Thursday, May 13, 2010

Publix 5/7- Paid me to take my groceries home!!!

My best and last trip: Publix savings 5/7
We’ve been out of town all week and I had some rain checks that were going to expire today so I just decided to stop by Publix on our way home from Brewton. I just threw this trip together in the car on the way down so I could only use the coupons I had on me…and it ended up being my BEST trip yet!

Katie’s Kart:
5 Cartons Fiber One Yogurt
23 Jars of baby food
8 Cans of Progresso soup ( my fav )
4 jars of Peter Pan Peanut Butter
5 Dove deohdorants
3 apples
5 lbs of bananas
1 formula (costs $24 ALONE)
1 iceburge lettuce
3 cascadian farms frozen fruits
1 loaf of bread
2 reusable shopping bags
8 ears of corn

Total: $25 (- $50 gas gift card) = $25 overage (used $14 in Register Rewards)= $11 overage
$91 (- $50 gas card and $50 Amex card)= $9 overage
This means: Free groceries!!! And $20 overage!!!- WHAT???!!!!

I used a $10 off store coupon (on each), formula coupons, 20 off w/ gas card (2 checkouts), 5 off with Amex express card, other coupons, and $14 in register rewards. The only way I was able to get such a great deal is because Ben was with me and we each checked out once!!! This will probably be my last trip since we are moving and I probably shouldn’t be stockpiling anymore  The great thing is I had so many bananas we were able to give some away to a guy on the side of the street- this really makes it worthwhile to me!

Stones of Remembrance


Holding Abigail in the NICU- we made over 150 trips there in 46 days

Abigail's arching really had the dr.'s concerned...

Aiden after a procedure

In the NICU

The massive throw up that occured with every bottle

3 months old, reunited again :)

The twins have been a part of our lives for a full YEAR now! It’s so hard to believe! I truly can’t imagine life without these two precious miracles. What an amazing gift God has given us! There is so much value in remebering...
Let’s recall some of the miracles that have taken place:

1. We delivered two beautiful babies ( I was told I would never get pregnant)

2. The Lord healed Abigail and allowed her to grow ( the Lord healed her right before they did exploratory surgery on her 3 lb frame because she couldn’t eat and was withering away; the neonatologists working with her assured me it was not a “milk-protein intolerance” that had caused all her issues and he couldn’t explain her recovery…but I could )

3. God healed my toe of a staph infection! (this may sound funny, but it was very serious, so serious I had to have my toenail removed!)

4. Abigail has seven specialists that see her- her arching has resolved, her torticolus is gone, her plagiocephaly is not severe, the hole in her heart has not grown, Ct scan and 2 MRI’s came back negative, the geneticts testing came back NORMAL…all in all she is growing and thriving!!! The Lord His hand upon her life.

5. Although Aiden had an apnea monitor for 6 months and have several severe apnic episodes (where he stopped breathing on his own) he is fine now and seems to be unaffected by this.

6. God has provided for us financially in a struggling economy and we live on full support.

7. God healed my body physically (I’ve had many health issues since we got married including no periods, hormonal issues, hypothyroidism, and osteoporosis) and in April I cycled on my own for the first time in 5 years!

8. The Lord has opened up doors in my heart that I didn’t know were closed, set me free in ways I didn’t know possible, and allowed me to love like I never knew existed… He has given me greater understanding of the gospel and how costly it was to Him to watch His only son suffer…in a way that only a parent who has watched their child suffer could…He taught me many lessons through all our experiences…but most of all, He was WITH US

A Year of Tears: Tears of Joy and Tears of Pain...

I wrote this several months back but for some reason it didn't post. I know it is long but I'm printing my blog later and it's a good summary...

A Year of Tears: Tears of joy and Tears of pain…

Well I must admit it is quite overwhelming for me to attempt to cover the gap between now and November 20, the last time I blogged. Or, in a bigger sense, to attempt to recap the “stones of remembrance” from this last year. There have been so many emotions, feelings that at times have almost crippled me. Circumstances that have brought extreme joy, and devastating sadness. In many ways, I have had the most difficult year of my life. However, also the most blessed and freeing…The birth of the twins was a miracle and has enlarged my heart to love more than I thought was possible in human form. But in loving much, you risk much, and in the many terrifying moments where we almost lost Abigail, and prematurely grieved her death as the doctors seemingly gave up hope on her, my heart was torn to shreds. I was brought to a much deeper and greater understanding of the gospel as I watched my first child suffer greatly. Circumstantially, we have been living in a crisis for most of this year. The babies were born May 1, Abigail in the NICU for almost 2 months, then seeking to bring home and care for 2 special needs children. I went to the doctor with them nearly every day (Abigail sees 9 specialists) for months and months. And yet in the midst of great difficulty, the Lord wrapped his loving arms around us in so many ways. He blew our minds with the ways he continually provided for us financially over and over again. He provided me with physical help and even meals for nearly 6 months after their birth. There was someone in my house offering me help in shifts for at least 2-4 hours of my day. We would not have made it without the loving hands of the body of Christ (specifically my mom, Grace Community Church, and our students) as they served us and bore our burdens with us. Around 6 months (now October) the twins were a lot more stable physically and manageable. I began to feel as though I could breathe again, for a little while, before the waves started crashing in on me once more. It is as though all year I have been drowning, and I was able to come up for a good choking breath, before I went under once again. We started finding out of some of my own health issues, including the toll the pregnancy had taken on my osteoporosis, my prolonged endocrine issues, and also a lump my doctor found in my breast that he was concerned about. However, the most devastating blow, was when my mother in law had a debilitating stroke on December 9, 2009. This event was absolutely devastating and set us back on the “roller coaster” once more. Ben’s dad died the year before we got married, and he and his mom are very close. The first couple weeks he was at the hospital for about 12 hours/day. She initially continued to worsen and we were again faced with the pain of loss. Not only the potential loss of her life, but the actual loss of her mobility, independence, and partial vision. As some of you may know, a stroke changes a person. We have taken on the responsibility of her financial/legal matters, not to mention just being there for her emotionally and physically. We moved her to a rehab facility, she get pneumonia on Christmas day so we went back to the hospital, and then back to rehab, and finally home. It has been extremely taxing and emotionally draining process on my husband. The stress of caring for a sick parent cannot adequately be described in words. We continued to press on and sought just to make it through most of our days. It is now February. I would love to tell you that “everything is better”- that the twins don’t still have health issues, that Marilyn has fully recovered, and that my health also resolved. Instead, circumstantially, the Lord has chosen to “rock us” even more. There have been some deep seeded issues in my heart the Lord has chosen to bring to the surface right now. Things that have affected everything about my life. Also, there have been some changes that have occurred with our job and due to circumstances beyond our control, our entire staff will be making a transition in the fall and paychecks could be cut even now. Personally, our transition is going to be a very large one both geographically and emotionally. And yet, the Lord is teaching me some amazing lessons and flooding my heart with peace. I am still drowning in a sense- all the waves are still crashing, the waters are still covering us, and it can at times still feel as though I cannot breath- however he has met me IN MY STORM and is breathing into my struggling lungs (supplying me with rich oxygen). He has not removed any of my pain, in fact, it’s in choosing to feel and be broken, that I find myself the most free. Our circumstances remain- Marilyn, the twins’ health, my health, a massive transition- and the emotions are real- wrestling with God in the pain he is allowing to continue to inflict upon our lives. THE CONSTANCY of it all IS WHAT’S BEEN SO CRIPPLING… And honestly it’s the questions in my heart (the doubt of a sovereign god and his love for me, the brutality of living in a fallen world, the disappointment of people that fail me) that are much more difficult to deal with than any situation. But in choosing to deal with my heart, to take all my questions about life to the author of life, to surrender my pain to the only One who can really handle it and invites me in- this is where I have found rest. I am more at rest and at peace now than I have ever been, even though many days I am grieving. I am seeing that despair and hope are not at odds-it’s as though they kiss. That I no longer have to long for relief from the pain, but can see it as a door that invites me to deeper RELATIONSHIP. And so I walk willingly, with my Savior, on this journey called life…

Sunday, May 9, 2010

a litle bit...

So I’ve been thinking (scary I know)…everything is more overwhelming if you let it pile up! Fly Lady taught me this and it has changed my life!Laundry, dishes, grocery shopping, cleaning, everything gets done if you just do a little at a time! So I’m going to try to write a little something every few days, and maybe post a few pics…try to just do a little at a time so I’m not constantly feeling behind! Please let me know if anyone is still out there reading???

Fun with community

Fun with our community group! Abigail LOVES Kevin (and he loves her too:) After staying at our house one night when she was so sick and holding her nearly the entire time...they have developed a special bond:)

Spent $30, Saved $180- I'm addicted!

Katie's Kart:
3 tubs cool whip
2 packages shredded cheese
2 cartons Silk Soy Milk
4 cartons Egg Beaters
1 package chicken
2 packages frozen steamfresh veggies
2 packs of Pepperidge Farm Deli Flat bread
2 packs whole wheat pasta
2 packs lunch meat
1 carton eggs
1 lettuce
1 Mccormick Salad Supreme
8 Campell's Chunky soups
2 cans GG beans
2 Kashi Oatmeal Boxes
3 Cascadian Farm boxes cereal
1 Kashi cereal
1 Post Selects Cereal
5 Yoplait Plus 4 packs of yogurt
4 scrubbing bubbles
1 shout spray
2 windex multisurface
1 all small and mighty
1 Fruit chiller box
2 publix reusable shopping bag
1 pack red Plastic cups (for bday party)
bananas ($2)
grapes ($1.54)
Huggies big pack ($20)- NOtice this is almost the total bill right here!
2 packs Huggies wipes ($12)
1 bag tortilla chips (party)
2 boxes teddy grahams (party)
1 huge box nature valley granola bars
1 knorr sides
1 box cheeze its
2 GE light bulbs twins pack

Order Total: $31
Tax: $11
Total Saved: $180 !!!!!!!

This means I would have paid well over $200 for all this at Walmart! I am saving soooo much off our monthly budget and I am so stocked up on things! It's as though the Lord has given me a part-time job that I actually enjoy (ok this is not a strong enough word- I'm totally addicted! I get excited about the sale ads coming out, can't wait to add up my totals, Publix days is one of the most thrilling of my week, you get the idea...) right when we really needed the income! I do put in a good bit of time to organize and make these trips, but when I divide up how much I'm saving/number of hours= me making about $12/hour. This is worth it to me!!!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010