Monday, September 6, 2010

Saving $ with Coupons (Part 2)

In my last blog entry, I started my posts on my findings on saving money and using coupons. I am still posting on the info. I found on http://www.moneysavingmom.com/ Yes, you are able to go to the site and read the articles for yourself, but me posting them is helping me learn the concepts. Thanks for reading.

4. Shop with Cash: You will very likely see savings on your grocery bill if you shop with cash. It forces you to stick to your budget. If you don't have the $ in hand, then you can't spend it. Using a debit or credit card gives you a leeway to go over that $2 or so each time. If you go over just a few dollars every time, that will not seem like much at the time, but will add up by the end of the year. It could be as much as a $100 or so.
~Use the envelope system to put your cash in.
*Guidelines: 1. Commit to only spend what is in your grocery envelope for the next three months. 2. Go to bank and with drawl cash in the amount of your predetermined grocery budget. 3. Leave your credit/debit card at home. 4. Calculate purchases on a calculator as you add them to your cart. (Be sure to note last entry amount each time, just in case you accidentally hit clear. Speaking from experience. ) 5. PAY WITH CASH.

5. The Buy Ahead Principle: One of the biggest successes to grocery savings. NEVER PAY RETAIL.

--if you are patient and observant, you can buy most items at %0% or more off.

---How To Build a Stockpile;
1. Designate a small portion of your grocery budget to building up your stockpile. - $5- 10/wk on deeply discounted items.
2. Designate an area in your home to store your stockpile.
3. Determine when enough is enough.

6. Shop at more than one store. Take time to scout out the stores nearby and pick a few stores which have the best deals and sales.
~make a list of all the stores in your area.
~visit your stores and record prices of 25 items you routinely buy.
~find out what your local stores coupon and mark down policies are. - double coupons? limitations? expired coupons? store coupons used in addition to manufactures coupons? competitors coupons? reduces produce, dairy and meats on regular basis? when?
~determine which stores regularly have the lowest prices and best values?

7. Everyone should use coupons - coupons are available for all foods, not just processed foods. Use coupons wisely..wait for items to go on sale and then use your coupon.

8. 10 ways to get free coupons:
~1. ask friends or relatives for their extra coupon inserts.
~2. stop by Starbucks/McDonalds on Sundays... people will throw away those inserts.
~3. make friends with someone who delivers papers.
~4. trade coupons. Try http://www.hotcouponworld.com/
~5. Join a coupon train.
~6. check your library for those inserts. The library does not keep the coupon inserts.
~7. dumpster dive: some of my friends have been able to get great deals this way.
~8. pick up coupons at the stores.
~9. print coupons online.
~10. write the companies and ask to be put on their special mailing lists.

Ok, there you have part two. This last weekend, I bought my papers and am currently in the middle of the huge mountain of coupons to organize. Tomorrow evening I will be going to the store and purchasing some items. I will post on how I did. Wish me luck.

Until next time...

Saving $ with Coupons...


Like I posted in my last blogpost, I am learning about saving with coupons. I have spent some of the day reading everything I could on how to cut your grocery budget. Things I have learned have not been extremely suprising, but I thought I would pass it on to you. I am using mostly the website http://www.moneysavingmom.com/ The site has an abundance of information on saving $. The article I read is called 31 Days to a Better Grocery Budget. There are several posts in this article, but for the sake of time, I am hitting the highlights. You can find out more info by visiting the site and reading the article yourself. Here we go.

As stated in the article..
1. Stop Making Excuses and commit to a Change.
2. You Need a Budget. This one is self explanatory,but a budget keeps you on track. Without a budget, bargin shopping and couponing is not going to save you money. To start your budget, start slow....average your grocery spending for 4-8 weeks. Be realistic in your goals and set a goal for 5% at a time.
3. Menu Planning Saves Your Sanity and Your Budget. This is a MUST. By having a menu, you save numerous trips to the store. It also saves you the stress of that 5 o'clock "What am I going to have for dinner?" issue. A little planning will save you time and money.
--Shop your Cupboards- look in freezer, refrigerator, and pantry. You may find the "beginnings" of a yummy meal. You can use the Ingredients Search page from http://www.allrecipes.com/
--Consult Sales Flyers- plan menus based on what is on sale at your local stores. Check out those flyers in the newspaper or find them online. The hottest deals of the week are listed on the front page. These items are called "loss leaders", which means they are items that the stores are breaking even on or losing money on. The items are used to lure you into the store to get you to shop.
--Survey Your Coupons- pull out that coupon box and match up your coupons with items on sale. Be sure to use "high value" coupons and "free items" coupons. Put these coupons on the There will be times when the pantry is bare, the budget is weak, and the sales are down. At these times, try checking out your favorite food blogs, such as http://www.tammysrecipes.com/ or www.orgjunkie.com/menu-plan-monday These sites may give you some ideas or recipes to use. There are tons of recipe sites out there to help you work with small amounts of ingredients. Try a method that works for you when it comes to menu planning. Pre-established menu ideas are a good way to take that "work" out of planning. Ideas that I have found are: Monday-pasta, Tues-Soup/sandwhiches, Wednesday-stirfry, Thurs.- crockpot, Fri.- pizza, Sat.-something new, and Sun.- something easy. This idea came from the website www.simplemom.net/a-monthly-menu-plan-for-the-spring. There are lots of recipe ideas on this site.
This is only #3 in the 31 Days article and because there is so much, I plan on taking sections at a time to talk about. The last thing I would suggest is find menu planning forms to use. You can find them at just about any menu planning site, but I found some at http://www.moneysavingmom.com/

I hope this is helpful and as always, please feel free to post your thoughts, suggestions and ideas that work for you. Thanks.
~Until next time,
Gayla

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Couponing....

I was at church this morning and I spoke to a gal who has recently started couponing. She gave me several websites to check out. I am sending them your way as I think everyone needs to have this info available. I have not "couponed" in the past, because I thought I needed to stick to what I would always buy. She told me that I needed to be willing to buy what is on sale and then schedule a menu around what is on sale. I am new to this concept of couponing and am looking for any advice one could give me. Please feel free to post a comment on here ro email me at prairieflower67@gmail.com I will attempt to post what I have learned as I go along. Starting a new adventure...exciting.

Here are the websites she gave me. Please feel free to post any you find helpful.
1. www.iheartcoupondeals.blogspot.com
2. www.krazycouponlady.com
3. www.moneysavingmom.com
4. www.totallytarget.com

~Until next time.
Happy Blogging

Hello Little One!


INTRODUCING...ROXIE.
Ok so for those who follow my blog, you will notice that I just posted that we had to put down our pet, Miss Kitty. We we have since purchased a new little kitty from the pound in Pittsburg, KS. What a cutie. She was posted on the SEK Humane Society website. She had two sisters that were also available. After some discussion, Maggie decided that she "wanted to plug the hole in her heart" that Miss Kitty left behind. We met the little kitten and were instantly smitten with her. She is such a cute, spunky cat and had already brought great joy into our home. After bringing her home, I saw my daughter smile for the first time in over a week. I decided then that we had made the right decision. So....we are all having fun getting to know this little kitten. She loves human companionship and play. She loves to jump up on the bed and get right in my husband's face. Her name is Roxie and we think she has some Russian Blue in her.

If you are ever in the market for a new pet, I would seriously consider the local pound in your area. They were very polite and willing to work with us... We have not been disappointed.

~Until next time..
Happy Blogging

We said goodbye to a dear pet...


Sadly, we had to say good bye to a wonderful family pet. Miss Kitty came into our home in 2003 as a gift to our then 6 year old daughter...she was quite the wild cat at first, but after many years of work, Maggie was able to tame her down. She was a Russian Blue cat and was beautiful. We enjoyed watching her race up and down the long hallway of our house. All we saw was this grey flash going by. She had quite the personality.
We noticed that she was not eating her food back in July. After several attempts at getting her to eat, we took her to the vet. She was at the vet's for three days, recieving I.V. therapy. After bringing her home and trying to get her to eat still, we realized that she was jaundiced and confused. We had to make the decision that she was not going to get better, without putting a feeding tube down her. So, with great tears shed, Brian took her back to the vet where they did the duty of putting her out of her misery in a humane way. We will miss Miss Kitty greatly.
GOODBYE DEAR PET...YOU WERE LOVED.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

New life on the prairie

Today my husband took me and three of my friends out to see the bison herd. When we got out to the herd we saw this little bison laying under his mama trying to get out of the sun. He must have been born in June or maybe even early July, as he is not very old. I thought he was so cute and I wanted to share....

Gayla

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Family Fun in the city.....




We headed up to Kansas City to spend time with my brother and his wife for the holiday. We have had some much fun just being together. After a quick trip to one of the many fireworks tents, we headed home with the anticipation of shooting off our purchases. We have several boys in our group and I have learned that boys love to blow up things. So, after about an hour of loud pops and screams, loads of smoke and the smell of sulfur, we headed inside. Our bbq is in progress and hopefully tonight we will head to Parkville, Mo. and see their show. We plan on taking some professional pictures today of the kids. The weather man says that it is undoubtedly going to storm, but we are hopeful that he is wrong. Even though the radar shows a huge chance of the storms happening, we are praying that the rain will go north. I will have to post more later and let you know how we did. Maggie is enjoying her smoke bombs... who would have thought a smoke bomb would keep kids entertained as long as they do....Well, enough for now. I hope you all have a great holiday. Please be safe and praise the Lord for your freedom.




Until next time... Happy blogging.


America the Beautiful


Oh Beautiful, for spacious skies, for amber waves of grace....
Wow, I love July 4th. I love the fact that we are free to celebrate our Lord and Savior as well as our freedom living in a republic state. I can home school my children; I can worship openly; I can carry my Bible in public. I wish I could go up to EVERY soldier who has fought for my freedom and thank them personally. I think of my papa, who fought in WW II to keep me free. I think of all those soldiers at Normandy Beach who lost their lives for my freedom....but most of all, I am thankful for the freedom I have in Christ. I am thankful for Jesus willing to die on the cross for my sins. I am free for eternity because I am free in Christ. What more could anyone want?

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Journey

I have not done this in the past, but I recently was told by a good friend to check out this blog.....It is AMAZING. Go to www.kissesfromkatie.blogspot.com or click on the link I have in the blogs I am following.

My heart goes out to the people of the thirdworld countries. I was blessed by God to go on a mission trip with my husband to Honduras in 1996. My oldest son was two years old. I have never been the same. I hope you enjoy reading the pages of this blog and get as much out of it as I have. Please send me any comments you would like...I would love to know your thoughts.

gayla

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

If you love them, turn them loose.....

I couldn't believe it. Life had hit me right in the face. My little Hannah (my niece) who I held in my arms just last week, was graduating from high school. Where had the time gone? When did she grow up in to a beautiful woman? As I sat there and watched the class of 2010 recieve their diplomas, I was reminded that I would have a graduate in two years. The tears flowed then. I couldn't stop them...."I don't want him to grow up Lord." "He is mine," replied the Lord. Wow, I am still trying to wrap my thoughts around the fact that my kids, biological and "adopted" are growing up. I praise the Lord for giving me my kids. It is so hard to let them go.... to turn them loose in this big bad world. I have two years to plan my escape route, but something tells me that I won't be able to avoid the ineveitable. It is so hard being a mom sometimes, and yet, I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.


Until next time....

Gayla

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A Visit with the Potter.


There was a couple who took a trip to England, to shop in a beautiful antique store. They were celebrating their 25Th wedding anniversary. They both liked antiques and pottery, especially tea cups. Spotting an exceptional cup, they asked, "May we see that? We have never seen a cup quite so beautiful." As the lady handed them the cup, the little cup spoke, "You don't understand. I have not always been a teacup. There was a time when I was just a lump of red clay. My master took me and rolled me, pounded and padded me over and over. I yelled out 'Don't do that. I don't like it. Leave me alone." But he only smiled and said, "Not yet." "Then WHAM! I was placed on a spinning wheel and I spun around and around. 'Stop it! I am getting dizzy. I'm going to be sick', I screamed.
But the master only smiled and gently said, "Not yet."
"He spun me, poked and prodded me and bent me out of shape to suit himself and then he put me in the oven. I never felt such heat. I yelled, knocked, and pounded at the door. 'Help, get me out of here!' I could see him thru the opening and I could read his lips as he shook his head from side to side, "Not yet."
When I thought I couldn't bear it one more minute, he opened the door. He carefully took me out and put me on the shelf, and I began to cool. 'Ah....this is much better,' I thought. After I cooled, he picked me up and he brushed and painted me all over. The fumes were horrible. I thought I would gag. "Oh please stop it!" I cried.
He only shook his head and said, "Not yet."
Then suddenly he put me back into the oven. It was not like the first one. This one was twice as hot and I just knew I would suffocate. I begged. I pleaded. I screamed. I was convinced that I would never make it. I was ready to give up. Just then the door opened and he took me out and again placed me on the shelf where I cooled and waited...and waited.
An hour later, he handed me a mirror and said, "Look at yourself." As I did, I said 'That's not me. It couldn't be me. It is beautiful. I am beautiful.'
Quietly he spoke, "I want you to remember then, I know it hurt to be rolled, pounded, and padded, but had I just left you alone, you would have dried up. I know it made you dizzy to spin around on the wheel, but if I had stopped, you would have crumbled. I know it hurt and it was disagreeable and hot in the oven, but I hadn't put you there, you would have cracked. I know the fumes were bad when I brushed and painted you all over, but if I hadn't done that, you never would have hardened. You would not have had any color in your life. If I hadn't put you back in that second oven, you would not have survived for long because the hardness would have not held. Now you are a finished product. Now you are what I had in mind when I first began with you.'
God is the potter and we are the clay. He will mold us and make us and expose us to just enough pressure of just the right kinds that we may be made into a flawless piece of work to fulfill His good and perfect will.
So when life seems hard and you are being pounded, patted, and pushed almost beyond endurance; when your world seems to be spinning out of control; when you feel like you are in the fiery furnace of trials; when life "stinks", try this: Brew a cup of your favorite tea in your prettiest tea cup, sit down and think on this story and then have a little talk with the Potter.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Beautiful 13!


My beautiful baby girl will be 13 tomorrow. I can't believe how time has flown by. I remember bringing her home from the hospital and asking God to give me what I need to be her mama. I felt such joy in having a baby girl. I already had a boy. I was going to teach her how to be creative, how to cook and can and all those other domestic things that we as women do. I wanted her to be a great mama some day. In those 13 years, I have been blessed with a beautiful spirit within my daughter. Many times I am amazed at how calm she is, (when her mama isn't). I am amazed at how beautiful she is too. She is an amazing, talented dancer and I love watching her. I decided to treat her to our favorite place, The Shady Gables Tea House in Versaille, Mo. We have been going to it since she was four. So, off we went, and some of the other women in her family joined us. In the picture above we have two great aunts, two grandmothers and an aunt. We were missing a lot of other women, but the day was great. I was so glad to have all these great women there. The lady directly behind Maggie on the swing, is her great Aunt Debbie. Aunt Debbie was the first to introduce Maggie to tea at age three... Now granted, that tea service was Cheerios andKoolaid. Maggie LOVED it. I am so looking forward to the future as I watch my little girl (who isn't so little anymore) grow up into a beautiful young woman.

Happy Birthday, Maggie.....I love you!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

19 Years and Counting....


Today I am celebrating 19 years of marriage to a wonderful man. I wouldn't change a thing....well, maybe more time and two more kids...Not enough kids. We were able to get away for an overnight visit to Springfield, Mo. We went to the Botannical Gardens yesterday and today we are heading to Wilson's Creek Battlefield. What a great getway. I am so excited to see what God has instore for our next 19 years.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Great Fun Had By All...


Last Friday Brian and I went to the homeschool conference in Springfield, Mo. I was so excited because we would get to see our good friends, the Solis. They are venders and travel around to the homeschool conferences selling wonderful books. They own Lifetime Books and Gifts. We have known them for several years and look forward to seeing them every year. This year was a treat....not only did we get to see them at the conference, but they came and stayed with us for a couple of days. They invited a new family to join us and what a great time we all had. Between the three families, there were 14 kids. I loved it! On Sunday, April 25th the gang started showing up around 5pm. There were four very lively boys in the bunch with anticipation of the arrival of the rest of the group. Immediately, my boys were drawn to these guys. They were

BOYS... if you know what I mean. They were dressed in boy dress and loved playing with guns and just boy stuff. By 7pm, the rest of the group came. My daughter was excited, because there were girls in that group. Mia who is 6 and Isabella who is a baby...but hey they were girls and that was all that mattered. We set up the Guy and Shirley's motorhome and got Laura settled in the onsite camper. A bonfire was started and dinner was on. I found out that my dear sweet friend, Shriley, had never had roasted hotdogs....the things we Missourians take for granted. Shirley is from Ecquador and Guy is from Columbia...they live in Homested, Fl. Never had roasted hotdogs....I couldn't wait to show Shirley what to do. Needless to say SHE LOVED THEM...We had the gammit...hotdogs, chips, and ofcourse roasted marshmellows. It was great. The weather was cool, so if felt like it was a fall evening. After talking into the night, we all settled in to our beds

with the great memories of fellowship still realing in our minds. The next morning, the boys were up and gone by the time the rest of us got up. We were blessed with a beautiful morning that was quite and breezy....then....the boys ( all of them) came back to camp to eat. As I watched this wave of hungry testosterone, I was amazed at the sounds that were coming out of these boys. Grunts, yelps, and growls. "Not to worry." I was told. They were just bonding. I had to laugh. Needless to say the muffins and juice went fast. After breakfast, the kids took off to play "war" in the picnic area. All I could see was a sea of camoflauge with airsoft guns and two girls in for the adventure. After making sure everyone had on their goggles, it was time to see them off and clean up breakfast. It was so wonderful to have my special friends with me. I kept thanking God for the precious time to spend with them. We piled into the back of the pickup truck and headed out to see if we could spot some baby bison. What treat when we actually came up on the herd and there were several new babies to see. The little kids in the back were taking it all in. The bison mamas were ever watchful of us as we drove around the herd looking at all we could see. On our way back, we came across a beautiful meadow of Indian Paintbrush, the beautiful bright orange wildflower that blooms this time of year.
At lunch time, Shriley made us a wonderful Central American meal of lentils, sticky rice, and burgers. Wow, it was wonderful. I tried to watch her cook everything, but am not sure if I will be able to recreate the tasty food. She told me that she is going to make a cookbook of Central American meals.
The day went by way too fast and soon it was time to say our goodbyes. We promised each other to write and to keep in touch. We will see each other again next spring. As they pulled out of the drive, I was reminded by God at how small our world really is. Who would have thought that we would meet a family from southern Florida, much less become friends. God always has His hand in everything we do. We are so blessed to have a saviour who loves us and enjoys giving us those little surprises along the way in life.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Our new addition to our family....


On March 16th, Bryce Alexander was born to my sister in law and brother in law. We have been anxiously waiting for this little guy to show up for a long time. He is such a cutie. The kids and Aunt Gayla are very excited about the new baby. We have made plans to play with him, spoil him, and just love him.... bunches and BUNCHES. I am so amazed at the miracle of birth. Those tiny little fingers and toes... that little nose that seems too tiny to do the job has given it to do... how small these babies are and to think that will grow up to be wonderful men and women hopefully serving the Lord. I am so excited to get to know my newest nephew... I will have to keep you posted.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Gravity Has No Effect on Poetry!







WARNING WARNING WARNING WARNING WARNING WARNING WARNING......A BOASTING MOM REPORT IS BELOW....






Ok, I just had to post the warning so you can leave my blog now...but....if not, I warned you.




Maggie did it again!!!! I am so blessed to have such a beautiful, graceful daughter. How did I get such a wonderful daughter???? We went to her competitions this month and she did a great job. She has blossomed into a beautiful young lady. I love watching her leap accros the stage with little effort. She makes it look so easy. I have trouble just jumping rope. She recieved first place points in Kansas City with an invitation to the Dance America Nationals in Orlando, Fl. this summer. She also was awarded an Elite Top First in Talent on Parade with a trip to nationals in Branson Mo. We will be going to Branson.... it is closer... I am one proud mama right now....Thanks for reading.
Until next time...
Happy blogging.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Grandpa is with Jesus now

Donald C. Finley
June 24, 1919-Feb. 16, 2010
On February 16, 2010 my grandpa went to be with Jesus. He is now walking the streets of gold singing in his beautiful tenor voice I have heard so much about. He is not hurting anymore and can breathe. I am sure he and my wonderful father in law are sitting around talking about geneology. I know what my father in law is telling him too...he is saying, "Don, I told you that you were Scottish. You kept telling me you were Irish, but I knew that wasn't right. I did all the research on the Finley family." If I know those two great men, they are just smiling at each other sheepishly not willing to concede. Maybe Grandpa is walking with my little sister, Kirstine, getting to know her. She was taken away from us all when she was just a month old. Or maybe he is reuniting with his parents, brother and sister. Who knows...but I am sure he is having a great time.
The funeral was actually nice (if you want to call a funeral nice). Grandpa told my husband that he didn't want it to be about him. He wanted it to be about Jesus. The week before he passed away he was asking my husband to pray with him. Brian had the chance to pray with him.

It still hasn't really hit me yet that he is gone. I still keep thinking that I can pick up the phone and call him. One day I know I will accept the thought and then try to pick up where I left off. Right now I just sit and think about what I wish I could say to him... or tell him. I have my times where tears well up in my eyes. I know that I will see him again, but I was not ready (nor would have ever been ready) to give him up. Even though we didn't always see eye to eye (that is that Scottish temperament) we loved each other and I felt safe around him. He always took care of me when I was little and then at times when I was older.

So, like everything, life must go on. Spring will come and the birds will sing...the flowers will bloom and new life will begin. The circle of life will continue. I just wish it wasn't so hard for those of us left behind.
I love you Grandpa and I will miss you!
Until next time ~


Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Generation passing...

This week has been one of the worst weeks in a long time. Last Saturday (Feb. 6) I received a call from my mom that my grandpa was in the hospital again...and he was not doing well at all. So off to Oklahoma City we go. After driving for several hours, we arrived around 8pm on Saturday evening. As I walked into his room, I was hit with the reality that a man I have always known as very strong, was very weak and brittle. He was sitting up with a mask over his face, struggling to breathe. He looked at me and smiled a weak smile and said hello. I was stunned by what I saw, but I knew I had to keep it together. We were told that it would not be long. One day turned into two which turned into three...by Tuesday he was better. The hospital staff was stunned at how strong he was at his age....my grandpa is 90 years old. Amazing!

I started thinking back on the memories I have with my grandpa. I remember being at his house (I was about 4) working in his garden. He introduced me to rhubarb and green beans. I remember sitting on his porch with a big bowl of beans in front of me. My grandma showed me how to snap the beans and put them into the "good "bowl. Grandpa sat and read to us from the Bible while we worked. I remember the time that he was watching my brother and I. We were suppose to be taking a nap. I was a curious child (I am getting my just desserts, as I have a child just like me) and I picked up what I thought was a pen. It turned out to be a tear gas pen. I found that out when it went off and my little brother was crying because I had shot him with tear gas. I remember the time that I took one of his metal drinking glasses and ran it thru the can opener. My grandpa would just look at me a smile. Later in life, he gave me that glass. I still have it. As I sat there watching my precious grandma take care of him, worrying about him, and trying to help him in any way that she could, I was reminded of the legacy he would be leaving behind. My grand parents have been married 67 years. I have watched their beautiful dance for 43 of those years and have been amazed at many things. I have learned so much from both of them. They have two children who have families of their own. My dad and sister both have wonderful marriages with beautiful families. All of whom are Christians. Grandpa's legacy doesn't end there. He is a very strong, proud Scotsman who has given of himself over and over again many times. He has told me about the survival of living thru the Great Depression. He has told me about what they ate during those times. I am amazed at his spiritual strength as well. It is his strength that keeps us all moving forward.
So, right now, it has been a week...he is still in the hospital and we have been down there twice this week. He has had good days and bad. But sadly, I think it will come to an end very soon. He is starting to weaken even more. He is having more trouble breathing and is on as much oxygen that he can handle. There is so much more that I could write about him....but for now, I am just thanking the Lord for putting such a strong man in my life. He has been the backbone of our family for many years....even when his very opinionated self (and if you are Scottish, you would understand) has gotten in the way or made someone upset. I am thankful for his spiritual strength that he has shown me.

I must close for now, but I will keep you updated.

Until next time....
Gayla

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Chocolate and coffee...what more could a girl want?



We have four family birthdays in the month of January. My husband, mine, and my two nieces. So this year we decided to head up to Kansas City to spend the time with my brother. Thanks to a wonderful sister-in-law, we toured two of my favorite places.
We went to the Roasterie Coffee Factory. Wow, that was fun.
We were able to walk the "green mile" which is the place were all the green coffee stored until it is roasted and ready to ship out. They showed us how they roast the coffee after cupping it. The cupping process is where they decide how much to roast each type of coffee. The coffee they buy is litterally all over the country (south of the equator.) Then it was off to packaging, where they showed us how to choose a good coffee. You
always want to look for that little "bellybutton" on the front of your coffee bag. That lets out the gases that build up after packaging.
After the coffee house,we headed to Crown center where we enjoyed a demonstration of how chocolate was made. It was a great time watching the man flip warm liquid chocolate into the air. He was cooling it so that he could form it into a wedge of fudge. That was a great time. The weekend was spent with lots of laughter and a wonderful family meal, where my parents came over to share. Spaghetti. yum yum....I had a great birthday and I think the others did too. It's not so bad sharing your birthday with other loved ones
Until next time..
Gayla

My Sweet Gavin is 10!


I can't believe that the little baby I brought home from the hospital in a Christmas stocking is 10 years old. I woke up the morning of the 21st of Dec. and it hit me...."I don't have any more kids in single digits." Where has the time gone? Just yesterday he was toddling around in his footie pajamas, with a sheepish grin on his face as he reached for something he wasn't suppose to have. He would ( and still does) flash those big blus Finley eyes and say say, "Mommy, can I have a cookie?" I just love his gentle spirit. He is such a go getter. Eveyone knows when he is around. After watching him recently, I realized that he is not only a very social person (I don't know where he gets it) but an encourager as well. God has some great plans for this little guy. Maybe some day he will be an inventor of something mankind can not do without or maybe he will be a pastor, reaching out to the lost. In any case, I am having a blast watching him grow up. I love you so much Gavin. You are such a precious part of our famiily.
love,
Mom

Winter Fun 09







I couldn't let this winter get by and not post about our sled riding. On Dec. 27th, we decided that since church had been canceled, we would go sledding. It is amazing what you can make a sled out of. The boys found the lid to a metal trash can and tied a lasso rope to it. The other end was tied to the ATV. Off we went flying down the drive way. The snow was cold, but not too cold. It was just perfect for sled riding on metal can lids. There is a certain snow type that you need for metal sleds. Did you know that? No, just kidding. I think all it takes is a lid, some snow, a rope and three kids willing to break their necks as they scream "Faster....go faster, Dad!" I love snow and I love to get my kids out in it. We just don't always get a lot of snow...sometimes we don't get any snow.
Bruce decided to get into the act, until he ran up the gravel road and Brian had to go after him. He was put on the chain after that. Our little dog, Sadie was quit put out when she had to stay inside the house. You could hear her yelping from the yard. She is such a drama queen. Gavin went first and was such a trooper. He was thrown this way and that way. He crashed into the snow banks and just laughed. Maggie got the award for most graceful dismount. As you can see in the third picture, all those dance classes have paid off. She is still pointing her toes even in the midst of a crash. Matthew was Matthew. The more extreme the better. It became a competition between dad and son to see who could go the fastest on the machine and who could throw who off the worst. It got a bit hairy there for a while. But, Miller men will be Miller men. They are the most extreme in just about anything. That's what I love about them. As you can see in the last picture, there are ice cycles hanging off Gavin's eye lashes. The boys were getting ready to ambush their dad. Poor guy.... I had to act like I didn't know what was about to happen. They look pretty serious don't they? After hours of fun, we headed into the house for some hot chocolate and a warm meal. The day had been a great day. One that I will remember forever.
Until next time...

Christmas Happenings...







We had the best Christmas holiday this year. To start it off, we woke up to a white Christmas morning. It was great. I can't remember the last time we had snow on Christmas morning. We were so excited to see it. Our dogs loved playing in the wet, white snow. The night before we had a house full of company over to play games and just hang out. It meant a lot to me to have my family and close friends at my home. We enjoyed a huge taco salad and one of the girls brought baclava for dessert. Yum.

After a long wonferful Christmas morning of opening gift, we had our traditional breakfast of biscuits and gravy. Then we played with our new games and toys for the better part of the day. I was so excited because I was given a Cricut for Christmas. It is a wonderful scrapbooking tool, for those of you who don't know what a Cricut is. It is so exciting to think that next year we will have a new baby join our Christmas holiday. I am getting a new baby nephew in March!
After a couple of days at home, we headed up to Harrisonville, Mo.to see my side of the family. What a great day! We enjoyed giving gifts with them, but after a wonderful hot meal at the old family dining table, the kids headed outside to play in the snow. What a cold day it was, but you couldn't tell those kids that. After getting Uncle Craig and Papa to start up the ATVs, there was no stopping them. They came back in with ice cycles hangning from their noses. This year has been one of the best ones I can remember just being with family and enjoying one another's company. I hope you had a memorable holiday seaason. May God bless you and your family in 2010.
~Until next time....
Gayla









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