Sunday, January 17, 2010

Some of my favorite sites

Sorry I have not updated in a while.

I plan to update this blog each week. I know that I have let some of you down and I am truly sorry about that. But I am now back to work, so I do know how hard it is to make the time for couponing. But you and I can do couponing if we set our minds to it. We get ourselves ready for work, so we should also get ourselvers ready to shop and save. I still do couponing but not as much as before. I still carry my coupons with me everywhere. I just don’t spend 4 -5 hours getting ready as I used to.

Something that God is doing for me is that I am back to work. In November I went back to teaching in a 4th grade class. I was in there for about 4 weeks. That ended on Dec. 17th. I was praying to God and He told me to approach the principal about another job. Being who I am, I threw out a fleece. Is this really what you want me to do Lord? So my fleece was that the principal would be in her office when I got to work and I would ask her to remember me if a job opened up. While, when I got to work, the principal was not there, so I thought it was not meant to be. As I turned the corner, who did I run right into… the principal! She had her arms full of items and here I was almost running right into her! I did not go to her and say, if you have a job opening, please remember me. How could she not remember me considering that I ran right into her.

So I waited until a ‘right’ time. It was Wednesday afternoon and I got a phone call from the principal. She said she wanted to see me and that it was something good. I went down to her office after school and she offered me another job, still subbing, but it was a job teaching 2nd grade. She also was able to get me teacher pay instead of sub pay! Yeah.. I now have been in that class for 2 full weeks. I am now the 'teacher' in that class until the real teacher returns.  Please pray for this teacher that she will be healed from her illness.  She has been out sick for a while and really needs healing. 

I still check out my favorite sites and I listed some below. Most of them have a couponing course that you may sign up for, (I signed up and that is how I learned more about couponing). But what I really like about them is that these sites will do the work for you. They will list the deals of the week on their sites and tell you where to find the coupons. (hence, why you should save each Sunday’s coupons)  Please note, that there are over 1000 web sites for couponing.  One can google and find one that you like the best.  These are a few of my favorite ones.  I have more, but these are the ones that I keep going to. 

http://savingmoneyplan.com/

http://budgetsavingmom.com/

http://www.afullcup.com/

I did my fourth couponing 101 class this week and have another class at our last "home" church in Brooksville on Jan. 30th. I love doing these classes, so if anyone would like for me to come to their small groups, church groups, MOPS groups, or any type of group or business to teach couponing, please let me know. I love to teach and show people how to save money on groceries.

Until next time, remember that God is good all the time. All the time, God is good.

God blessing be on you this week.
Sherry

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Butterfly Part C

“…the circumstances of our lives might not always make sense at the time, but the meaning behind events will unfurl later, one petal at a time.” (“Sand in my eyes” by Christine Lemmon)

From my past two posted, I talked about the pain, the hurt, and the forgiveness that I was going through these past several months.

About three weeks ago, an angel of a friend told me, “You have changed. It’s like you are a flower and now you are blooming!” Yes, I think that I have.  I start to look at my life and God showed me why certain events happened in my life. I was rediscovering who I am. Without these events, I could not grow and share my faith with so many.

I stood back and allowed God to take control over my life. He showed me what He was doing through the lost of my job. It has been amazing at what He has done and is still doing! In 1Peter 5:6 it states “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”

Without the lost of my job, I would not of been looking at couponing the way that I do now. I have used coupons for over 40 years. The last several years, I did use coupons, but not like now. With the lost of my job, we had to cut $42,000 out of our budget and this included the cut of grocery money. The best part is that even though we had to cut so much, we did not suffer at all!  We were able to contintue to pay our bills and keep the standard of living that we had.  David and I budget $160 a month for groceries now. With my couponing, there are months when I have money left over! My food pantry is full and I converted my laundry room into a food pantry and it is getting full. My laundry room is about the size of a small office. 

I asked David if he thought I should teach couponing at the church. He immediately said yes and I held my first couponing class. There were 7 people who attended but it is what God has instilled in those who attended. From that first class, there are those who want to use couponing as a ministry to help those in need!

I learned how to start a blog. The blog, I thought, was going to be about couponing, but God had other plans. Even though I do talk some about couponing, it is more about His whispers. My blog site got mention in the Settle Times! Here is the web site if you want to read about it. http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/mobile/?type=story&id=2010057231
I would learn that this article would also appear in the Miami Herald, Honolulu Hawaii, and the St. Louis newspaper!

I am back to work, part time. I got a phone call, asking if I am on the sub list. I told her, no because the county was not accepting subs right now. She asked if she could get me on it, would I sub at her school. I told her yes. Within 4 days, I was on the sub list and I will be subbing to the Christmas break!

I am reminded of another favorite song, “I will Praise You in This Storm.” By Casting Crowns. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwnwTlJxfiw 
Even in your storms that you might be experiencing, praise God for them. Then allow Him to take and have control of your life. You will be amazed to see what He will do. And remember to praise Him through the good times and the bad times.  You will look back and realize that God was at work in your life.

Sherry

Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Chrysalis: Part B

A caterpillar goes around eating green leaves or everything it can and then it builds its chrysalis. I saw some of the most beautiful chrysalis; they were an emerald green color with a touch of silver on the edge. I just couldn’t get over how beautiful they were! For these last 6 months, that was what God was doing to my life, He was making a chrysalis for me. It was a time of healing and realization of just who and what I am.

I did the all the ‘right’ stuff looking for a teaching job. I did the web site, picked every job posting that I could and waited. Nothing happened; I did not receive phone calls for job interviews. I would find myself wondering, what am I doing wrong; why can’t I get a job? God whispered to me that in order for me to get a teaching job, I must forgive these two people who hurt me the most, and stop believing the lies that they said about me. It was so hard to do. I knew that I had to forgive, but just could not seem to do it. In Matthew 5:44 it states, “But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.” I started to pray for these two people, asking God to give them strength when needed, encouragement when they are down, and comfort when they are sad.

I told David one night that I would have to forgive in order to get a job. He said that he was going to be doing a sermon about forgiveness. If interested, you can listen to his sermons at www.faithum.com . It was a powerful sermon; I thought I had let go of the pain but I didn’t. I still had the butcher knife in my heart.

Then Marilyn gave me the book, "Sand in my eyes", by Christine Lemmon. It would take not being able to sleep for me to finally read this book. It was that Saturday morning for me to realize all my life I have always struggle with not knowing who I am. I have always been know as “one of the Bechtel (Beck - tell) girls’, David’s wife, the preacher’s wife, or mom. Don’t get me wrong, I have come to realize that it is a great honor to be known as the preacher’s wife, David’s wife, and mom. David is an honorable, wise, honest, handsome,  caring, loving man and I am honored to be his wife. My girls are my pride and joy. But I really have not been known for who I am…and I really did not know who I am.

So God started to work on me through this book. Like the caterpillar building his chrysalis, I had and needed to take the time to discover who I am if God was going to work through me.

From Sand in my eyes, “ …whereas a woman has the liberty to constantly adjust who she is, how she thinks, behaves, reacts, what she learns, pursues, talks about, as well as who she wants to be in life. And if she finds she no longer likes parts of herself, she has the ability to change what it is she no longer likes.”

TBC

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Catarpiller

Several months ago, my friend Marilyn, gave me a book that she wanted me to read. She said that she felt that I really needed to read this book. Marilyn knew and saw the great pain I was going through with the lost of my job as a teacher and not being able to find another teaching job. I truly believe that she was listening to God’s whisper to give me this book. 

I read the book “Sand in My Eyes” by Christine Lemmon, when I was finally ready to take the butcher knife out of my heart that two people put there. That is what my pain felt like; these two people who caused me the greatest pain ever felt like they stabbed me with a butcher knife right in my heart. I was told that I was not good enough to be a teacher. I allowed Satan to come in and destroy me with the lies that I was listening to. The worst part is that I started to believe the lies where true, I would never get another teaching job. I was heart broken, for I felt like I let God down. I knew that God wanted me to be a teacher; to be a teacher who gives children hope and inspiration that they can be successful.

There is a page in the book with just these words of a proverb on it “ Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly. “ I had thought that my world as an Elementary teacher was over. I knew that I had to forgive these two people who hurt me the most, but I wanted to hang on to that knife in my heart. It was not until I finally would take the knife out (forgive)and hand that knife (pain) over to God, then God would turn me into that butterfly.

God wants us to forgive those who hurt us the most. He understands the pain that you are going through. Didn’t God go through the worst pain when he saw what his people did to his Son by hanging Him on the cross? Doesn’t God forgive us everyday for the nails that we still hammer into Jesus hands and feet? It is hard; but, it is required to forgive so that you may become a butterfly. Forgive those who hurt you so that you may experience what God has in store for you. As a co-teacher told me after I found out that I was being let go “God told me to tell you that He has better plans for you.”

Let go and Let God

Sherry
TBC

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Laughter

Ecclesiastes 3:1 is Solomon’s general observations. You might of have heard it, “A Time for Everything”. In verse 4A, it states: “a time to weep and a time to laugh” These past several months, I have been weeping over the lost of my job as a teacher and the fact that I have not been able to find another teaching position. Yes, I am doing everything that I been told to do…but my phone never rings. So I have been weeping, but now I am celebrating… for now it is time to laugh!

Can you imagine God laughing? I am sure He laughs all the time, especially when we tell Him what we are going to do. There is a church on Hwy 301 north of Bushnell, Fl whose side has a mural painting of Jesus laughing. David and I drive this road on our way to visit our mothers. When I see this mural it puts a smile on my face and reminds me it is ok to laugh. It has been a long time since I had a good laugh, I have been too busy weeping over my losses and woes. Then I read an e-mail from my sister, Marilyn.


You need to picture this in your mind – it will give you a good laugh also. It was about 10pm and I was sitting on the couch with my lab top and my ear phones in. David was sitting in his easy chair, watching TV, apparently slowly drifting off to sleep. As I was watching this video that Marilyn sent me, “ Michael Jackson ghost has been spotted at Neverland news report,” I was thinking I already seen this and was tempted to close the video down but I did not.

Shortly, I noticed the remote control went flying across the room. David’s feet were kicking out from the chair, like he was trying to get out of the chair in a hurry! He was doing his scared scream as well. I thought someone was breaking in the house. Apparently, without me realizing it, I had screamed at what jumped out at me in the end of this e-mail and did not realize that I was screaming. When I took my ear phones off, David questioned “What the heck were you screaming about?” His expression was priceless! I wish I had a video camera on – we would have won America’s Funniest Videos. I was no longer screaming but laughing so hard that I had tears coming down my face. As I am typing this I am still laughing; it was a sight to see!


Since then, I have found that I am not longer weeping over not having a job. I am enjoying not working and the pressures of being a teacher. I am enjoying cleaning the house, shopping for bargains, teaching adults about couponing, enjoying seeing what God is doing with this blog, and just enjoying being able to do what I want to do when I want to do it.

Many people allow their life problems to get in their way of laughing. They allow their problems with kids, stress at work, money or even marriage problems to prevent them from laughing. When we find ourselves in the mist of woes, then we need to stop weeping, praise the Lord for what we are going through and start laughing. Sure, life woes can hurt and make us depressed, but when we laugh something inside of us changes. I believe that laughter is good for the soul.


I hope that I caused you to laugh out loud today. Did it make you feel better? I am amazed at how different I feel now that I have laughed.

May God bless you with laughter this week!
Blessings
Sherry

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Cleaning Tips

Here are some helpful tips form Mary Hunt. I do use several of these when cleaning. I use shampoo for ring around the collar and for getting grease out of clothes. It really does work great!

I use baking soda to clean my stove glass top. Only use when when the stove is cold, not hot. I sprinkle baking soda on the glass top close to the 'rings' of dirt or grease. Then I wet my fingers and start to rub the baking soda into those 'rings' out. The baking soda becomes like a rubbing paste that will remove the rings of dirt off your stove top. You will be amazed at how this works! It will work your fingers depending on how much dirt or grime you have.

I gotten these tips from Mary Huntis the creator of Debt-Proof Living newsletter.

Alternative uses for hair conditioner:

-- Zippers will glide easily when you rub a little conditioner on the teeth.
-- Hair conditioner works for softening leather. But be cautious: Light-colored leather may darken, so test this first in an inconspicuous place.
-- Apply hair conditioner to the guide tracks of a stubborn window to help it open and shut easier.
-- Apply a small amount of conditioner to your garden tools to prevent rust.
-- Use hair conditioner as a substitute for shaving cream. Try this and you may never go back, as conditioner allows for a very close shave and leaves the skin silky soft.
-- To soften dry cuticles, rub in and leave on a little conditioner.
-- Rub a little conditioner on a bandage to ease removal.
-- Apply a light coat of hair conditioner to hands before painting or working on a car. You'll have a much easier time washing up later.
-- Hair conditioner removes dirt from your nails much easier than hand soap.
Alternative uses for shampoo:

-- Shampoo is formulated to remove oil from hair, so it works perfectly to remove the oily dirt rings on shirt collars. Simply apply as you would any stain pretreatment. This is especially handy when traveling.
-- In a pinch, you can wash your dishes in the kitchen sink with shampoo (not in the automatic dishwasher, however). It's perfect for camping, too, because shampoo is biodegradable.
-- Pour one tablespoon of shampoo under a running tap in the bathtub for a bubble bath.
-- A dab of shampoo works great as a hand-washing liquid.
-- Add two tablespoons of shampoo to a bucket of water and soap up your car. It will not harm the paint or the environment.
-- Add a tablespoon of shampoo to a sink or container of warm water to soak hairbrushes and combs. Shampoo cuts through sebum oil and will leave your brushes clean and fresh.
HEAVY-DUTY WINDOW CLEANER: Mix 1/2 cup household ammonia, 2 cups rubbing alcohol and 1 teaspoon liquid Dawn (the original blue variety). Mix ammonia, alcohol and detergent in 1-gallon jug. Fill with warm water. Shake before each use. This solution is great for cleaning really dirty windows and taking tape marks off windows; it's also great for removing soap film from shower doors.
DISINFECTING CLEANER: Mix household ammonia and rubbing alcohol together in equal proportions in a spray bottle. Label and keep out of reach of children. This is a very strong cleaner, so make sure you have ample ventilation when using. Wear gloves.
ALL-PURPOSE CLEANER 1/2 cup ammonia, 1/2 cup vinegar, 4 drops liquid dishwashing soap and 1/4 cup baking soda into 1 gallon of warm water. Mix well and dispense with a spray bottle.
TUB-AND-TILE CLEANER a terrific homemade version of Soft Scrub. In a small bowl, mix together 1-2/3 cups baking soda with 1/2 cup of dishwashing liquid (like Joy). Dilute with 1/2 cup water, and add 2 tablespoons white vinegar. Stir with a fork until smooth and all the lumps are gone. Pour into a 16-ounce squeeze container with a squirt flip-top cap (like a ketchup bottle or similar). Shake well before each use. Keep capped tightly between uses. Hint: Rinse the flip-top cap after each use so it won't get clogged.
CLEANER FOR PAINTED CABINETS: Mix 1/4 cup baking soda, 1 cup ammonia, 1/2 cup white vinegar and 1 gallon warm water. Pour into a spray bottle. Wash cabinets with a sponge and this solution. Rinse with a clean sponge and water. Wipe cabinets dry completely.
BALLPOINT-PEN INK: Hair spray works great! Spray the spot and wash.. might have to rewash.

CRAYON: Place the garment stain-side down on a stack of paper towels. Spray with WD-40 and let sit for five minutes. Flip garment over and spray again. Rinse well. Rub liquid dish soap into the stain. Rinse again. If any stain remains, apply a stick or spray stain remover and machine wash.
GLUE, GUM, STICKERS: Remove as much as possible with a dull knife or a spoon. To make it easier to remove gum, first rub an ice cube over it to freeze it. Apply WD-40 to loosen any remaining residue, then scrape it off and rinse. Rub in liquid detergent to remove any leftover stain. Machine wash.
PAINT: Wipe off dried acrylic or water-based paint residue with a paper towel. Sponge on a solution of laundry detergent and warm water. Once the paint has softened, remove as much as possible with a dull knife or a spoon. Rinse and repeat until most of the stain has been removed. Machine wash. To remove fresh latex paint from carpet, soak with dish detergent diluted with 20 parts water. Then agitate, blot, rinse and blot again. It will remove old, dried paint, but be careful. Lacquer thinner can also melt certain kinds of carpet, so test first.
CHALK STAINS: Shake out or vacuum up any loose chalk particles. Place the garment stain-side down on a stack of paper towels, and blot the back of the stain with a cloth dipped in rubbing alcohol. Rinse. Rub liquid dish soap into any leftover stain and let sit for several minutes. Machine wash.
GRASS: Apply Soilove or Stain Out, and rub gently into the stain. Let sit for five minutes, then wash with detergent and Clorox bleach (whites) or Clorox 2 (colors) in the hottest water safe for the fabric.
PERSPIRATION, DEODORANTS: If the stain has caused a color change, try to restore the color by using ammonia on fresh stains or vinegar on old ones. Do not use ammonia or vinegar with liquid bleach.

RESOURCES: Go to www.wd40.com for hundreds of uses for WD-40. Find Soilove on supermarket shelves in California and Arizona, or online at www.soapsgonebuy.com. Biz Bleach, Axion and Clorox 2 are in the laundry-products aisle

Blessings
Sherry

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Helpful Hints to Making Ends Meet

In society many people are suffering by the lost of jobs or cut back in their hours. With these cut backs, one can really struggle to make ends meet. I will show/tell you want David and I are and have been doing to make ends meet.

1. Make a budget! The most important is to make a budget and stick to it. Also, make sure that your spouse, if you are married, is on board with you. Both of you must sit down together and make up a budget together. Making a budget together is so important as it allows each of you to see what is needed for the month and especially just what bills there are and just how much money is coming and going. It is the communication between you two that will keep your marriage a happy one.
2. After making a budget, make a plan to get out of dept. Look to see what item you can pay off first, get it paid off. Maye a high interested credit card? Then don’t go back into dept with that item. Example: David and I had a truck payment. Once we paid off his truck, we then put the truck payment toward another dept like our house payment. We were putting our truck payment toward our principal on our house payment then I lost my job. We did not go out and buy another car or truck.
3. When David gets paid, we take out $80 cash for the grocery money. We only pay for groceries by cash, so when our cash is gone no more groceries until the next paycheck. This causes for some preparing, making a list for those items that you need and at times, I have even made out menu s of what we will be eating for the week.
4. We now turn off our hot water heater during the day. It was reported that a hot water heater takes up about 30% of your electric bill. We turn it off at fuse box and then turn it back on 15 minutes before we use it. We did notice a drop in our electric bill.
5. During the day, I turn our AC unit up to 80 degrees. There is no since in cooling the whole house, when I will only be in one or two rooms. When I am in those rooms I turn on the ceiling fan, the turn the fan off when I leave. When I leave the house, the AC unit goes up to 88, that way it does not run a lot when I am gone.

God doesn't want His people to suffer. But I also believe, that when we abuse or not use what He has given us correctly, then we suffer at our own hands.

On Thursday, I will post some of my cleaning tips. I hope that these little tidbits were helpful.

Blessings
Sherry