Monthly Archives: January 2010

Turning into Grandma

Every single day, I do something that makes me laugh because I am reminding myself of either my mom or my grandmothers.

1.  Today’s Kids!  My mother told stories of my grandmother’s rolling of the eyes over “Rock n Roll.”  My mother rolled her eyes over the “way out there” fashion sense of the eighties….. yeah…. I strutted around with my big “jiffy pop” permed frizzed and teased big hair, shoulder pads, and slashed T-shirts and jeans.  Yesterday, I made the same rolling eyes statement.  While subbing, the students were telling me they were going to the restroom.  Hello….where are their manners??  They never asked, “Mrs. Dettra, can I please go to the restroom.”  Kids these days!!

2.  Might need this:  My grandmothers were notorious for keeping stuff.  Tuna cans made ideal containers for safety pins.  Twist ties from the grocery store were kept in an empty toilet paper roll in the kitchen drawer.   My mother had those tendencies as well…..she kept books, papers, and anything that she might one day use in her classroom.  Our barn loft was nothing but 3rd grade materials…..we joked that when she did decide to retire we would have to build a bigger barn to keep the stuff because, “Regina might need it to teach with….”  So fast forward to present day….. I have been cleaning out the closets and let me tell you…..”I might need this someday” became part of my vocabulary.  My keep pile was full of might needs…..ugh!!  I am my mom and grandma rolled up in one!!  And yes…. I did keep the stuff.

3.  Books:  My granny always had books in her home.  She had a book for everything.  Need to know how to hammer a nail, she had a book.  Need to know a medical term, she had that book….dog-eared to every thing she thought she had….. My mother’s world would stop the minute she opened a book.  She had to finish the book as soon as she started it regardless of what was going on around her.  She always had her nose in a book.  Me??  Well, the librarians know me by name.  They hold back books that they think I might like to read.  Currently, I have 11 books checked out and 27 on a reserve list.  I love the smell of a brand new book…. I have been caught sniffing…..Books….. ahhhhhhh I just love books…….

Turning into the women I loved and adored isn’t a bad thing.  I think about how lucky my kids are going to be turning into me…….

God Bless…..

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Super Super Bowl

Was watching TV last night….. Wal-Mart’s newest commercial is about the Super Bowl and how they can save you $55 on name-brand party foods.

Okay….Let’s see if I can beat it!!

From a previous movie nite post I calculated two large homemade pizzas at $7.94.  Compared to one $6 Wal-Mart frozen pizza…..uhhhh Touchdown!  Homemade Wins!!!

My salsa recipe:

one big can of tomatoes (diced or whole):  $1.50

Rotel knock off:  $.88

Dash of Chili pepper, salt, pepper, cumin, minced onion:  too small to accurately calculate so I am going to put a $.10 value just to be on the save side…..

Salsa’s grand total:  $2.48

Kool-aide:  1 cup $.01

Glass of tea:  $.01

Homemade cookies:  $.90 a dozen

Go figure…. the total expense of my homemade Super Bowl foods:   $11.34

Do you think Wal-Mart can beat that price on “Name Brand” party foods???

God Bless

Oneness in Marriage

Yesterday, I opened my mailbox to a sweet surprise….. my P31 Woman Magazine had arrived.  If you are familiar with the magazine, it is published by Proverbs 31 Ministries.  It is chopped full of articles written by ladies for ladies.  It is a great magazine that I recommend.

It is always a good day not to receive bills in the mail but today was especially exciting.  My dear friend, Melanie Chitwood, graced the front cover.  Her newest book What a Wife Needs from Her Husband was recently launched and the article was written what she is an expert in….. marriage.

In her article, Protecting the Oneness of Marriage, she discussed Matthew 19:6:

“So they are no longer two, but one flesh.  What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” (NAS)

God’s word says that when a couple marries, they have become “one flesh.”  It is His intention for couples to know each other in intimacy in all areas: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual.  The intimacy is what holds the marriage together.

Melanie points out that as wives we have certain responsibilities to insure the oneness of marriage will succeed.

1.  Priorities: Do we really put our husbands on the top of our priority list?  I realize that , we wives, are busy doing everything.  Jobs, kids, housework, and activities can be become our main focus and well…. hubby gets put on the back burner.

When Mark and I were newlyweds, my grandmother made it a point to advise two things:

a.  Always have dinner together as a family….. In her words, “by 5:30, dinner on the table.”

b.  Always ask about his day.

And my mother advised:  c.  Spend an hour together each day….alone.  We have always put out kids to bed early then spent the rest of the night together.  It is OUR time together.

2.  Your Heart: Melanie points out that we must have God as our “first commitment” and then our husbands.  We need that personal relationship with God in order for Him to show us what is keeping us from a close personal relationship with our husbands.  We should check our hearts for disappointments, frustrations, bitterness, unforgiveness, and harshness towards our husbands.  Allow God to clean out our junked up hearts to let our marriage grow.

3 Your Thoughts: I know this has happened to me…..Mark uses “that tone” and then I spend hours rehashing “that tone.”  If I allow those rehashing thoughts rule, Mark and I would be doomed.  Those thoughts need to be communicated through God’s love and banished before I think them.  I have to face the truth:  I am a sinner by nature and so is Mark.  We are no way perfect.

4.  Your words: And this doesn’t necessarily mean to our husbands but rather about our husbands.  When you are around your girlfriends and the hubby bashing begins…. do you join?  What image are you portraying?  Do your kids hear your criticism or your loving thoughts?

Just the other day, Mark was a Watch Dog Dad at our son’s school.  He was warmly welcomed by the office staff.  The assistant principal told him that she thought I was a special mom because I have lunch every Friday and volunteer to teach sign language to a couple of classes each week.  His response was, “I am very lucky to have Regina.”  And  you know what… when I arrived to eat lunch with our little guy, the assistant principal made it a point to tell me……Made me feel so warm and fuzzy….. but my response was, “no, I am the lucky one.”

5.  Your actions: Are you a servant towards your husband?  Do you do little things that show how much you love him?  Jesus laid his life down to show His love…..do you have the “it’s all about me” attitude or do you truly show him the love you feel?

Melanie’s article made me stop and really think about my marriage.  AND her advice is dead on!!!  I have added her books to my library and you can always get some great advice on marriage at her website as well.

May God bless you and your marriage today…….

Love to Hate Wal-Mart

Because I am “so in the know,” when a price goes up, my whole grocery shopping experience is thrown out of whack forcing me to recalculate my costs and my trips.    Over the past few months,  I have developed a Love/Hate relationship with Wal-Mart.  Yes, I admit Wal-Mart is like a drug.  I hate using going but I can’t get enough…..

Wal-Mart truly has some better prices on certain items and they have the largest selection.  You can pretty much find anything and everything at the place.  The superstores make the one stop shopping ideal.  That is why I love Wal-Mart.

I watched a documentary on Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart.  His store began as a 5-and-dime store, a idea replaced by dollar stores.  Anyway, Mr. Walton would shop at the other stores then find clever ways to beat their prices.  He was always thinking about his customers.  Growing up in Arkansas, I can remember the first Wal-Mart ever being built in Little Rock.  It wasn’t any bigger than a Dollar General store.   And now, Mr. Walton’s “customer centered” visionary business practice has gone to the deep pockets of his reigning corporate managers….. and I say that with such  love.

Now to the hate….I have noticed some “practices” that I have grown to despise.

1.  Coupons:  Wal-Mart know exactly how much the coupons are worth.  They are jacking up the prices to compensate.  It is true.  Recently, I was purchasing an OTC medication.  Someone was kind enough to leave their coupon behind.  I got the medication at a REALLY good price.   So at the next visit to the library, I raided the coupon basket and got another coupon.  The following week, I went to get the deal…..Oh Dear!  The steam coming out to the angry ears………The price was up the same amount as the coupon.  Oh and you can forget the printable coupons…. Wal-Mart (at least where I shop) no longer takes them.  I heard about a coupon for a free product.  I found it on the internet, printed it, and headed to Wally World and they wouldn’t accept it.  I was told they were no longer accepting computer generated coupons….that came from a manager’s mouth…. yes, I hunted the poor guy down.

2.  Off Brand Squeeze-Out:  Have you noticed the price of saltine crackers??  The Wal-Mart brand of crackers jumped from $1.12 to $1.34 in a week’s time.  I was sick.  But, there was a brand I had never heard of down a little ways on the bottom shelf for $.88.  I got a box.  The next week, there was a whole in the aisle where the cheap crackers were once placed.  Disheartened, I licked my wounds and went back to Dollar General for the $1.00 box.  Anyway, I have watched for that brand to come back…. it hasn’t…..it’s spot has been taken by a $2 box of crackers.  So the better deal was squeezed out and we consumers are forced to purchase the higher priced Wal-Mart brand…..or do like me….drive a block to the Dollar General.   Where is the vision????? Gone just like the crackers.  I felt sorry for the little guy restocking the shelves…. he got an ear full….. I told him that I wanted him to pass the message along to his manager….. I went on a hunting spree and the manager was “unavailable.”

3.  Price Matching:  Okay, so the one-stop shopping idea is great and Wal-Mart will match other stores prices in advertisements.  And here’s what I have discovered:  store brands vs. Wal-Mart brands are not matched.  Okay, I will give them that one…. but it only makes sense if the Kroger brand is at a really good price, Wal-Mart should want my business and match their brand price.  Buy an item and get something free isn’t accepted.  For example, you buy a pound of Hormel Sausage and get Pillsbury canned biscuits for free.  Tried it with three separate cashiers…. won’t accept it.  Needless to say we didn’t get the sausage nor the biscuits…..and the manager, like when I just wanted to know why the milk prices were higher, had gone to “lunch.”

I must be on some sort of “crazy customer” watch list.  I never can see the manager to give him some loving advice on how to undo the economical sting of their “games.” They must have “big brother” cameras in the parking lot and warn the manager that “SHE” is here for her weekly hunt.  There is no harm in finding out why these things are happening…… right????

So see… I truly have a love/hate thing going on with Wal-Mart.

God Bless……..oh and happy hunting!

It's That Time

It is that time of the year.  We have made our resolutions and we are beginning forget our intentions.  So here’s something to think about……

On the first of every month, reset your goals.  Completely and honestly revisit what you resolved to do this year.  Whether it is to manage your money, time or food better this year, just take a moment on the first of each and every month to re-evaluate.  Review your progress.  Make necessary changes.  Eat the elephant one bite at a time……

Just yesterday, I had a conversation with God.  I felt ashamed that I had lapsed in my diet area.  I have been working out on a pretty regular basis but that is about it.  I think my sabotage techniques were working in over time.  I guess I was trying to pave the way to give up.  Feeling down about the whole thing, I went to aerobics class last night and God spoke up.  Winded, heart pounding, felt like fainting…..I heard Him.   Take one step at a time, one day at a time, and you will accomplish it.

I almost fell off the aerobic step.  Okay, so God IS in my corner……and He won’t let me fail as long as I listen.

If we give up now, we will only be making the same resolutions in 2011.  Remember, and keep reminding yourself, that 2010 is our year!!

God bless……