Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Words of a Child - Part 1

At 4 years old, Ella is continuously amazing me with the things she expresses, the thoughts she processes, the prayers she prays. The last few weeks have been no exception. Here are a few precious statements/conversations I don't want to forget:

"Dear Jesus, please come down, put your hands on me and pray for me."

Ella - "I want to pray for Jesus Mommy." Me - "Okay Ella, what would you like to pray?" Ella - "God, please take care of Jesus. Please take care of the Shepherds and the sheep. Please take care of all the people down here and up there. Please take are of the farms and farmers down here and up there. Please take care of Israel. Please take care of Mary & Joseph. Please take care of my family and help my Daddy find a job. "

Keith - "...that dadblamed stuff." Ella - "Daddy you always call stuff dadblamed" You shouldn't say that. Keith - "Okay, but why not Ella?" Ella - "I want people to think we are happy and a good family. Not a family that says dadblamed."

"I sure love my Daddy."

"Can't we just sell our house and move in with Grammy? I really like it there, it's special to me."

Ella - "Daddy did you find a job yet?" Keith - "Not yet Baby." Ella - "We'll you could rake leaves or wash cars you know." Keith - "Yes, I guess I could." Ella - "You should be a race car driver. You drive very good, so you'd be really great at it."

Ella - "Mommy, Matt has a job!" (we've been praying for Matt to find a job for a while now) Me - "Yes, he's working a part time job. That's really great, but he is still looking for a full time job." Ella - "What is he doing Mommy?" Me - "He's working at a garage fixing cars." Ella - laughs and says, "He used to fix race cars didn't he? And now he's fixing regular cars?." Me - "Yes, that's right." Ella - shaking her head, "Oh that Matt, he's really something."

"You're right Mommy! Practicing does help me be better. You teach me the greatest things! Mrs. Sarah (her teacher) didn't EVEN tell me that."

Ella - "Mommy, I want to go to church with you." Me - "Why Baby, you always enjoy your class." Ella - "Because they always teach me things I already know and when I go with you I learn things I never heard before."

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Surprise for Ella

My beautiful little girl turned 4 years old on August 15th. I can't believe it! Doesn't seem possible it's been 4 years. Daddy & I decided we wanted to get her an outdoor playset for her birthday. We searched and searched and finally found an affordable set that fits our yard perfectly. Keith worked Friday (8th) and Sunday afternoon (9th) putting it together while I distracted Ella to make sure she didn't see what was happening. Amazingly we pulled it off! Normally she would have been going outside to find her Daddy, but she never even tried...not even once.

Sunday afternoon (9th), Mammaw & Pappaw and Grammy & Poppa came to visit (they blessed us by going in with us on the swingset) and we gave Ella her big surprise. It was lots of fun playing and eating pizza with them all.

So, Happy Birthday my sweet girl. I love you sooooo much!!

Here are some of the pics...

Monday, August 10, 2009

Super Doubles = Super Savings

So, here it is...

my Super Double finals. I've finally found the time to sit down and post my results from Super Doubles at Harris Teeter. By the end of the week my brain hurt a bit, but I am soooo excited about the results of my effort - 76% savings : )

Harris Teeter Super Double Results:

Original Cost - $337.00
Savings - $249.00 / 76%
Total OOP - $77.00
(I have rounded to even dollars for the sake of simplicity.)

Check out what I brought home for $77.00 -

(2) Boxes Frosted Mini Wheats
(4) Quaker Cereal Bars
(2) Grande Tortilla Chips
(1) Ocean Spray Cranberry Grape Juice
(4) Mayfield Ice Cream - half gallon - FREE
(2) Blue Bunny Champs Cones - FREE
(1) Deerpark Bottled Water - 24 count
(2) Cheeze its - whole grain
(3) Grands Jr. Buttermilk Biscuits
(3) Activia Yogurt - 4 pack
(6) Yoplait individual Yogurts
(3) Buitinni Pasta - Fettucini, Linguini, & Angel Hair
(4) Philidelphia Cream Cheese (8 oz)
(10) Lysol Disinfecting Wipes - 35 count
(3) Huggies Sensitive Wipes
(2) Johnson's Baby Bar Soap
(3) Dawn Dishwashing Detergents
(3) Lever 2000 Bar Soap (2 pack)
(3) Secret Deodorants
(2) Skintimate Shaving Gels
(3) Hot Shot Ultra Wasp & Hornet Killers
(3) Kotex Maxi Pads - 22 count
(1) Kotex Panti Liner - 22 count
(1) Crest Children's toothpaste
(1) Fresh Extends Ziplock Bags (gallon)
(2) Ziploc Freezer Bags (quart)
(2) Hefty Ziploc Bags (quart)
(1) Oral B - Children's Toothpaste
(4) Rubbermaid Containers - Small
(1) Wet Ones Antibacterial Wipes
(2) Borden Cheese - Sliced/Ind. wrapped - (8 count)
(2) Kelloggs Shredded Bite Size Mini Wheats
(4) Pringles
(1) Alexia Waffle Fries Snacks
(2) Cascade Dishwashing Detergent
(1) New England Coffee (1 lb)
(1) Kikkoman Teriyakki Sauce
(2) Rib Eye Steaks (3/4 lb ea)
(2) Ground Beef (2lbs ea)
(1) T. Marzetti Supreme Caesar Salad Dressing

All in all a GREAT week of shopping. I'm looking forward to the Triple Coupons I here are coming soon!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

CVSing Rocks!

Okay, so it's been a few weeks since I have posted. Busy time for the Devine's, but I have to say I've been hard at work figuring out this couponing thing. A couple weeks ago I finally got brave enough to start taking advantage of the CVS Extra Care Bucks program. While it seemed intimidating at first, it has definitely paid off and I am a loyal CVS customer now. I have also continued to get some awesome grocery store deals since my last post.

Today, I reviewed the CVS weekly deals and game plan for this week on (my absolute favorite site for couponing - to date : ) . breaks down the CVS plan and makes it easy to grasp. They also detail out the deals and give you a game plan scenerio of how to go about getting the deals for very little OOP (out of pocket).

Here are my savings from today:

I purchased $60.03 worth of merchandise for $13.36 OOP & left with $3.00 in ECB's and a $3 off $15 coupon in hand. (Lots of great school supplies this week.)

That's a 78% savings...INCREDIBLE!!

Here's what I purchased:

(2) Packs college ruled filler paper (150 count)
(2) 1" Binders
(2) 24 count boxes of #2 pencils
(2) memo pads (100 sheets)
(1) Colgate MaxWhite Toothpaste
(1) 2 pack of Oral B Toothbrushes
(1) CVS Brand Panty Liners 22 count
(1) Speed Stick Pro Men's Deodorant
(2) 10 count Paper Mate Pens
(2) CVS Brand 5 subject notebooks (180 sheet)
(1) Pack 2 count Reeses Cups

This week they are also offering a Kodak picture movie DVD for $9.99 and you get $9.99 back in ECB's. I'll be going to get mine before the weeks out! That will leave me $9.99 to start next week with which will mean much less OOP for me next week. YAY!!!

If you're not CVSing, YOU SHOULD GIVE IT A TRY!!


Super Double Coupons at Harris Teeter starting tomorrow. They will double coupons up to $1.98. Looking forward to lots of free deals : )

Check back later this week to find out how I did!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Forever a Clipper

Our family has some new expenses coming this fall, Ella's Preschool tuition and more, so I have been inspired to find new ways to cut costs and find money to cover them. I have never really been a coupon clipper - I've tried, but never really followed through. The amount of planning and time investment didn't seem to be worth it to me.

Well, when backed into a corner, we all tend to come out kicking. And kicking I am, with great determination, to reduce our grocery bill in half (OR BETTER). We'll know for sure in a couple months or so how it's going, but so far I'm feeling pretty good about it.

My new mantra...Clip, Clip, Clip, then Clip some more!! I'M SOLD : )
I figure it's easier to show and tell. (If you're like me, visuals always help.) So, check out the picture above and let me share this weekends deals with you.

Shopped at Harris Teeter (triple coupons this week)...I don't frequent Harris Teeter normally, because I feel their prices are a bit higher on average. However, they double coupons everyday and offer triple coupons from time to time. So, you have to do the math and compare with your regular store and decide what's best for you. There are so many items you can get for free with doubling and tripling of coupons, that it is important to make sure you take advantage of those deals. I've learned that stockpiling is a good idea. If I do this thing right, I should rarely have to buy anything at full price. With a stockpile, I should be able to be selective and only buy when something is on sale &/or I have a coupon. In just one month, I am well on my way to a great stockpile (just need somewhere to put it all : ) . So, back to my trip to Harris Teeter :

Total of purchases $166.89
Saved $109.97
Total Out Of Pocket (OOP) $ 56.92
I purchased the following:
Item Qty Price
Tabasco Pepper Sauce (2) FREE
Hunts Manwich Sauce (4) .37ea
Fritos 100 Calorie Packs (2) .64 ea
Frosted Flakes (2) BOGO
Frenches Yellow Mustard (1) FREE
Frenches Honey Mustard (1) .44
Frenches Worchestershire Sauce (1) FREE
Frenches Fried Onions (2) .25ea
Domino Light Brown Sugar (2) .09ea
Swanson Canned Prem. Chunck Wht Chkn(4) 1.88ea
Crisco Puritan Canola Oil w/ Omega 3 (1) 1.54
CBRD ABC/123 (2) .97ea
Spray & Wash Resolve Power (2) 1.65ea
Land O' Lakes Spreadable Butter (1) .60
Daisy Sour Cream (16 oz) (1) .69
Lunchables (full size w/ juice pouch) (4) 1.00 ea
Bandaid (40ct Clear) (2) 1.00 ea
Hefty Easy Grip Plastic Cups (20ct) (1) .34
Dial Basics Soap (3pk) (1) .14
Kraft Salad Dressing (1) .45
Archway Cookies (2) 1.50ea
Ragu Spaghetti Sauce (1) .45
Snickers Bars (4) .50 ea
Off Repellent (1) 1.24
MC Black Pepper (4oz) (1) .25
Hodgson Whole Wheat Spaghetti (1) 1.59
Hodgson Whole Wheat Fettuccini (1) 3.19
Wet Ones Wipes (40ct) (2) .74 ea
Snyders Pretzel Pieces (1) .25
Kettle Salt & Cracked Pepper Chips (1) 2.50
Skintimate Shave Gel (2) FREE
Aged Cube Steak (~1.5lbs) (2) 6.45 total
Marzetti Ceasar Dressing (1) 3.79
Barcardi Daiquiri Mixers (Frozen) (2) 1.25ea

I've made a few mistakes along the way - got a great deal, but a couple of items could have been handled differently for a better savings. All in all I've done pretty good so far!
I've definitely been bitten by the bug and will be clipping away for years to come : )

Monday, March 2, 2009

Beautiful Snow & Lots of Fun

Finally, a good snow in's been a long time. It is beautiful and Ella had a blast playing in it today. It's been a good day! Sunday night - Snow cream, Monday - Playing in the snow, built Frosty and his 3 little baby snowkids : )

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Justified by Faith

These are simply notes from my quiet time this morning. I have chosen a verse for the week from Romans 4...verse 25...I am committing to write this word on my heart this week and wanted to share it with all of my dear family and friends.

“He (Jesus Christ) was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.” Romans 4:25

According to the Merrian-Webster Online Dictionary, the following is the definition of justify, justified, justification (the act of being justified)…

transitive verb1 a: to prove or show to be just, right, or reasonable b (1): to show to have had a sufficient legal reason (2): to qualify (oneself) as a surety by taking oath to the ownership of sufficient property2 aarchaic : to administer justice to barchaic : absolve c: to judge, regard, or treat as righteous and worthy of salvation 3 a: to space (as lines of text) so that the lines come out even at the margin b: to make even by justifying intransitive verb1 a: to show a sufficient lawful reason for an act done b: to qualify as bail or surety2: to justify lines of text

An easy way to remember the definition of justification is this simple statement…just as if I never sinned.

I encourage you to read the entire passage (Romans 4) that comes before this scripture so you will have an understanding of the context of the scripture. The heart of the passage is this…

Abraham was justified by faith. He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness. David said, “Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will NEVER count against him.” (Ps. 32:1,2; Rom. 4:7-8). Abraham’s promise came by faith out of grace and is guaranteed to all his offspring. The awesome part is that according to scripture, “He is the father of us all.” (Rom. 4:16)

Even though Sarah’s womb was dead and Abraham was ~100 years old, he believed against all hope and became the father of many nations. “Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness”. The words “it was credited to him” were not written for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness – for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.” (Rom. 20-24)

How incredible it is to know that we don’t have to strive to earn grace, to be righteous and worthy of salvation – our belief in the work of Christ has justified us and that belief is credited to us as righteousness. Therefore, WE ARE ALREADY RIGHTEOUS IN HIS EYES!

My prayer today is…

Lord help my unbelief. Help me to never waver regarding your promise. Help me to be strengthened in my faith and give glory to you in all things. Help me to act with the resolve of being fully persuaded that you have the power to do what you have promised. Thank you for crediting my belief as righteousness. Thank you that I do not have to strive to be worthy of your salvation. Thank you for this incredible gift of fresh, new, beautiful LIFE you have given me. I rejoice in the hope you have poured out to me. Use me to be a voice of that hope to others today and always!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Devine Family Fun Night - Part 2

Another fun night at the Devine's! Enjoy the pics : )

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Halloween Thoughts

Had a conversation with some friends this week about Halloween. The discussion was about whether our families would/should participate. It was a short conversation, respectful of those Christian families (like mine) that do. The conversation led me to revisit the whole thought process of why Christians should or should not choose to take part in this holiday. How do we justify being excited about a holiday that is steeped in such in opposition to the spirit within us?

Yes, Halloween is fun, especially for our children - and the candy - YUM! But there has to be more to this decision than fun & candy. Our belief system has to take us deeper than that.

I grew up with strong, very active, Chrisitian parents. We were highly involved in the church from as early as I can remember. As young children, we dressed up and went trick or treating every year. As we grew a little older and my parents grew in their faith and began to experience a more charismatic lifestyle, they chose for our family not to participate in the holiday. We were part of a church that led families in that direction and also took the stance that the church would not participate by having trunk or treats, fall festivals, etc. So, I've lived at both ends of the spectrum.

In reflecting on that perspective, one huge thought keeps coming to mind. What is our role as "the church"? We have been commanded to "Go & make disciples". Where are disciples made? We (believers in Jesus Christ) are "the church". We come together for Sunday celebrations and small groups to be a family (at it's deepest level) to one another and to be equipped to follow the command we were given to "Go and make disciples". Staying within the confines of our comfortable church environment does not disciples make. The word says, "GO"... Where? Into "ALL THE WORLD".

The bible also says we are to be a "light in the darkness". What is the purpose of light if there is no darkness to dispell? or better yet...If God desires us to be light, doesn't that somehow require us go into the darkness?

We "christians" spend great time and energy on producing the best Easter & Christmas services possible. Why? Because we are told these are the two times of the year that people who would not normally walk in the doors of a church will come. I do not disagree with this philosophy. These services are important and people certainly come to know Christ through these services and productions. My thoughts are simply this...If we are willing to pour so much into a "Christian" holiday in an effort to present hope to the few nonbelievers that might show up, what if we poured the same kind of effort into a holiday that we know great numbers of nonbelievers will definitely be participating in? Why is it that we leave this pagan holiday so wide open for the enemy? In the spiritual realm, don't we agree that the battle is great on this night? Is this not a night that hope and life need to be most greatly exemplified in opposition to death & despair? Is this not the darkness our light is designed to illuminate? Shouldn't "the church" individually & corporately embrace this opportunity? Why is it we sit back and expect nonbelievers to come to us for the light rather than taking our light to them? We desire so greatly to see people come to know Christ, yet we fear stepping outside our doors to facilitate this great change.

How does "the church" make the biggest difference on this night? Is it through corporate church events like trunk or treats, individually going out in our neighborhoods and building relationships with those around us, or praying as the Holy Spirit leads for the people we encounter? I don't know the answers, I simply believe this night is about more than a choice whether or not to participate. The question to ask ourselves is, Will I be a light? and How/where can our family be best used by God on this night?

I have not forgotten the responsibility we have to our own children in this. Children understand good & evil at a young age, an ability God has built into them. We expose them to it over and over again in so many ways, without much thought. Whether we choose to participate in Halloween or not, they are bombarded with the Holiday in every store we take them into, at school, etc. With Ella, I want her to love Jesus and desire to share him with others. I want her to have a heart for the lost. I want her to know that the enemy is real and does not want them to know Jesus. I want her to understand that the enemy has already lost the battle and she has absolutely nothing to fear. I want her to be so confident in her faith & knowledge of Jesus, that she can walk into the darkness in the strength and power of the Holy Spirit and command the enemy to leave. I want her to so desire... (Wow, I just got challenged by the Spirit on this one, so I'll hold that thought for another post : )

How will Keith & I use the Halloween experience to help facilitate this kind of heart in her? I'm not sure...that's a conversation we as parents need to sit down and have. What I do know is I want to grow her in the spirit and don't want it to simply be a holiday about playing dress up and getting candy. As her parents, everything we choose to celebrate as a family has to be centered around our lives in Christ, for without him there is no life!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Devine Family Fun Night

Now that I am officially 100% a stay at home Mom (for the 1st time ever), I am trying to be much more intential about planning fun & educational events as well as creating special family times for Ella that will put her in the position to flourish into the incredible little girl, young lady, and woman God has designed her to be.

So, Thursday nights are now considered "Devine Family Fun Nights"...the plan is to find ways as a family to have some serious fun together, while being frugal and respecting our budget at the same time. So, were talking movies at home (generally from the Mooresville library or the Andersen library) , games, and anything else that seems to be exciting to Ella at the time.

Our 1st Family Fun Night was this past Thursday. We had planned movie night, but Ella decided she was not interested in a movie. Seems she figured since she had our undivided attention, she would make it worth her while. So, we started our new tradition with play dough, Candyland, Go Fish, and Memory Match. Then we ended our night with Oreo's and milk...YUM! We had a great time and Ella was obviously thrilled to have our undivided attention for several hours.

Here's to Family Fun Night!! Can't wait 'til next time...

Check out the slideshow of our night.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


Just got back from seeing Fireproof. I've been looking forward to the movie and was not disappointed.  How great is it that there are people willing to pour their money into a film that has such potential to change lives?  No, it wasn't the film quality of The Dark Knight, but it spoke volumes of depth regarding love, marriage, life with Christ, forgiveness, family, and so much more! 

I am left quite many thoughts going through my head tonight...Do I show my husband how much I love him on a daily bases?  or do I take our relationship and commitment to the covenant we made 15 years ago for granted?  Do I champion my husband?  Is he my priority or do I put other things before him?  Do I invest in him?  What changes do I need to make to Fireproof my marriage??  Am I speaking into the lives of those around me?  Am I using my influence in a way that honors my Lord? Am I making an effort to identify the needs of those around me? 

Hmmm...lots to process : )

Thank you Lord for being the center of our family.  Give us wisdom & direction regarding our marriage.  Grow us into a beautiful example of covenant marriage for others.  Please work through us to touch and bring change to the lives of those around us.  Amen!

Saturday, September 13, 2008


No, I'm not pregnant!  Now, with that out of the way, let me tell you about the one food I crave more than anything else - Hot Wings.  My husband's, to be specific.  

See what I mean...your mouth is watering, isn't it?  They taste as good as they look : ) They're amazing!  I've been craving them for a couple weeks and last night Keith made them for me.  I have yet to find a place that can even come close to these wings. You should definitely invite yourself over and make sure wings are on the menu...   

Thanks Babe for the awesome dinner last night!