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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Good Deals Today

 Not sure why, but there were a lot of good deals today and a few that I had to share.

Staples has a Free reusable shopping bag. You just need to print THIS and go before Decmeber 31st.

Amazon has The Monopoly app for Android (normally 4.99) free today

**on a sidenote. I got a Vizio tablet for Christmas. What Android apps do I need?

Institute for Excellence In Writing is offering great things for the 12 days of Christmas on their Facebook page. There have been free Mp3 downloads. Today is free shipping. Head over and check it out.

Whenever we have family gatherings I realize I dont have as much food storage as I'd like. (or maybe you send yours home with people)

Lock & Lock 32-Piece Food Storage Container Set BPA-Free With Airtight & Watertight Seals for $19.99! (normally retails for $119)

Amazon's Deal of the Day is:  Black & Decker Steam Mop – $44.99 with Free Shipping today (reg $118.00)

AND... a free sample of Tom's of Maine toothpaste.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Keeping up with Social Media

I hope my post title didnt make you think this would be a post about the merits of keeping off the grid or a warning against the time wasting on Facebook/Twitter/GooglePlus.

NOPE this is an announcement that Having a Hallelujah Good Time is now on Twitter and Google Plus!

I stole some time from our Holiday planning and wrapping and cleaning our garage (you dont want to know ) to watch this video

and used
A Mommy's Blog Design Studio
tutorial and free icons

and Im on board.

Then I played around on Twitter and am joining this party:


Then I read about twitter parties: What one consists of, how to join in the fun and how to host one:.. HERE HERE and HERE. Looks like LOTS of fun!! Right now, Im not even sure I get how to tweet :) But Im a quick learner.


Wont you join me?
I'd love love love for you to follow me on Twitter or Google+. Im just figuring it all out, but maybe we can learn together!

Do you Tweet? What do you use Twitter for? Have you joined or hosted a Twitter Party?

Are you on Google+? Do you prefer it over Facebook?

looking for more followers and joining these parties:

Chubby Cheeks Thinks

Its Hump Day!

Facebook Like You Back



Chubby Cheeks Thinks

Monday, December 26, 2011

What I buy on

Many many people have discovered the joys of shopping at There is a lot of appeal to shopping in your pjs from home and getting great prices and speedy speedy shipping (usually free) and deliveries right to your door.

I am often asked what I buy on Amazon. I want to say EVERYTHING. But that seems a lttle vague.

There are several categories of things that make sense to buy online:
-things cheaper than in town
-things not available in town
-things embarassing to buy in person
-essentials you dont want to find yourself out of (like toilet paper, diapers or coffee)

What do I actually buy?
Let's make a list:)

 toilet paper:) on Subscribe and Save Charmin comes out to 22 cents a roll

We are almost out of diapers and usually use cloth and washclothes BUT these are still a must to have on hand and here is a great deal:)

laundry soap. I always mean to make my own but dont. This stuff is great. No harmful chemicals or dyes and pennies a load.

With the rising price of peanut butter, I was excited to come accross this. Organic Peanut Butter only 3.25 a jar with Subscribe & Save


great and chocolatey but gluten free, wheat free and organic (made with rice) (29 cents an ounce-3 big bags)

also wheat free, gluten free and organic (made with corn) 3 bags.

I like to keep these on hand for times when unhealthy treats are handed out, or for a treat at church..or with coffee when no one is looking:)

We dont snack much. But I've started keeping these on hand for times mentioned above or a treat with lunch on Sunday:

We dont have the budget for fast food when times get crazy..yet they still get crazy:) I keep a case of these on hand for a quick dinner. No dyes, preservatives. Complies with Stage 1 of the Feingold diet:

and cleaning:

These are expensive for our fmaily BUT they work really well and dont contain chlorine:

the best price I can find on this. We are big hand washers and I dont like the ingredients in most hand soaps:

We are blessed to have one of those georgous glass showers. And hard water. I have tried ALL the shower sprays and like this one the best. I didnt really realize that all of our bathroom cleaners were Mrs Meyers. That wasn't on purpose.

Here is another item that I technically make myself yet I run out a lot:) We have ALOT of granite

When we started saving batteries for the recycling center I was shocked to see how many we were using. Think you dont use that many? I was surprised by items like clocks.....We are slowly converitng over to all rechargeable. These are good quality and can be charged 100 times

I keep these on hand for hiking or sick times when we may get dehydrated:

LOVE LOVE LOVE this stuff. Not a big fan of perfumy cover ups but this is different and made with essentail oils. With 4 boys in the house this is such a welcome friend:

My hormones get really wacky. These honestly do balance them. this is the best brand and best price that Ive found:

We have been giving these to our littlest ones:

I strongly dislike terms like "pre-teen" yet my daughter doesnt have the same dietary needs as my littles or myself. I recently found these and they have been great.

This is a great price on these and Carlsons is the best:

These are great DHA for the littles

I KNOW there is more. Whenever I think I might want something: I check the price on Amazon, put it in my cart and think about it for awhile. Most of our Christmas presents came from Amazon. And the books we read. Our family present for Christmas this year was an LG Blu ray player for $50. I watch for their amazing deals and plan around those. Looking through our orders for the past year I saw all of our birthday presents, anniversary presents and big splurges. All on Amazon. From the comfort of my home and cheaper.

Please share with us your favorites from Amazon
Deals you have found on Amazon
Things that add convenience from Amazon.

**I am an Amazon affiliate. The links here contain my info and if you buy from Amazon using one of those links I wont know your info or what you buy but I will receive a percentage. Thank you.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Illness at the Holidays

 The holiday season: the time for getting together and junk food and potlucks. Lots of get togethers, lots of sugary treats and lots of potlucks. And germs. So so many germs. Our family does our our best to avoid and combat them: Limit treats, extra sleep, wash ends often, pump up on acidophilus.

This year something overcame our efforts and we awoke to a teen vomiting all over the bathroom and then
IN an under the bed box full of legos that hadnt been put away:(

Few days in bed and then our 5 and 3 year olds were up all night vomiting, one after the other.

We'd comfort and clean, change the bedding and towels and do a load of laundry and then the other would wake up. All night long.

Then my husband. Then my other son. Then we thought we were in the clear and then a few days later my daughter was up ALL night.
Someone asked me why large families get sick so often.

 Maybe some do but in OUR case it's not that we get sick often it's that we get sick one by one. Did you count how many days it took a 24 hour bug to go through our home? I don't want to. I still have a headache.

No matter how you look at it, you just don't want to be sick on Christmas. I wish there were a raincheck. Its not just the day. I obviously don't want to miss gatheirng with family and worshiping on Sunday morning. But there were also cookies to be made and delivered and cards to be delivered and we never did make a gingerbread house or hand stamp ornaments. It's not the same after the 26th.

We had this all happen a few years back. I was the first to get sick. I ended up not eating because there were no meals planned and nothing in the house. I eventaully ate the 12 dozen coookies that we had made for but couldn't deliver to our friends. I made a list of things to have on hand (or ask someone to go get) just in czase we get sick in the future:
-apple juice
-organic chicken broth
-Oscillococcinum (great great stuff)
-Herbal teas Peppermint, Echanachea, or Chamomile
-GrabGreen Room and Fabric Freshener (I spray this stuff EVERYWHERE. It isn't a fragrant cover up it is made from essential oils and actually helps)

I also got vinyl tablecloths to have on hand so you can lay one on the floor and top with towels and make a bed. Much much better than stripping the entire bed when midnight calamity strikes. Right now is probably a good time to get some at after Christmas clearance prices.

Not that this will ever ever happen to us again. But can you think of anything else that we should prepare with? Have you ever had to cancel or postpone Christmas festivities?

Our family usually gathers without us. Or if they are sick they don't tell us and we spend the NEXT few weeks sick.

I think I may still take cookies to neighbors, They will just be late. Maybe I'll even buy premade Christmas cookie dough on clearance. Right now I need to focus on resting and nurturing these six in my nest. Then we celebrate.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Decorating 2011

Do you know anyone who actually can buy what they want to decorate for Christmas with? I am not one of them. I get my stuff out each year and kind of think..really? This is it? Yet somehow when you put it all together there is something magical. is it the Christmas carols playing in the background the cool Christmas cup in my hand? Who knows.

Here we go....

 I told you about our tree here. This year we had to replace all the lights. I'd like to get a new one but I think Id still keep this one:) My husband's grandmother knit each of us a stocking to match the one she knit for my husband when he was born. She also filled it every year when he was a child. Great lady.

Here is another of the tree:

We have a small tree on our kitchen island. It was my husband's grandmother's. I ended up with it when taking her stuff to the GoodWill. We just hosted a Christmas cookie exchange. Hence the decorations for that...

Here is another tree. This one is fiber optic and also rescued from Grandma's GoodWill pile.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas Traditions

 I want to preface with, "I'm coming clean ladies" but I hope I haven't put on any airs to tear down.

I have been dealing with hormone stuff and feeling VERY overwhelmed. I am OK and we are very blessed but just the daily "he hit me" "what does this mean" and constant toddler training and teen drama and all the little things to think through and the laundry and meals and budgeting for 7 takes a toll on me. It takes a toll on our fun stuff. That is one of the points of this blog" To encourage to find the celebrations and the joys of the everyday.

I ordered Christmas cards. I took them to our Friday co-op and started to pass them out and then left them locked in a church 1/2 hour away that I don't attend. And now I don't have a car.

My daughter was frustrated that I didn't get the tree up on Black Friday so SHE put it up.

and asked the littles to help her. Most of our ornaments were broken. I have prayed and prayed and counted to ten many many times and we are discussing respecting boundaries. Not the festivities I had in mind :(

I hung our stockings that my husband's dear grandmother knitted for each of us (this is our first Christmas without her) ***All pictures are from last year--although things are hung pictures have not been taken yet:)

I got out our Advent wreath and candles but I couldn't find the devotional (we have more than one.) I planned a Christmas party but didn't get the word out until last minute so I don't know how it will come together...

We celebrated my husband's 40th with his parents and made dinner together. It was a good time. One of our best.

All that said to try to convince myself that it is Christmas time and we are doing fun things but....

It doesn't "feel" like Christmas. Could it be our beautiful sunny Southern Ca weather?  I know that we'll sit down to a campy Christmas movie together and I'll cry. And we'll sneak in some time with friends. We'll deliver cookies to friends. Christmas cards will start arriving. We'll find that Advent devotional and really dig in. I just don't want to miss any of those precious moments because I wasn't prepared to "catch" them.

Do you have any suggestions?

Monday, December 5, 2011

These are a few of my favorite things......

 One of the hardest things about this time of year is not being able to buy all the things for people that I'd like to. I'd love to buy the mail lady and each Sunday School teacher, and oooh, the nice neighbor, meaningful and heartfelt gifts that show how much we really appreciate them. Unfortunately though, my non-existent budget goes pretty quick and doesn't send the message I'd like.

BUUT! If I could play Oprah for a day (on the $30 budget that Nester suggested) I'd invite each of you and with a cloth lined basket with a big big bow I'd give you:

Love love love this book. I have been asking EVERYONE I see to read it because I want to talk about it, but I don't want to loan out my book:)

You would also recieve this print: framed and ready for your home

then, of course we'll need these:

You'd each get a few of these:

from FiveSisterz on etsy because I just love these girls...

I want to make you a mixed tape of all my favorite songs and one of Christmas songs too...what would be the techo savvy version? A mixed cd? an Itunes gift card? Would my party have its on web page with music? I'll need to think on that.

It's also seeming that your basket has a lot of red in it. I'm thinking the liner is a brown and white damask maybe the rest of the $30 should be spent on candy to fill the basket. Candy that you hide from your children (you all do that, right?) Oh and we need a beeswax candle in there too...

Also linking up at:

Friday, December 2, 2011

Affiliates: Amazon is back!!

 CA legislation stopped my Amazon affiliate for awhile...But it's back!!

When you buy from Amazon, please go through my link:

When you go through this link, nothing changes for you.  You still go under your account. You can still use your Amazon Prime and free shipping.  BUT I get a percentage of your purchase (all anonymously) I have one friend who bookmarks my blog page and labels it "Amazon" another has the widget on her desktop...
I sooo much appreciate your support: Thank you.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

In the Everyday

 It amazes me how at times you realize how mundane and plain your life is and how dirty and sinful you are and you beg God to pick you up and blow off all the sin and selfishness and make all the cares and laundry and drama go away. The thing is, that is not how God chooses to work. He could if He wanted to but instead of picking you up, He holds you close and meets you there and works miracles and amazingness through and with all your crud and sin and shortcomings.

It;s in the laundry and snotty noses and dirty diapers and "Mom!!! He did..." and our desire for great things that we are shown the meaning and usefulness that we were designed for and that there is so much more than we can see now.

Anne Kiemel says, "Life is made up ordinary days." Yet in the ordinariness of our days is His amazing and miraculous plan to work through and with us in our dirty and distracted state.

I am so grateful for that. For all of it. So grateful that God can see the whole picture and the whole plan and chooses me. Truly mind blowing and very very humbling.