Monday, September 29, 2008


So, I am going to copy my sister Kim and catch you up with my week in pictures.

First, Nathan and Madelyn were pretending to go to Disney World last weekend. (Little do they know that they are going in less than 80 days) So Nathan emptied out all of his drawers looking for his Hawaiian shirt. I am not sure why he thought that shirt would be a good choice. This is what I found when I walked past his room.

It was pretty funny and I was able to organize his drawers when we cleaned up.

My parents had a party for my brother and his new wife Liz. We had a great time and great food. Jarrett stayed home with Nathan who had a 103 fever.

Madelyn started gymnastics and ballet/tap. She loves them both! She even got moved up to the next level in gymnastics after her first class. She is now with the 3rd and 4th graders. I was a little worried if they would accept her and if she would feel comfortable. I shouldn't have, she knew everyone names within 5 minutes. The big girls were great to her.

Nathan has had a TON of testing at the school during the last week. So we have been back and forth to the school constantly. The nice lady testing him told me to just come back in 2 hours on the first day. Wow, free time!! At first I was excited then as I walked out of the school I started bawling like a baby. It wasn't like I was dropping him off for the whole day, it was 2 hours people! What is wrong with me?? I am so used to "being there" and being a part of his therapy, testing, schooling etc. I am about to cry again. Ok next some mom bragging. The psychomotrist commented that she had never had such a smart 2nd grader. I can't wait to see the results of the testing. We have one more day of testing then we should have our BIG meeting. Then we will be making the decision about schooling. Please pray for wisdom for us! And, if we happen to send him to school, I need you people to plan a day for me or call Laurate for a reservation. Either one will work.

Sorry Mom and Dad, I just couldn't resist! My parents came over the Sunday after Steven and Liz's party to visit and within 5 minutes of sitting down they were both sound asleep and snoring. Poor babies were exhausted.

This weekend we boycotted the FAIR and went to the ZOO instead. We met Kim and Micah and their kids and had a great time.

In other breaking news I am battling a boil, yes you read that right, a boil. (at least that's what I think it is) It is right above my eye. When I woke up this morning my eye lid was so swollen. It looked like I was giving everyone the evil eye. It hurts sooooo bad. I am not, I repeat, not sharing a picture of it. Actually, it doesn't look like much, just a red shiny spot that is killing me.

Jarrett and I went and saw the movie, Fireproof. I would highly recommend it to all you married folks.

In other randomness, Madelyn cried when I picked her up early at school today for an eye dr. appt. She was sad that she was missing centers, music, and snacks. Who would have ever thought?? Remember the first week??

Ok, I am done rambling. Goodnight my sweet friends.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sweet Carter

Dear Friends,

3 years ago today we were blessed to meet Carter Lane Bevins, my nephew. Kim and Micah's precious son lived only a short time but he will forever be a part of our family. His sweet life has touched many and none of us who hear his story will ever be the same. All the moments of his life and the days surrounding it are forever etched in my memory. He had the sweetest little features and the most precious spirit. I am so thankful to God that he allowed me to be a part of his birth, life and death. I will never forgot the nurse telling me it is ok to keep shooting pictures. I think she could sense that I felt like the camera was intruding on this unexpected moment. "Someday," she said, "They will want to see them." It somehow felt so wrong, yet so right. So I kept shooting. Jarrett was able to put together a little video right after his death for Kim and Micah. Please, please go to my sister's blog today and leave a comment, even if you don't know her. It will mean so much to their family to know that we are all thinking and praying for them today. Her blog is or just click on the link on the side of my blog that says "KIMS BLOG" Thank you for your prayers for them today! Thank you LORD for holding my sweet sister in the palm of your hand during these difficult times. I praise your powerful and mighty name today and all the days of my life!!!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Nathan's Story

Here is a video that Jarrett made a long time ago about our sweet Nathan. It is such a reminder of how great our God is. It reminds of how far Nathan has come and what a miracle he is. So thank you Lord for this sweet child you have blessed our lives with!

Nathanism/Walgreens deals/Old Friends

Our homeschool coop went on a field trip to the Fire Station. The kids had a blast!

Tonight during our family prayer time Nathan prayed that daddy would make a wise decision about who to hire and that he would work hard so that he could retire soon. I think I heard an "AMEN" from Jarrett. I was laughing so hard, I am sure God was too!

Sunday afternoon I met my friend Dawn (Dawnsdiversions) at Walgreens for a little training session. She did great and saved a lot of money and will be getting rebates back on her Walgreens gift card. We had a lot of fun and will be hitting the store again next Sunday. We did make one older gentlemen in line a little anxious because our transactions took so long, but everyone else was a good sport about all of our coupons. I didn't do as good as last week because I stocked up on pull ups which always drives up the bill. I got them for 7.99 plus a 2.00 rapid reward. At least it is better than I used to do. I got the Kashi cereal for 50 cents a box!!!! You can go to their website and print of $2.00 coupon of any Kashi product.

My total savings:$42.80
Rebates I will get: $6.00
My OOP: 23.34

Our dear friends, Traci and Jorge finally moved back home this weekend. We are so excited to have them back. The kids are in "Paradise" to quote Nathan because Max and Kennedy are back. They have had fun playing together.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Several of you have asked for more info. on how to save money at Walgreens, so here is where I started. My first and most important piece of advice is to start clipping coupons out of the Sunday Paper. Cut everything, even if it is a brand you normally may not use or a product you don't need right now. Start stock piling coupons. Yesterday, I saved over $20 a Walmart with little effort just using coupons! My best purchase was a pound of bacon for 50 cents. It was a brand I have never used before but for 50 cents I am willing to try it. I put my coupons in an accordin style thingy and put them into catagories. I carry it in my purse wherever I go. You never know when you will be out and can snag a good deal.

Dawn, The reason you do separate transactions is so that you can take advantage of the RR (register rewards) They are tied to certain items and will only print out once per transaction. So then you use it to pay for the second transaction, etc. Each week their ad will tell you the items that get RR's.

When I started this a couple of months ago, I found this website and she explains everything very articulately. (is that a word)
Here is her section on Walgreens.

I copied this off of my favorite money saving website, (can someone help me fiqure out how to make a link active?)

Besides just the normal store sale, Walgreens has three different types of deals to take advantage of:

1) Rebate Booklet - This is most commonly known to most deal shoppers: The Walgreens EasySaver catalog. These are usually located next to the weekly store flier displays at your local store. You'll want to make sure and grab one on your next shopping trip. Actually, grab three or four while you're at it (I'll tell you why in a minute).

The monthly EasySaver catalog usually includes a few free after rebate items for the month and also a number of other rebates they are offering for the month. Some of the items listed in the booklet which are not free after rebate at their normal price will usually go on sale one week during the month and will then be free after rebate at the sale price.

In order to take advantage of the rebate deals, you'll need to go to the store and buy the items listed, paying out of pocket. Then, you'll fill out the simple rebate form and send it in along with your receipt with the price you paid circled.

You can choose to have the rebate sent back to you in the form of a check or a gift card. Unless you are not planning on shopping at Walgreens more than one time, you should always choose to have your rebate put on a gift card. Why? Well, for one, you get 10% extra for choosing a gift card so this will usually cover the cost of the stamp to send in the rebate, plus any tax you paid on the items.

Best of all, once you've sent in your first rebate request and gotten your gift card with the rebate plus 10% on it back, you will never need to spend a penny more out of pocket at the store! You can just use your gift card to buy the rebate items, send in your rebate form and they'll recharge your gift card with the rebate amount plus 10% and you can roll it over and over month after month.

It usually takes around 4-6 weeks for your first rebate to be processed and for you to receive your gift card. Once you have the gift card and just need them to recharge it, it normally takes 2-3 weeks. They'll send you a postcard saying your rebate $$ have been added to your gift card. You can also always log in to their website at any time to check on the status of your rebate.

In order to take advantage of the other great deals at Walgreens, you want to try - as much as possible - to "grow" your dollar amount on your gift card. How do you do that? The best way is to use a manufacturer's coupon on the free after rebate items. Using coupons, plus the 10% you get back each month, you'll slowly be able to grow your gift card to where you can do the rebates every month, plus take advantage of some of the other Walgreens deals, and never pay a penny out of pocket except for the initial money you paid the first time you bought the rebate items.

The EasySaver catalog also includes a number of store coupons which are good all month (see next point). You can see the October Easy Saver catalog here.

2) Coupon Stacking - The EasySaver catalog and the weekly store fliers always include a number of store coupons which are good all month or all week, depending upon which flier they came from.

Since these are store coupons, they can be stacked with manufacturer's coupons. Often, you'll be able to get a really great deal by stacking a store coupon, a manufacturer's coupon, and a store sale.

This is the reason I told you to grab more than one of the EasySaver booklets. You'll want to have extras of these when you plan your shopping trips. That way, you can plan out your transactions and put all of the coupons you'll need for each in an envelope along with your shopping list.

3) Register Rewards - The Register Rewards program is a brand-new program that Walgreens has recently started. Similar to the CVS Extra Care Bucks Program, when you buy a certain item, you will get a printed coupon after you checkout called "Register Rewards" which you can use like cash on your next purchase. They usually only have a few of these items per week, and many times it is not completely free. However, by adding on a store coupon and/or a manufacturer's coupon, you are often able to get the item for free or almost free after the Register Rewards.

Unlike CVS, the Register Rewards (RR) are not tied to a store card. Instead, they just print out for everyone who buys that particular item or items that week. Because of this, there is no limit on how many of one deal you can do. That said, they have recently tightened their system so that you usually cannot roll the same RR over and over again on the same deal.

For instance, a few weeks back, they were running a Proctor and Gamble Buy $25, Get $10 in RR promotion and they were also running a Unilever Buy $20, Get $10. With store coupons, manufacturer's coupons, and the Register Rewards, I was getting most of these items for almost free (and paying with the out-of-pocket from my gift card, of course!). However, I couldn't do the P&G deal over and over using the $10 RR to pay for my transaction after coupons, since the computer is programmed to not print out another $10 RR on P&G products if I paid for with the $10 RR I got from purchasing them last time. Make sense?

So, you can either just do the deals once, or you can do the deals multiple times and pay out of pocket and then save the RR's you collect each time and use them on groceries or other items later. Or, your best option is to do what I did: Do multiple transactions and alternate between the P&G deal and the Unilever deal. This way, you can keep rolling the RR's over and over and paying very little out of pocket (well, out of your gift card!).

Very Important:

From what I've found, the Walgreen's cash register system is set up a lot differently than CVS. So for those who are used to shopping at CVS and always paying less than a $1 for a few bags of groceries, you might find yourself frustrated at first. I've spent some time figuring out what works best and here are my tips.

Please note: Read the comments for some varying experiences. It might depend upon your particular region or store as to their coupon policies. These are just from my experience and if you are having trouble getting the system to work, these tips might help you.

1) You must have as many items as you have coupons. The computer is programmed not to accept any more coupons than you have items. So, make sure and tally up your items and coupons before you check out. The Register Rewards count as a coupon as do any of the store coupons, so count those, too. If you have more items than coupons, add on a few cheap items so that you have the same number of items as coupons. I always play it safe and try to have at least one more item than coupons. This just guarantees the register doesn't have issues.

2) In order to get your total down to the lowest amount possible and for the register to accept all of your coupons, the order you give your coupons in is very important. So far, I've never met a Walgreen's cashier who knew how to manually push a coupon through. So if you're coupon won't go through, it won't go through. That's why it's important that you have as many items as coupons and that you hand your coupons over in the correct order.

After lots of trial and error, here's the best coupon order I've come up with:

-Register Rewards first
-Then manufacturer's coupons
-Then store coupons

Doing it in any other order than this seems to cost me at least a few dollars more or it causes the system to jam and not allow my coupons through and means I either have to add on some extra items or it means that I pay extra money out of pocket.

I give my coupons to the cashier in batches split up in the groups mentioned above. This keeps things simple and ever since I started doing it this way, I've never had a problem with the register jamming or a coupon not going through.

3) If for some reason they cannot get a coupon to go through, request that they void the item right then off of your order. It's much easier to just void it off right then and not pay for it, then to try and mess with it later. And voiding it off is a very simple process.

There you have it! I'm sure I missed something and didn't explain everything very clearly so please feel free to ask concerning any questions you have.

Monday, September 8, 2008

I hit the mother load!!

Today I did so well at Walgreens that the cashier was clapping and cheering for me. She is going to start couponing now!! Yea!! I love helping people save money!

Transaction #1

3 bottles of Robitusin 3.99 each, I used 3 $3 off coupons

Total price: $2.97

I earned a $10 Register Reward, so I made $7 buying cough syrup, which I am sure will come in handy this winter.

Transaction #2

1 Shout $2.49, .75 coupon (from newspaper)
2 Scrubbing bubbles shower foam $3.79, I used 2 $1.00
1 scrubbing bubbles $2.49, .75 coupon (from newspaper)
1 windex $2.49
2 scrubbing bubbles action scrubber 3.79, I used 2 $2.75 coupons, which made them $1.04 each

I used my $10 RR from Transaction #1 to pay for all of this and only owed $6.31 OOP
I also earned another $10 RR for buying 7 SC Johnson products, So really I made $ on this!!

Transaction #3

$.99 Chex Mix. Coupon: $1 Net Price: FREE (printed online coupons)
2 Motts apple sauce $2.50 each (store coupon and online coupon) Net price: 2.34
paper clips .25 (on clearance, I needed some and I needed a filler item, since I had more coupons than items. Walgreens registers won't work if you have more coupons than items.)
Glade spray $2.99, I used $1 off store coupon, $1.50 mg. coupon, Net price: .49
Chemistry Root boost: $7.99 (Will get $7.99 rebate)
crest toothpaste $3.79, used .75 coupon, and will earn $3.79 Rebate

I put $2.47 on my Walgreens gift card.
Paid $3.35 oop
Total: $5.82

My Savings was $66.45
My Out of pocket: $13.65
My rebates that I will get: $11.78


It is really not as confusing as it looks! I promise, it is worth it!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

What's Up?? (Warning Randomness below)

(Nathan's mixing molecules to see reactions experiment)

We have all been adjusting to our new "School" schedule. Jarrett has been traveling the last two weeks to Denver and Tennessee. It is nice to have him back home. I have been staying up way to late watching the RNC. I am getting old. I must say that Sarah Palin is one spunky woman and really knocked it out of the park last night.

Today Madelyn's friend Jaiden, who she rides to school with, was sick. So I had the pleasure of taking her to school. I should have known this was going to be bad when she told me that she couldn't go to school without Jaiden. I had to turn some papers in at the office so I told her I could walk her in the building to that point, then she could walk to class. I thought she would be fine since she walks in without a problem when Jaiden's dad takes them. Oh, no, she did not. She went to give me a hug and wouldn't let go and started crying at the top of her lungs. The kindergarten assistant saw what was going on and came to retrieve Madelyn. As she was trying to get her Madelyn accidentally hit her, stepped on my toe, and punctured some poor parents eardrums with her high pitched screams. I kept my composure as Nathan is yelling, "Don't leave her mom, she needs you!!" I grabbed his hand and headed out the door then turned around to make sure Madelyn was ok. There was another mom there and she totally gave me the look of death. I was like you are NOT looking at me like that! I already felt bad enough but then to get that look and head shaking was not cool. That chick has no idea what is really going on. We moms need to stick together and support one another, not judge each other, especially in moments of child melt downs.

No sooner was I out of the parking lot than I get a phone call from the school counselor. "I heard Madelyn crying by my office, she is fine now, and has wiped away her tears." This was not my first phone call from her. She called me the third day of school as well when I left her at school screaming.

I called Jarrett this morning and asked him why we are doing this. Maybe we are supposed to homeschool her. Trust me it is nice just having one to homeschool but for some reason I still feel this desire (for lack of a better word) to keep her here. Nathan has been able to cruise through his school work with it being so quiet at the house. He has blossomed in his Piano and had time to nurture his passion for art and science. I thank God for this sweet time with him.

I started Bible Study this morning, Beth Moore's Jesus the one and only. I just love ladies Bible study and I think this is going to be another great one. They have childcare for the homeschooled kids and they can bring their work.

Last night we started a class at church called "The Truth Project" It is incredible! It was put out by Focus on the Family and is about a Christian worldview. There is no homework which is great since I have a lot with the Beth Moore study and it is a DVD series. If any of you in Owasso are interested in this class, it is open to the public. It is Wed. at 6:30 at First Baptist.

Ok, If you are still reading I warned you that this is a bunch of randomness.

Please pray for Jarrett and I as we are working on getting Nathan on an IEP. We are doing the testing through the school as well as some private testing. It is a lot of work gathering medical reports from all of his specialist, going to meetings, etc. Nathan's OT and ST think that it would be best for him to go to school. We are not so sure. Once all of the testing is done we will meet with a team from the school and see what they can offer him. At that time we will decide if we accept their services or continue to homeschool.
When you have a special needs child you become the biggest advocate your child has. I fight for him, cry for him and pray for him. I want the best services for him. I about lost it today when I got the report from his developmental pediatrician of Nathan's last visit in July. To see the words in black and white was devastating for some reason. There were words on there that I had to google to understand. As I read it I thought surely this is not My son he talking about. When I look at Nathan I see the handprint of my heavenly Father not some big fancy diagnosis. This is a child that was never supposed to walk, or talk or have a "normal" life. He is doing great right now and he loves God and that is all that matters. The labels don't matter, the big words or the diagnosis, don't really matter.

Ok, this post is getting too long.

One more thing, if any of you that have Kindergartner or first grade little girls that were 5 by April there is a new ballett/tap class that a lady at our church is teaching. It is FREE. If you want more info. let me know.

Oh my goodness, are you watching the John McCain. Those hecklers need to get out of there!!! The next two months sure will be eventful!