Amy . . .

What would you like to know? I am fun, but crazy. I have a most perfect husband, and 2 cats named Samson and Delilah. We are presently working on adopting a little girl from China and have a separate blog for that. I am a Christian and am working on a better relationship with him. I live in the Atlanta area and love sharing stories with people. I am also a pediatric nurse and I love it! I love to talk and meet new people and I love Disney Cruising

Thursday, April 30, 2009

3 part post


TV Show Updates
- We have not watched last nights LOST YET!

-AI- not surprised Matt got the boot. I do think he sounded a lot like Justin Timberlake and he had some solid performances but he just didn't shine like the others. I may be the only non Adam fan out here. He is a great performer, too good for AI. The judges push for him every week and I think they pushed Lil out of the competition. He will probably win, I hope not. AI was meant for undiscovered talent. As nice as this guy is, I cant imagine no one "finding" him yet.
I am not a fan of Alison's, although she can sing for a 17yo. I would be happy for Chris or Danny to win but I totally forgot about Chris the first half of this show.

Biggest loser- I am a Mike fan. I still cant believe Ron is still on.. Helen and Laura and done so well so regardless, I would be happy. Will be surprised if Helen wins though!

Part 2
Weight loss- Lost 1.8 pounds this week, need to lose 13.2 more before the middle of June or else WW is getting cut from the budget. I have not been to the gym, but LM and I have been walking at the park and doing laps which has been fun. If you are in the Atlanta area and want to meet sometime, let me know

Part 3
Frugal living
I am trying. The easiest thing is unplugging things, trying not to do laundry until evening, and not buying anything. I haven't started the coupon thing because it overwhelms me. I was at Walgreen's yesterday and there was a lady and her buggy with a HUGE 3 ring binder. I asked her if she works there if she was one of those special coupon people. She laughed and said yes she was special. She showed me her layout and said if you can organize your life and give yourself 45 minutes a day, you can save hundreds of month. Its a form of self discipline. Tried printing some coupons and will try to do some more things. We have such a long way to go. The Saturday before Mothers Day we will be having a HUGE garage sale. Getting rid of things to simplify our life and make some money. Everything will be super cheap, there will be some new items and there may be a few families joining us. Let us know if you want to stop by or participate.

Holy Cow, this is the longest post in a while!

Keep praying for the Compassion Bloggers. They are seeing things you don't see here in the US and there hearts are opening more..I'm so excited for them and what God is going to do through them!

New pics of LM at

Monday, April 27, 2009

Please pray for this family tonight!!

Frugal Living

The other day I asked your ideas on how to live frugally. Some of you commented here and some found me on facebook. So I thought I would share all the ideas and if you have more, please comment and I will add them as well!!!

Check out Aldi stores

Store brand items

Unplug appliances when you are not using them

- Dining out is the easiest place to cut your expenses. The best you can do is to not dine out at all, but that's unrealistic for most families. Here's ways I try to limit spending in restaurants:

1. Order tap water instead of sodas, teas, or adult beverages. Take a look at some of your restaurant receipts and you'll see beverages ranging anywhere from $.99 to over $2.50! For two people that's $5 just fora what might amount to 1 two liter bottle (~$1.50 at the grocery store). Water is free and generally better for you anyway.

2. Kids eat free! Pay attention when you're out and about and memorize places where kids meals are free and when. Around Orlando we now have Steak & Shake free on weekends, Ale House on Mondays, Beef O'Bradys free on some night I can't remember, Logan's roadhouse free on Tuesdays, Jersey Mike's Subs free on Wednesday and Sunday, and on and on and on. This will be a valuable tool when the little one starts eating more....
- 3. If your schedule permits, do your dining out at lunch time on weekdays and use the lunch specials offered by most restaurants. One of my favorites is the Ale House. Each Ale House has a different lunch specials menu. In Waterford Lakes it's a two-item menu priced at $4.95 or $5.95. One item stays the same each day of the week, the other ...

- We consolidate trips when out so as to save gas. We stock up on sale items. A deep freezer can be your best friend. I also buy seasonal items and put them up for later. Ex: Now it's time for strawberries so I am picking them and making strawberry jelly for the whole year. In late June I will buy 2-3 bushels of Corn and make homemade cream ...

- Here's my best money and time saving tool. If you eat chicken...I buy a whole 3 1/2 lb chicken...I use a knife to lift up the skin gently and put garlic and spices and herbs mixed with olive oil under the skin and over the skin (you can also use a rub). I cut up some red potatoes and but some baby carrots. I stick all of this in the crockpot with about a cup of water on low all day. You can make gravy with the juice at the end of the day. Then we have roasted chicken and vegetables for dinner one night. Then I take the remaining chicken and remove it from the bones(discard bones where doggy cannot find). I put it in two separate tupperwares ready for use in the coming day and already shredded. I usually have enough for two more casseroles. You can also use those chicken meal bakes from the store but they are high in preservatives and all the bad stuff... So two other nights of the week I make Chicken Divan, Chicken tacos, chicken stir-fry, chicken pot pie, chicken salad, a literal salad with chicken on top for can look on the campbell's soup website for lots of ideas. I can get three meals out of a chicken and I even buy the organic whole chicken for about $9, but you can get a regular roaster for a whole lot less. it is also pretty lowfat. You can do this once or twice a month tops and then the chicken is overkill.

Also, we cut coupons from the Sunday paper and target the ads that we have coupons for in order to get extra savings. I organize those coupons in a little plastic divider I got at K-Mart. You can download coupons on as well. It takes time but I do it while watching television...

- Freecycle. It's your best friend for clothes and other kid items. will tell you all about it and how to find your local group. NEVER buy new clothing for a child! Except maybe underwear. :)

Plan your meals ahead, at least by the week but preferably by the month. This stops you from eating out due to that "I'm tired and I can't think what to make" feeling so common when you have a little one. Also, look into doing once a month cooking and freezing meals. This and the menu planning has really cut down on our waste of food and eating out unnecessarily.
- I agree with thrift stores, garage sales, etc. for baby clothes. And buy bigger sizes too - not just what she's wearing now.

When I go grocery shopping, I buy things that are on sale and stock up on them. If chicken breasts are on sale, I'll buy about 4 or 5 packages and freeze them. The next week, if it's ground beef, I'll buy that. Buy big packages and separate them and freeze. Buy paper products at Walmart or Big Lots - never buy in the grocery unless they're on a big sale.

On hot days, keep your blinds closed to keep out the sun. Open your windows in the evening when it cools off. Cooler showers. Wash clothes in cold water. Don't run the dishwasher until it's full.

Entertainment - stay home and play games or cards with friends. Watch movies on TV for free. Use the library for books for yourself and LynnMarie.
- Here;s an entertainment tip:

You ever see those Redbox movie vending machines at Wal-Mart? I became the king of those things - but there's the kicker - for FREE!

There are tons of FREE codes all over the internet - I had a stretch at one point of like 11 movies in a row for free.

Good luck - frugal is better!

We read the ads for all the local grocery stores and map out who has the best deals on what we need.

Buy several loaves of bread when they are on sale - then freeze. Defrost a day in advance - perfectly soft and ready to go.

Defrost three to four things for dinner at a time - then you can pick and choose on the actual day from what you have ready to go. If it's frozen, chances are you'll eat out and spend a ton more.

Consider the $1 menu at fast food places before ordering a "meal deal". Many times, they have the same thing in smaller portions and it's only a dollar. We've eaten for $5 by doing this (family of three!)

Forgo the pricey coffees and drinks. At $4 to $5 each, you can pocket that and have date-night instead at the end of the week.
- One change my hubby and I have made is we use cash! Buying stuff with a debit card is like playing with monopoly money. When we spend cash we know that when it's gone, it's gone!

Grocery shopping we buy a lot of store brands shop the bottom shelves in the grocery store. When I find a good sale on chicken, boneless, skinless, I'll buy 10 or 15 pounds at a time and freeze it in 8 oz portions.

Clothes- good will or a good 2nd hand shop.

We used to do the envelope system. We had an envelope for clothes, gas, shoes, groceries, haircuts, fun and a special item that we were saving for. When my husband got paid we would take x number of dollars out and put the alloted amount in each envelope and put it in the drawer. Out of site, out of mind! We never had to worry about overspending, and if we did happen to take from one of the other envelopes, it was already accounted for.

Also made balancing the checkbook sooooo much easier! :) There was only 5 or 6 transactions every month and then the deposits!

- Always use a list when grocery shopping.

Keep a list of some meals that can be made with what you have on hand.
- hang your clothes (indoors on hangers on the shower rods, ropes strung in rafters -what ever you have to do).
- Stock up on clearance items for gifts and create a "gift closet" an area where you can store those items purchased on clearance. When you are invited to a birthday party or need a hostess gift, check your gift closet before running out and impulse buying the first thing you see.

After Christmas sales are the best time to stock up on bath and body gift sets and toys.
- 1. fully utilize the public library
2. make soup once a week
3. shop thrift stores-especially on half off days
4. wash most loads on cold
5. choose a week or so to buy no groceries, rely on what's on hand
instead of meeting friends out for dinner or brunch, do potluck at home

These days, with a baby at home, "dinner and a movie" means a dvd and a favorite plain frozen pizza with our own yummy toppings - about $10 for all this, as opposed to sitter + theater tickets + dinner out = >$100

WEBSITES that you have recommended

I will not live in fear

Satan has tried to take my peace this week. Not cool! I have been fearful of things I can not control. I will not live in fear. I will not seek hope in humans because I know where my Hope is.

We are living in what could be considered scary times. Its what you do with it that counts. I can not worry about what might happen because that in turns robs me of joy..

Anyway, I thought I would just share whats in my head today.

The frugal ideas below are awesome. I am compiling a list of whats been giving here, on facebook and other things I have found and will post tomorrow.

On another note, BJs has milk for 1.98!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

need help/ asked this before

Ok, the Christophers are getting on a strict budget like most Americans. My questions are how do YOU live frugally? I am talking groceries, entertainment, clothes. Looking for all of your ideas..I am going to try to find my old post on this.
I think I need to get myself mentally ready to live frugal. I need to quit thinking I can get what I want when I want and that would help tremendously!!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

It feels so wierd to think of myself as a mom, but that indeed what I am! I am loving it. I love the nights when she wakes up. Ok, I will be honest, I want more sleep but I love seeing her cries turn to smiles once I get her diaper changed..Her smile is wonderful.

Struggling- My voice is gone along with a clean house. I have never been a very organized person but now its pretty bad. I laugh when I think of how things have changed and how other things have become bigger priorities.

Random things, we are watching Idol, Hells Kitchen, LOST, Greys, Private Practice and working on getting things caught up..We missed a lot. That's okay. I now watch Little Einsteins and some of the free baby shows on Comcast now!!!! Love it!!

Life with a baby is crazy cool. Working on a pattern or routine. I have way to much in my diaper bag but I will figure that out as well.

Keep praying for the Christopher's. Michael is still not feeling well and out of work for a few days and we need to figure some things. Pray for peace.

Thanks friends, God has blessed us with so many good and wonderful gifts, including some amazing friends!!!!!

Sorry for the rambling
BTW, anyone reading anything good? My goal is to read Matt-Acts to get caught up with Bible Study but need something after that...

Sunday, April 12, 2009


No, I did not forget about this blog. its just been crazy busy around here. Laura asked me if mommyhood was what I expected? Yes it has been everything I dreamed about and more than I could have imagined.

I love everything about it except the shots. That part really stinks.

I am amazed at every smile that she gives me and let me tell you, there's a lot of smiles. We dreamed of our family since we got married. But I have to tell you, I am so thankful for the years of waiting. LynnMarie is our baby. God orchestrated events and brought us together at the perfect time. She amazes me daily. She has helped me change the way I view things. I remember the China trip and the nights in the hotel. Awesome!

But today was a highlight. Not only was it her first Easter, it was her first time experiencing worship and I teared up almost the whole time. Thanks Matt S and the praise band,LM loved the music. She kicked and danced and every time I wanted to cry I looked at her and she had her silly grin on.

I still can't believe our wait is over, that we saw her face last November and just one month ago, I held her in my arms, the coolest moment of my life so far. It was surreal.

I have spent the day thinking about Easter and the fact that God allowed his son to suffer the most painful death so that I can have eternal life and a life of freedom. Because of His sacrifice, I experience so much joy in my life. Its not perfect, but its a feeling I can not describe. I don't deserve any if the gifts God has given me. I think about this daily. I am very grateful for these gifts.

As I remind myself of LM's first Easter, for some families, this is their first Easter without their children. Don't forget to pray for the Chapman family as they approach their first year without Maria Sue. Check out Marybeth's blog for her thoughts on today.

Can you imagine what it was like for the ladies to see the empty tomb?

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Prayers needed please

My lovely husband was admitted into the hospital last night for dehydration and anemia. Right now he is waiting some transfusions and has tests scheduled for tomorrow. WOuld you please pray for him and add him to your prayer lists? He's scared. I am scared. I just want my family of 3 home safe and well!

Yall rock!