Free MAC Classes

We just had our first free Mac class downtown Greenville. The folks at iPlace are pretty awesome, patient and accommodating. If you live in Greenville and want to pick up some free classes you can go on their website and figure out which ones you want to take and then sign up. They will be charging for these classes sometime in 2009, but for now they are free.

We’re going back on Monday!

Their website is here!

Fun with Frugality

dscn026121The ultimate challenge: The CVS two day sale (Dec 21, 22): obtain $144 of product for as little out of pocket (OOP) cash as possible. Every challenge needs a plan so I wrote down how to roll-over my extra care bucks (ecb) so I would spend as little money out of pocket as possible. I made six groups of sale items, used my $16 ecb’s on hand  for the first group and then used the ecb’s from the first group to pay for the second group and so on. In the end I had $104.37 of products and spent $1.10 out of pocket. I also have $30.43 in extra care bucks left over to use in future weeks. Wow. It can be fun to be frugal!     

Frugality for the Glory of God and Blessings for My Family

Being frugal always sounded like a hardship to me, dull, lifeless, medieval, but in an effort to see if we can live on less, I’ve decided to pursue using coupons in my shopping. A friend showed me a free e-book at to get me started. I also read blogs on how shoppers purchased $200 worth of groceries and household supplies for $10. I was amazed. But was it something I could do? How much time would this take? Would it work for our family?

After reading how to use coupons effectively I decided to give it a try. I used for pointers and headed off to the store. In my first trip I saved $50 and was inspired! That was five weeks ago. I am not a pro but I am continuing to learn. I am also having to make the choice between a “good deal” and what is needed. I don’t want to be consumed by the pursuit of saving but I do want to use the resources God has provided wisely.

Today I purchased $13.21 of product for $0.26! The trip would have been free but the cashier said the system would not take my last coupon for $1.50. I was ok with that. The picture of my purchase won’t look impressive but to pay $0.05 for five items and no sales tax is pretty cool. It is also items we use and one gift (the candy).


Total Cost: $0.26

I am rejoicing in God’s kindness in the bargain. He has encouraged me that there is a way to save money and still meet the needs of my family and give gifts.

What an awesome God I serve!

Disney Jug!

I told the kids when they fill up their Disney Jug we would take a trip to see Mickey. They are stoked. I gave them a 5-gallon, clear plastic water jug to fill up. They have now covered the bottom of it. They are pretty quick to find pennies in parking lots and other places and quite excited about the opportunity.

I’m not sure they know how long this is going to take, but it will be well worth it when they git’er done. They’re fun!!

Ice Skating at the Pavilion

Friday night was our fourth annual ice skating event for our church. Our kids could not have been more excited about an event. Tristen has learned how to read the calendar so she has been marking the days for about two months now. Periodically over the past two months she would ask how long to the event. As the day rolled closer she was asking daily about minutes and hours. Haydn was right on her heels with his questions.

They began this summer getting ready for the event by teaching themselves how to roller blade in the cul-de-sac. I bought them some ski poles so they could hold themselves up as they learned the ropes of roller blading. They became very efficient. It seemed prudent that I should do the same so I donned the ski poles and began my roller blade practice this summer as well. They outdid me on all fronts. They can now skate down the drive into the garage. They gave up the poles a long time ago. Truthfully I have been impressed by their determination and ability to roller blade and they did not have to be pushed to get on those skates. They wanted it, they practiced daily and they did it. It was very encouraging to watch.

Friday night was the fruit of their labors. They got on the ice and began to skate. Tristen was more tentative about the skating. Haydn got on the ice and took off and never looked back. I had to hold Tristen’s hand for several laps until she got her ice legs under her. It took about 30 minutes and she was good to go. The ice was a lot more slippery than the asphalt cul-de-sac. It took more care and attention not to fall down. Typically Haydn has more “game” than the other two and picks up on coordination issues quickly.

They skated for the entire 90-minutes. After about 30 minutes I was done. My feet were killing me. Skating boots don’t go too well with me. It is painful. Much of the pain is in proportion to my fear of falling. The more tense I am the more my ankles hurt because I’m not relaxed.

One humorous moment (at least to me). I rented a “walker” for the ice that a little kid could hold onto while they are trying to skate. I put Ansa on it and she would hold on while her legs went every possible direction. She could not skate at all, but using the walker she could stay up on the ice, hold on and somewhat enjoy herself. After she got used to the “ice walker” I began to pick-up speed. At one point I was skating pretty fast pushing her along the ice. There was a ton of noise in the Pavilion so I couldn’t talk directly to her. I leaned down and said real loud where she could hear me, “Isn’t this cool?” When I got down in front of her face I noticed that she was screaming, very loud, “Mommy! I want Mommy!” This was a clue that she wasn’t too blessed by the speed. It was funny in that I could not hear her hollering/crying. I thought we were having fun.