompting to go. I really wanted to go to Africa this year with our church but just didn’t feel like the time was right. As I was trying to decide and pray if Africa was going to work out this year, I found out that our church was going to do “Step Into Africa” by World Vision. The Experience is an interactive exhibit that combines audio and captivating photography, transporting you to the heart of Africa. You'll see, hear, and experience stories of tragedy and triumph lived out by real children in AIDS-affected communities. In a way, it’s almost like going on a mission trip without even having to step foot out of the US. I knew immediately that I wanted to be involved. As we’ve been getting all of the details put together and having churches partner with us I can really feel the excitement for what’s about to happen in Central Ohio. To find out more about “Step Into Africa” click here. This exhibit is completely free and we’d love to have anyone and everyone be apart of this experience. We have the capability of having 4,000 people go through the exhibit and that’s what we’re praying for. We are praying that Westerville is the first location where all the time slots are filled up. To do this though, we need many people to volunteer. We need 12 people per shift and are currently recruiting volunteers. If you want to be part of this amazing adventure, go to We are really looking forward to September and would love it if you would “Step Into Africa” with us!

Monday, July 20, 2009


OK, so I've decided to jump on the CVS and ECB bandwagon. I don't fully understand it but I'm going to attempt it. I better hold on to my pants because I really don't know what I'm in for. I've accumulated some websites that I'm using for assistance so I'm hoping they will do the work and I will just do what they say. Hopefully they won't lead me off a cliff or ask me to eat red ants because I'm totally at their mercy! The websites that I've been using are:

I've been observing for the last two weeks and today was the day that I actually made my trip. I went to get 10 items and ended up with 6 and a rain check for 4 items. Pretty good I think, for my first time. I'll get the hang of it. I got a total of $4.85 back in ECB's and spent $7.31. We'll see what happens next week. I may be a bit braver than this week but I'm taking it one week at a time. I'll fill you in!

Sunday, July 19, 2009


This past Friday, Nate and I went out on a date. We had the best time and neither of us wanted Saturday to come. If you know us, you know we don't go out as often as we should or like but such is life. We need to find a regular teenage babysitter but that's a whole new post to blog about. Getting back to the date. I've been planning this for two months so needless to say, I was a little more excited than Nate. He had no idea what was up my sleeve and I was rather happy about that. I love doing things that surprises him and makes him happy. From early on in our dating relationship, I knew his family had a special bond with the movie "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid". I don't know what it is but his dad loved watching the movie and it's a standing joke that when we're all together, he loves to ask who wants to watch it. When I saw that the Ohio Theatre was playing the movie I knew that it would be an immediate hit with Nate. It also topped the cake that it was at the Ohio Theatre. Such a cool place to watch a movie. I used to go with my parents years ago to watch silent movies but haven't been back since. I couldn't hold my silence any longer so on Thursday night I spilt the beans. He was ecstatic! He hadn't been to the Theatre since grade school so he was pumped. We dropped the kids off at my parents and headed to downtown Columbus with the first stop being at Spaghetti Warehouse. We couldn't go downtown without having stopped here first. It's like a prerequisite for going downtown! Dinner was great and it was so weird to not have kids but we definitely managed. I of course had to get a Shirley Temple...another prereq for going downtown and going to SW. I've done this ever since I was a kid so there's no need to break tradition. After we were done with dinner we headed to the Theatre. We were there early so it was great to take in the sights of downtown and the Theatre. The movie was great and we had a ball. We really need to do this more often. After the movie, we headed back to our car and I couldn't help but take in the building that is next to the Theatre. It was amazing. The way it was lit up was just breath taking. Call me crazy I dad's an electrician so I tend to look at lighting a lot but it truly was amazing. If it were up to me we would have headed to the Rave to watch The Proposal but we had to head home and rap up the night early. We had to get the kids early Saturday b/c my parents were going on a "trip" and I knew that if we got home at 1/2AM it would be a hard Saturday. It proved to be a good idea. We really had a great time and very much look forward to the next time out...maybe November??!! Hope it's not that long but it was a nice evening!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


I'm sitting in a quiet house and I'm not quite sure what to do. The first thing that came to mind was blog then pray so that's what's on the agenda. Nate has a sleep study tonight that both of us are a little apprehensive about. This week Nate has to undergo a sleep study and a stress test so it's going to be a emotional week as we try to figure out what, if anything, is going on with Nate. I haven't talked much about it b/c I'm hoping that Nate just needs reassured to make sure that all is well and we can move on. Who knows. Hopefully after these tests we'll know more. Before Aiva went to bed, she gave me a Tinkerbell sticker that has Tink and the word "Brilliant" on it. It got me thinking to how much that word applied to today both literally and sarcastically. Trying to get Nate up out of bed, which took 15 minutes - Brilliant. Picking out a necklace from a friends Lia Sophia party - Brilliant! New news that I can't go into, at work - Brilliant. Getting a great salad at Monte Carlos - Brilliant! Arguing with Nate about a silly phone call - Brilliant. Having some great prayer time with a co-worker - Brilliant! Coming home to Nate still being a little upset with me from the phone call - Brilliant. Pulling steaks out of the freezer hoping I might be able to make it up to him - Brilliant! After cooking the steaks, finding out that they tasted horrible - Brilliant. Nate going to the store to get me a pie crust so I can make a blackberry pie - Brilliant! Having to go back to the store to get the correct pie crust - Brilliant. Getting back in time for Nate to leave and having some prayer time with him - Brilliant! Seeing him pull away, knowing I'll be in bed by myself - Brilliant. Coming up to the girls room and seeing that Aiva put a HUGE pile of clothes away today on her own, on hangers and all - Brilliant! Finally realizing the house was completely quiet - Brilliant. Having a good looking blackberry pie - Brilliant! Knowing that I really screwed some things up today - Brilliant. The feeling that God has already forgiven me and loves me just the same - Brilliant!

Thursday, July 2, 2009


This past weekend the guys in my family went to the Clippers game and the girls went out to eat and to Easton. We had a great time and the girls had a ball. We’ve never been over to the fountains at Easton so this was a new adventure. At first they were a little apprehensive but after awhile Aiva got the hang of it. She couldn’t stand watching all the kids play in the fountains and her watch from afar. After about 10 minutes she put her foot on the fountain and let the water run through her toes. She thought that was pretty funny. Once her toes and legs got wet she was officially ready to go for it. At one point she ran over to me and asked if I had her ear plugs. Of course I wasn’t thinking we would need them and left them at home. I shooed her back to the fountain and told her that she’d be fine. She ran back with her hand covering her right ear and told me that she had her own “plug’. Ana never did get the hang of it and only ran back in forth between the fountain and where we were sitting. She was all smiles watching her sister and the other kids playing in the water. She truly is not a water baby…or so I thought. Both girls started swimming this week at the Rec Center and they both LOVE it! Aiva was ready for swim lessons weeks ago but Ana has never been one to get into water on her own. The lessons I signed Ana up for required Nate to get into the water with her so I think she felt a little more comfortable with having daddy by her side. They do “Ring around the Rosey” and London Bridge is Falling Down” and I guess Ana has a ball. She even went under the water 5 times yesterday. The teacher said she’s the best kicker in the class. Looks like that trip to Alum Creek beach last weekend paid off! As you can see were having a great summer and can’t believe it’s already July! We’re one month away from our vacation! Yeah! Hope you all have a Happy 4th!

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