Thursday, September 30, 2010

Coupon's for a cause!

Want to help...DO you live in the Woodstock area??

I am teaching a couponing class for the families who run SWO, in a few weeks. These guys are awesome...Eric and I have been involved with them for 10 years...they are making a huge impact on students and the poor community of Andrews NC. They only have an Ingles there to shop I'm gonna learn that system and go shop and teach!

How can you help?? I would love to bless them with couponing here is what I need:

Any of your non perishable extras
cleaning supplies
soup and canned veggies
spaghetti and pasta
ANY NON PERISHABLE know the stuff I'm talking about!
Any and all baby diapers, wash, wipes, powder
I want to give each of them a coupon box.....I will need $70.00 for this.
If you want to donate money toward this instead of food items you are welcome to drop me a check and make sure to designate that on a separate piece of paper...not the memo line! It is tax deductible as long as you do not designate the money....funny how the gov. works:)
Make check to Driven To Encourage Ministries 780 Neese Road Woodstock, GA 30188

You can drop off any goods at my house and I will take them up in a few weeks.

Check them out here.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Ultimate Parenting Goal

I hate long Blog posts....I do not reading them and I sure do not like to write them!! So I am going to break these up into many small parts for my own sake:)

This first post is really central for all the other posts to follow on parenting. The Bible doesn't give a whole lot of instruction specifically on parenting. This is my favorite:

Deuteronomy 6: 5-9 5You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

This passage is the lens through which all of our parenting passes. My main job as a Christian parent is to teach my children to "Love the Lord with ALL their hearts...when..... all day in every situation. When I wake up in the morning and I lie in bed praying for the Lord to bless my day...I always ask Him to help me remember that my most important job is to point my kids back to Him.

Over the next few weeks I am going to try to give some practical helps.... but it all boils back down to those verses for me. What drives you as a parent? What are your goals? There will be many days of discouragement when you will need to remember what the goal is!!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Couponing Class!

Hey if you live in the Woodstock area come and join me for a free couponing and money saving class this coming Tuesday September 28th 7-9 pm at FBC Holly Springs. I am really excited to share....seating is limited so be on time! Check out their web site here.

Kids driving you crazy??

I always notice how parents interact with their children. Am I curious or nosy? I listen in on the conversation, tone and facial expression. It makes me so sad to see parents who seem not to enjoy their children. What a miserable existence as a parent to just "endure" while children grow up. I will tell you that many children are so miserable to be around I can see why parents feel this way. Many times this is a vicious cycle...parent tolerates bad behavior....kid pushes all the buttons..parent gives in......kid pushes all the right buttons.....parent explodes....kid backs off..only to come back at it again and round and round the cycle continues.

I do not want to paint a picture that all 5 of my children have been perfect children...they have not nor have I been a perfect parent...nor have I always enjoyed every moment with my kids. Those who know us well..know that one of our children popped out of the womb testing us on every level and there were a few years there that I thought it wasn't going to get better and one of us was going to have to die and it wasn't ME! Even through those HARD years there was joy and there were great lessons learned...mainly about myself!

I'm going to take the next few days to talk about some really common issues and how we have dealt with if you know anyone especially with younger children have them tune in! I'm going to talk about Bed Time, Taking your Children Out, Chores, Training at Home, Mealtime Madness, 1st time obedience..and Manners.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Thhis Weeks shopping Trip.

Weird things are going on with my blog??? I Have random pictures that turn when I upload them....even though they are perfectly right before the upload? Crazy!!! Anyway it is late and I want to go to bed so you can click on the picture to blow it up then turn your computer!!! This is the kind of stuff that I show women how to do EVERY time I speak! It really is so easy!!

Notice the milk is 1/3 gone before I could even take the picture??? That would be Marshall!!!!

4 Quaker Oats
3 Quaker Instant Grits
1Ronzoni Bow Tie pasta
1 Ronzoni Linquine pasta
15 Campbell's Select Harvest soup
4 bags of rice
2 Peter Pan PB
5 Del Monte no salt green beans
3 Kens Steakhouse lite dressing
8 cans Starkist light tuna in water
3 bottles Bull's-eye BBQ sauce
2 lg boxes Orville Redenbacher's Pop Corn
1 lg College Inn chicken broth
2 packages Del Monte Pears no sugar added
1 gallon milk
4 Colgate Total toothpaste
4 Reach Dental Floss
2 Carefree panty liners
2 Edge shaving cream

Total Price: 124.27
I paid: 36.29
Savings: 87.98!!!!!

Shopping Trip.

I had an awesome shopping trip but I am so exhausted and it is so will have to wait until tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Football Game with Grand-daddy Put!

My daddy took all three of the oldest cousins to the football game this past Saturday. They had a blast. They cooked chicken on the grill and did a lot of people watching. They walked the campus and Lindsey decided she definitely wanted to go to Clemson...she will need a scholarship! Then they all experienced their first college football game. It was awesome!

I thought the picture below was awesome....When I was growing up daddy had an old Clemson shirt that we all wore at one time or another and Daddy eventually made it his painting shirt. Lindsey got her hands on it and wore it to the game...with all her jewelry of course! As Jeremiah says, "Lindsey in't the life of the party...she IS the Party!!" I would agree! She was happy to pick out another shirt from a shop there in Clemson though! But I still like the picture below!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Internet Safety

Is your computer safe????? We use Safe Eyes and love it!!! No filter is 100% but if you do not have filters on ALL your computers and ITouch and IPad...It is like having dirty magazines lying around and telling your kids not to look! Get a free trial HERE.

Do toddlers Hit?

Most all of us who are parents have seen our child pitch a total fit! Most of us have even had a child hit us in the face. How is it that a child who has never been slapped can learn that? This even happens in homes where parents do not spank so that argument is null! They all do it! If you have a child who has never attempted hitting, kicking or should not have anymore children because it was a fluke and it will never happen again!!!!

I was at the grocery store the other day and a mother was there with her 2year old. The child started screaming. As soon as the mother picked her up she started hitting the mom in the I don't mean she was flailing around and in so doing hit the mother..OH NO she was going for it big time! She was angry and she wanted her mother to know it! Now I was not appalled at the I have said we have all had a child get angry and strike I was amazed at the mother. This was her response, "Honey why do you always act like this when we go out? I know you don't want to hurt mommy. If you don't stop I will not buy you candy" Really...Really...I'm thinking to myself...I can tell you why she always acts like this....because the first few times it happened you did not take swift immediate action to insure that she knows who is in charge!!!!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Our Great Marriage!

Want to know why our marriage works? There are lots or reasons but the single biggest word that I can think of is intentionality! It does not just happen effortlessly!

We intentionally pray together!
We intentionally pray for each other!
We intentionally encourage each other!
We intentionally praise each other!
We intentionally brag on each other!
We intentionally go on dates and make time for one another!
We intentionally dream together!
We intentionally hold hands!
We intentionally tell each other how much we love them!
We intentionally share our fears!
We intentionally share in each others interests!
We intentionally give each other compliments!

I could go on and on! But you get the picture..we work at our marriage! It is easy to get busy and let the work slide and that is when we find ourselves in a marriage that is not amazing! I woke up a few mornings ago to the notes on my mirror shaped in a heart in the picture above. They say things like....I love you...My heart still races when you walk in the room....You are Beautiful..You are a great Mom...

Now that my friends is intentionality!!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

My New Island!!

I have wanted an island in my kitchen for quite a while now but I couldn't afford one.....Eric's parents replaced their island top and gave us the old top but when we went to buy a cabinet to go underneath it was more than we could afford. We found this chest at the thrift store for $15 and it was in good shape except for missing a piece along the bottom. I sanded it down.

My good-lookin husband put a piece of bead board across the bottom and the back. I painted it black...replaced the knobs and scuffed it up a little with sand paper and.........

VOILA!! I am thrilled with it. We let the top hang off the back and one side and put bar stools underneath.

Where are my days going??

Oh me Oh days are crazy!!!! Homeschool is awesome but I have to sit down and reset my schedule. I do not have anytime for myself! I love to blog and think of a million things to write about everyday and then I get so busy I never get to it!!!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Paper article!!

Below is the article that appeared in a local paper here in GA!

Local coupon mom shares strategy
Published: 01 September 2010
Article PDF

Michele Helms has an assortment of groceries splayed on her kitchen table, everything from salad dressing to diced tomatoes to cereal and wheat bread. And she only paid a jaw-dropping $10.80 for it all.

Janet Pelletier | Ledger-News.

She didn’t have to beg, borrow or steal. It was all in the art of coupon clipping. She’s become a sort of guru in it.

The Woodstock mom of five and her husband have a full-time ministry. Through that, she began speaking about women’s issues, more specifically the topic of modern-day families and the importance of everyone eating at the dinner table despite their busy lives.

“A lot of families find themselves at a drive-through or sitting in front of a television because they feel like, to prepare a meal and to sit down with their family, is just something you did in the ‘50s when you had more time or when women didn’t work as much,” Helms said. “I think that’s a myth. There’s lots of ways with proper planning. Planning sets you free. You think it won’t but it does.”

Free is the operative word, as Helms regularly finds deals on items at the grocery store where she doesn’t have to pay a cent. She credits a girlfriend of hers, who encouraged her to start clipping coupons.

Helms said she used to be vehemently opposed to coupons. In fact, a book she wrote, “Time around the table,” which stressed the importance of family dining, featured a chapter about saving money in which she said “as a rule, I do not clip coupons because I find most are junk and prepackaged stuff.”

Her friend was persistent and eventually, Helms gave coupon-clipping a try, vowing if it didn’t pay off, she would write it off for good. She’d always considered herself frugal, having lived on a shoestring budget her whole life.

“I thought, I’ll give it a month. If I don’t see something significant in a month, I’ll stop,” she said. “That was about three years ago and it’s unbelievable.”

Helms said she spends $5,200 a year on groceries and toiletries, and estimated the average family spends more than double that, $12,000, on just groceries.

“The real thing I tell women is this: I could probably feed my family of seven on $50 a week if I had to, and feed them a lot of pasta and you know, just cereal,” she said.

“For us, on $100 a week, I can feed us well and a lot of good-for-you stuff, tons of fresh stuff and good meats,” Helms said.

It all starts with the Sunday newspaper, where she said she gets 90 percent of her coupons. She buys four papers and simultaneously opens them side by side, scissors in hand.

The Internet has also been a big help, as she said she uses a Web site,, which lists the deals for the week at the local grocery and drug stores. Armed with her deals of the week, she then pairs that savings with coupons.

“I sit down, and I look at the things and I say to myself, would I use this if it was free or almost free?” she said.

She then files the coupons in a bin that has dividers for different categories.

“What I’m doing is, I’m basically waiting for the items to go on sale because almost everything you see on (my kitchen) table here has a six-week cycle, where it goes back on sale,” she said.

When it does go on sale, she stocks up, storing the rest she’s not going to use right away in a cabinet or the freezer.

Recently, she bought 10 loaves of wheat bread for 39 cents apiece. “I’m going to make batches and batches of French toast that I put in the freezer, and my kids can pull out and pop in the toaster,” she said.

Another tip she suggests is finding grocery stores that offer double coupons. At least one major supermarket offers double coupons up to a 50-cent limit per coupon.

Instead of sitting down to prepare what she’s going to make for dinner for the week, she said she first takes an inventory of her kitchen and decides what meals to make based on that.

“There’s almost always fresh stuff I’ve got to add,” she said. “But because I save so much on the other stuff, when I add the fresh things that we use, that’s where the bulk of my $100 a week goes.”

Helms recommends people stick with their favorite store because each one will have a cycle of sales it runs.

Helms, like many others, felt overwhelmed with coupon clipping, but she got the hang of it.

“Most people don’t realize that it’s really this easy, and they feel very overwhelmed,” she said. “I learned it myself; anybody can do that.”

She spends 45 minutes preparing for the store and saves about $150.

Because she feels so strongly the benefits of coupons, she gives free seminars to groups.

“I show people routinely how to cut $400-500 out of their grocery budget a month,” she said. “For us, being full time in our ministry, it’s been a lifesaver. We showed a woman whose husband had to take a pay cut and she had her two children in private school and wanted to keep them there. She completely did it by cutting their grocery budget.”

Helms will be teaching a free class titled “Time and Money Saving,” on Sept. 28 from 7-9 p.m. at First Baptist Holly Springs, 2632 Holly Springs Parkway, in Canton.

For information, call (770) 345-5349. For more information on Helms, visit her blog at the Driven to Encourage Ministry Web site,
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