Saturday, July 31, 2010

Almost forgot...

In all the disappointment with the coupon mishap ... I almost forgot to share the GREAT news!!!  The waters opened up last night for fishing!!  I am headed out to go fishing with my husband in a few minutes!  Very  very good news!!  No crabs or oysters.  But we can catch shrimp and finfish!!  Wish me luck!!

Going fishing off this pier tonight!!  Hoping to catch a speckled trout or 10 :) 
Last time we caught a baby shark... it scared all the fish away.  :(

Hopefully I will be publishing my great buys tomorrow!!

Another failed attempt at couponing...

OK, so I sat for probably 2 hours planning a trip to Rite Aid for maybe 8-10 items hahaha
But I had it all worked out to the penny!  Everything in order and written down.  Coupons clipped and attached to my list.  I was going on a mission!  I would have purchased $25.and some odd cents worth of goodies for a mere $5.21 out of pocket!  Earning $7.00 in + up rewards!  I was ready to strike it rich  ;) 

I get to Rite Aid and notice the first item on my list was not on sale for $4.99 like the ad stated but at it's regular price of $7.99.  No, this was all wrong!!  This was not what I had planned at all.  I almost felt like I was on a hidden camera show or something.  OK, I knew I had to spend $25 to get my $5 off coupon but I couldn't spend $3.00 more than I had planned.  It would have ruined my whole plan.  So I thought I could surely find some thing in the $5 range with a $2 off coupon!  So I shook it off. 

Then, I went to find the 4 bottles of Nivea body wash.  THEY WERE SOLD OUT!  What?!?  All I thought was "I cant do this anymore" ... I left the store feeling defeated and deflated.  I was so pumped up and ready to make $1.79 today! 

So, no more trusting online ads.  And no more waiting until the last day of the sale.  I have not given up.  It was just not at all what I expected to happen.  I wanted to come home and show off all my treasures and have my whole family  ooohhh and ahhhh over them.  Which I know they wouldn't have done but in my fantasy they did ... but in my fantasy I made $1.79 after using all my coupons today.  HA I guess that just shows me I need to come back to reality.  So tomorrow is Sunday and I am hoping the corner store has the papers bright and early!!

Wish me luck!  :)

Happy Birthday to my MOMMY!!

Happy 60th birthday to an incredible mom who has helped me more times than I could possibly remember.  I love this woman so much and miss her terribly!!  She is an amazing mom, no matter how annoying she can be on the phone haha  I love her!!  Happy 60th mom!  Have a great day!!   I LOVE YOU AND MISS YOU SO MUCH!!  I hope she comes down to visit again this winter!! 

My mom this past Christmas/New Years season when she came to visit us for the week! 

My mom and me.  Probably around 1973. 

Friday, July 30, 2010

Forgot to mention...

Yesterday was day 100 of the BP Disaster.  Sort of a big deal down here in my town since all the beaches are still closed and we can't fish.  I ended up filing a claim with BP this week since technically we have lost money due to the oil "spill" by no longer being able to fish and enjoy our way of life here.  It does make me sad.  I miss my speckled trout and oysters.  :(

2 of my kiddos and our furry family member after the spill, but before the oil reached our beaches.
Keep praying for a miracle. 

That day we gathered "sea shells"  and made this for my baby girls room

My trial run as a coupon cutting mommy... epic fail.

OK, so I did the coupon thing at Rite Aid yesterday.  I am pretty sure most professionals would laugh at this, but it was my first attempt, and I left feeling pretty good about myself! 

 I cant seem to upload the picture of the receipt!   Its in my phone and it wont let me email it to my facebook so I can save it on my computer and post it here.  If there is anyway to email a picture to my blog please let me know!  Until I can get a new camera or fix the one I have my phone is my only option!  So its hard to see my stuff... its 2 bottles of laundry detergent, 2 tubes of toothpaste, dental floss, toothbrush, 12 pack of batteries and 3 bottles of soft soap. 

But the receipt states I spent $18.65.  Saved $27.31 in Wellness savings and $7.00 in coupons.  I earned $3 in +Up Rewards for my next visit!  Rite Aid is way more of an expensive store than I would normally shop at, but with the B1G1, Wellness discounts, and +Up Rewards ... I may be shopping there a little more often.  I will start planning ahead better though.  I didn't have a good pile of coupons to work from this time.  If I had coupons for Purex and Arm & Hammer toothpaste it could have been more profitable.  I did have a $5.00 off coupon for joining the Wellness program.  I have 2 more $5 off coupons to use by the end of September too!  I will try to start clipping more coupons and plan a little better before my next visit.

Now Walmart... I bombed.  I didn't have the weekly ads for Winn Dixie or Rouses.  So, I looked them up online.  They both had some amazing deals!!  I called Walmart to ask if they would price match.  She said they would and they have copies of the ads at register 20 so I wouldn't have to print the ads.  I went to the store.  I had only $80 on me.  But I was determined to get what I needed.  My coupons were not organized the way I would have liked and I had 2 children with me.  A 4 year old begging for cupcakes, cookies, popcorn and candy.  I was getting a little frazzled.   I went to get the flyers at register 20.  They didn't have them!!!  I had no flyers to show my price matches!  I had very few coupons.  So as the cashier was scanning I was getting nervous.  She got to $78.97 and there were still about 6 more items.  I screamed "STOP!  I only have $80.00"  So needless to say the cupcakes did not make it into the bags.  Pooh cried.  But I didn't get my Chile Lime Almonds either!!   You didn't see me crying over it!  Anyway, I was so upset about not being able to price match and running out of money I forgot to use my $*%^* coupons!!!  I could have saved like $6 with the coupons and at least gotten her cupcakes!  Oh well, this is why I didn't post yesterday.  My day  sort of went like that.   I am hoping to clip a little more and plan a little better.  I will be taking my own ads with me next time to Walmart and will be leaving the children at home!  This is going to take practice and I do not need them distracting me while I try to perfect this skill!  

Happy Friday everyone!  Have a blessed weekend!   

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I am detirmed!

I am detirmined to learn how to use coupons!!  I have never used more than 1 or 2 at a time and never saved any significant amount of money trying ... well today that ends.  Tomorrow I will try it out.  My day has been spent trying to learn how to shop with coupons and my head is spinning.  I have printed dozens.  I have accomplished nothing around the house though.  But if I can learn how to feed my family on $50 a week I will have accomplished my goal!!  Any tips are encouraged and welcomed!  I have to say though we have Walmart, Walgreens and Rite Aid in town.  We have no real supermarkets.  Katrina wiped them all out and no one has been brave enough to reopen.  So 99% of my shopping is done at Walmart.  We have a Winn Dixie about 18 miles away and a Rouses about 8 miles away.  I shop at those rarely, but would prefer Winn Dixie.  I would have to bring a cooler with me in the car though! 

Happy Birthday Dad~!

I need to start out first wishing my daddy a very happy 63rd birthday!!  I love you dad!  He is the bald one in the white tee shirt!  :)  And if you aren't from the deep south and don't know what we are eating in the picture below, it's a crawfish boil!!  YUMMY!!

Ok, Kaila Grace is officially 4 and her birthday was a huge success.  What wasn't a huge success and almost completely ruined my day... my camera broke!!  I have not a single picture.  My heart is breaking.  I took 1 picture with my camera phone which SUCKS!  But I took this right after she got out of the bath and put on her birthday dress at around 9 am!  No party pictures.  That breaks my heart!!!  It was just family, but still.  I love taking pictures of everything!  So not having a camera made me very sad.

As soon as Daddy walks in the door after work the festivities begin.  I am having a horrible day because, 1.  I didn't have enough money to buy her cake and food for dinner.  My cleaning job this week ended up cancelling because they stayed in New Orleans this past weekend and didn't need me to come out.  So I wasn't able to afford to get enough food for the week and get the Dora cake she picked out.  Sorry Kaila, I would give you the world if I could, but feeding the family has to come before a birthday cake.  Back to School clothes and supplies have depleted any extra money we would have had along with Kaila's presents.

So I buy a mix.  I even let her pick out those awful letters made of pure sugar that no one actually eats, $2.22 wasted haha ... but still cheaper than a $25 cake.  She is 4 and she was fine.  Mommy cried a little inside.  I hate being poor.  Ok I know I am not poor compared to many others but I feel poor and I don't like that feeling.  I have many blessings.  I really am grateful, but it's hard to lose an income and adjust your lifestyle.  I wasn't rolling in the dough.  I didn't make much at my job to be quite honest.  $33K a year.  Definitely not the highest paying job I have had, but when you lose that income after having it for almost 18 months, you feel it.  If my husband was making $200K a year maybe it wouldn't have been such a blow but he only makes $52K.  So it was a big chunk of our household income.  ANYWAY back on track. 

The cake fell apart!  I am not a baker!  I bake 2 little 8 inch round cakes.  I even know enough to shave the top part of the bottom layer off to make it flat.  It doesn't matter.  No cooperation what-so-ever.  The cake is a disaster.  One whole side crumbles.  I have a melt down.  My kids look at me like I am a lunatic!  But I cry and go lock myself in my room allowing them to decorate the already ruined cake.  How much more damage could 3 kids do to it that I hadn't already done?  So I go in my room, feeling quite sorry for myself, and start wrapping presents.  I am looking at the presents thinking "she is going to hate these.  I am such a failure, I cant even give my 4 year old a half way decent birthday."   To make a very long story not quite so long... She LOVED it!  She was whooping and hollering for just about each gift.  One, the free Dora lunch box that Toys R Us through in for spending $50 online, was her favorite.  She was whoop whooping and raising the roof with her palms up screaming!  Haha my 15 year old, Margaret or Moo Moo as you will hear me refer to her as, was laughing so hard, looked at me and said "OMG mom I have never seen anything so funny in my entire life"  hahaha  It was a success.  So we ate birthday cake before dinner!!  Crazy right?!?!  Then a few neighbors stopped in over the next hour dropping off gifts.  Kaila couldn't have been happier and my heart sang with joy.  That's what it's all about. 

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Today my baby girl turns 4!!  What an incredible blessing!  She truly is the golden thread that weaves this family together!! 

Monday, July 26, 2010

BP oil is killing us.

We love to fish and we really do rely on it to feed the family a couple days a week.  It's starting to take its toll on us now.  Pray for us please.  I found this on another blog and love it. 

Please Lord help me and my family. 

I love living near the beach but it's been so hard since Katrina.  This is my home and I want to stay. 

oh joy... day 1 of detox!

No, not alchohol detox!!  I am starting my 4 week cleansing today.  I have been cheating a little on giving up all meat and dairy and today I will purge my system.  80 ozs of water a day and cleasing fruits and vegetables.  My 2 biggest problems are coffee and alcohol.  I will never be able to give either up.  But I am cutting back on the coffee to 2 cups a day.  I dont mind not drinking alcohol really, but when I do want it I will drink it.  I live 50 miles from New Orleans... thats what we do here we party :)

so I found this recipe I will make up this morning and drink all day.  Today I am fasting.  Water only.  I have decided Every Monday I will fast to clean the toxins of the weekend!!  Lord knows I accumulate many toxins Friday through Sunday!! 

The Master Cleanser Formula

• 2 Tbs. fresh squeezed lemon or lime juice

• 1-2 Tbs. pure 100% maple syrup, honey or stevia to taste

• 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

• 8 oz. pure water

  wish me luck! 

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Way too much time alone today!

Ok my family should be all be rolling in soon except for the 20 year old... she is out of town visiting friends until Tuesday.  The blogging will have to end for the day, but I have to share a secret that has made me an "amazing cook". 

Seriously.  I have used this to marinade pork chops, pork tenderloin, chicken breasts and even chicken thighs.  I have grilled and cooked in the oven.  When I use this I am the QUEEN of the kitchen.  My entire family drools ... and with a family of 6 that is no easy task.  I personally gave up meat and dairy 2 months ago, but cant get the rest of the brood to follow my lead ... yet!!  So I have been marinading some chicken thighs for the past 3-4 hours and will soon be firing up the grill!  I cant wait to see my family.  It's been a very long day!  The baby, who I call Pooh all the time, came home about 30 minutes ago and we went out in the back yard just to jump in some puddles.  I love her so much.  Life really can be simple sometimes.  

Time to fire up the grill!! 

Serious Business Here!

WOW!!  I had no idea how big blogging was!  I have been glued to the computer ALL day!  Good thing all my children and husband are gone or I would be getting some seriously dirty looks!  There are a lot of really interesting blogs and people out there!!  I love this!  Can anyone tell me how its possible to make a business out of blogging?   I want more than anything to go on a week vacation alone with my husband.

Aren't they gorgeous?  I cant believe how fast they have grown! 

A Life of Tragedies and Perseverance

My Amazing Husband

This is an entry all about Sam and his life.  He was born in 1967 in Bay St Louis, MS.  His mom was 40 and his dad was 50 when he was born.  In 1969 Hurricane Camille hit and took his family home so they were forced to move to NC and stayed there for 3 years until they could move back to Bay St. Louis and purchase a new home.  Unfortunately I have no early pictures to post for this entry as we lost all pictures in Hurricane Katrina in 2005. 

In 1973 Sam's dad died.  Sam was 6 years old and was riding in the truck with him.  They stopped at a friend's house when his dad told him to wait in the truck.  "Red" got out of the truck and Sam never saw him make it to the front door.  After a few minutes Sam and his brother jumped out of the truck only to find his father lying dead in the ditch next to the drivers side door.  That was the first tragedy, in a string of many, my husband has endured.  His father was diabetic and had heart failure and I think he knew it was going to happen and stopped so his sons would not be injured  Unfortunately Sam and his brother were the ones to find their daddy's body first. 

So Miss Melba, Sam's mom, was now left alone to raise 4 children by herself.  Two of which were from her first marriage, and almost adults.  The other two were 6 and 7 years old.  Sam was the baby.  Working as a bank teller in 1973 didn't pay the bills, but somehow this amazing woman made it work.  She put the 2 boys through Catholic school with the help of the church and raised 2 amazing sons alone.  In 1980 she was diagnosed with cancer.  Sam learned at a very young age how to clean, cook, and care for his mom.  Miss Melba had one diagnosis after another of cancer until she passed away in 2000.  For 20 years my husband cared for his mother and made sure she was never alone.  His 3 older siblings had all moved away and gone on with their lives.  I am not faulting them for that at all, but just pointing out that Sam chose to stay there to care for his mom. 

In 1984, I met this amazing man.  He was a senior in high school and I was a freshman.  We were friends.  I admired him and thought he was a really great guy.  We didn't know we were in love until about 5 months later, it really did happen that fast.  For 5 years we tried to stay together, but my dad was completely against it from day one.  Sam was too old for me and my dad would not allow us to date.  So we had to sneak around.  We just could not be apart.  After Sam graduated he enrolled in a local community college, so he stayed in town, near his mom to help care for her.  We continued to sneak around and see each other as well.  He was 18 now.  My father would not allow it and had him arrested in October 1985 after we had too much to drink one night before a high school football game.  "Contributing to the delinquency of a minor" was the charge.  Miss Melba was now very upset with me and didn't want us together anymore either.  We were fighting an uphill battle.  But survived.  In January 1986 Sam cheated on me.  All of the pressure to stay apart by our parents had taken its toll, and maybe the fact that I wanted to wait until we were married to have sex.  Anyway, he found some trashy girl and had his way.  It about killed me inside.  I broke up with him.  He begged me to forgive him.  But I was determined to make him suffer.  For Valentines Day 1986 he bought me a dozen roses, a bottle of Giorgio perfume (haha) and a "promise ring".  It had a diamond chip in it and had the message that he was mine and I was his forever.  How could I possibly NOT forgive him?  But I didn't.  He sat outside my friends window professing his love and bearing gifts.  I threw the roses at him, but kept the ring and perfume (geez).  I knew I would forgive him soon, but wanted to make him suffer a little longer.  Less than 2 weeks later Sam faced his next big blow. 

February 20 something ... I was still in the process of punishing Sam for his "infidelity" and was on a date with another boy.  Sam was at a beach party in the Bay and I was at a beach party in the Pass, just over the bridge.  Something inside of me exploded.  I felt an urgency to leave that party and go home even though we had only been there under an hour.  There were about 6 of us that rode together at that party.  I begged to leave.  We finally all got in the van and started back over the bridge home.  Almost across the bridge I could see all the commotion.  There were police cars, ambulances, fire trucks and lights everywhere!  I screamed "Oh my gosh go there!  I think there was a fight".  I am not sure why I thought EVERY police car in town and all the emergency vehicles were needed for a teenage brawl, but that is what popped into my head.  I jumped out of the van and ran to a group of friends asking what happened.  They were all crying and the place was chaotic.  I saw a car with the windshield shattered.  One of my friends, grabbed me hugging me and crying screaming "he's going to be OK, Tina he will be OK!"  I was dazed and confused and had no idea what she was talking about.  Another friend, yelled "shut up she doesn't know she doesn't know!"  I was starting to panic and saw my very best friend, Devin, and ran to her.  I asked her what was going on and she told me Sam was hit by a drunk driver and rushed to the hospital.  I later found out a group of them were standing off the shoulder of the road at the beach and someone had left a local bar, swerved off the the road.  Someone saw him going towards Sam and screamed "Look out Sam!"  Sam turned, just as the car hit him and his face hit the windshield and threw him flying about 30 yards away, leaving his shoes right where he was standing.  A friend ran to him and gave him CPR and got him breathing again until the ambulance got there.  Our local hospital was a little band aid station and they had to airlift him to a bigger hospital in Biloxi.  I didn't know if he was dead or alive.  For 3 days or more he was in a coma state and I never went to the hospital.   I was afraid and didn't know what to do.  Sam had a tracheotomy and all of his teeth knocked out of his mouth.  Every single bone in his face was broken along with dozens more in his body.  I got a call from his mother.  She said, "Tina, please come up to the hospital, Sam is asking for you and I honestly don't think he is going to make it if you don't come up here."  That was all I needed.  I rushed to the hospital with my best friend.  Care Bear and card in hand with a diamond chip promise ring on my left index finger.  When I saw the boy I loved laying in that bed my knees buckled under me and I thought I was going to die.  His head was swollen as big as a pumpkin.  I had to leave the room to compose myself.  I walked back in and sat by his side.  He couldn't speak but he wrote "Thank you"  and "I love you forever and always".  He grabbed my hand and rubbed that promise ring and had tears streaming down his face.  For almost three months he lived in that bed.  I knew then I would always love Sam.  Forever and always. 

Things were not smooth after that.  He had to leave school.  It was a very long recovery.  After about a year he seemed to be partying a lot more.  Without me.  We broke up and got back together many times.  In 1988, I graduated high school and left for Ole Miss.  After a few months things fell apart and we broke up.  The summer after my freshman year I was in MN working for my dad and met a boy.  We had too much to drink one night and I got pregnant.  I left MN to go back to school, 7 days later I found out I was pregnant.  Sam and I had already started talking and were trying to work things out.  Once I found out I was pregnant though I cut off all contact.  He basically "stalked" me.  Driving by the house and calling all hours, but I avoided him.  I transferred to USA and enrolled in school there.  After I left, he found out the reason and confronted me when I came home for Mardi Gras.  It was ugly.  We both went out separate ways. 

I ended up marrying the boy that got me pregnant and I was miserable.  I moved to MN where he was from.  Our marriage lasted 16 months.  I was talking to Sam the entire time.  I took a trip to Bay St Louis, MS in 1992 for Mardi Gras.  I saw Sam and I knew I still loved him.  We spent the week together and I knew he was the one for me.  My ex husband would not allow me to take our daughter out of state.  I was once again unable to be with the man I loved.  I flew back to MN after only one week.  We spoke often on the phone but things started to fall apart.  We were 1500 miles apart with no chance of a future together.  A few months later he will suffer again. 

In June 1992 Sam was helping a friend build a house.  There was an accident.  A nail backfired and went into his eye.  He was rushed to the hospital.  He grabbed the nail and pulled it out, had he left it there, they may have been able to save it.  But he didn't.  For almost 2 years he could not go out in the daylight.  Thank God his mother was in remission and able to care for him.  She drove him back and forth to Mobile for dozens of surgeries and doctor visits.  In the end, they were not able to save his eye.  He was going stir crazy and told the doctor to just take it out.  He wanted his old life back.  He wanted to go back to work.  So now he has a prosthetic eye.  He jokes that he is Mr. Potato Head.  My husband always the class clown.  :) 

After being couped up for so long he went a little crazy when he was able to go back out into the real world.  He met a woman and got her pregnant.  In July 1994 they had a son, Chance.  They never married but lived together for awhile.  After that I heard very little from him and met someone myself in MN.  We went on with our separate lives.  I had 2 more children.  A daughter in 1995 and a son in 1997.  Right after my son was born I left their father, or rather I kicked him out.  It was my house I bought before we got together.  It was a very hard relationship with many problems.  I wont go into that because this is all about Sam and his life.  But Sam was devoted to his son and I lost contact with him for many years.  The relationship with the son's mom did not work out but he stayed to be with his son. 

In 2000 I flew back to MS to go to a friend's wedding.  I don't want to say I stalked Sam, but I did try to find him.  I had heard he moved out and was no longer living with his son's mom.  I didn't find him right away.  Partly out of fear of rejection, I suppose.  But a couple days later someone told me Sam's mom had passed away.  I went to the store, bought a sympathy card and sought Sam out.  I went to his mother's house that Sam had built for her in 1992.  I found his older brother there with his wife and family.  He said, "Sam isn't here right now, but I will let him know you came by.  I know he would love to see you".  I left the card.  I came back by a couple hours later and saw Sam for the first time in many years.  I felt an overwhelming love for him, but held it in.  The next day I went to the funeral.  Stayed for a couple minutes and left.  We talked a few times after that, but I flew back to MN to resume my life of work, 3 kids and single motherhood. 

I got a call in January 2003 from a friend in MS.  She told me that Sam's son had died in a house fire at the boy's mother's home.  Panic struck me like it has never struck me before.  I could not leave my children but I had to find Sam.  I stayed up all night trying to locate a phone number to reach him, but I was unsuccessful.  I paid $70 and joined some online search site.  I could not get a working phone number but did find an address.  I then did a reverse address search and located his next door neighbor!  I called his neighbors after midnight and begged this man I have never met to please leave a note on Sam's windshield to call me immediately.  He left the note and I got a call from Sam the next day.  What do you say to someone who has lost his child, his world, his everything? 

We kept in touch sporadically over the next two and a half years.  I dated a little.  He drank a lot.  In May 2005 I called him and asked him if I could come down to visit.  I wanted to see about moving my business to MS and come back home.  My oldest daughter was now 15 and I could legally take her out of state if she wanted to go.  I decided if after a 3 week trip that my business would thrive there then I was planning to sell my house and move back home to Bay St Louis, MS. 

He said "Yes, I have 3 bedrooms and an extra car.  Come on down."  I told him, "This is business, I am not looking to start a relationship."   He said he understood.  So I booked a 3 week trip down and my kids stayed with my parents.  After 3 weeks, I knew what needed to be done.  I went home, painted my house, spruced things up.  Put it on the market and sold it 30 minutes into my first open house.  July 1, 2005 I was packed up and on the road to MS and back to the love of my life.  I found a house one town over, 5 houses off the beach.  It was perfect.  I registered my children for school.  Mid July I flew them down.  We had settled in and the kids started school.  Sam was known to them only as a friend from high school and I really wanted to keep it that way for awhile.  The kids needed to feel secure and settled. 

August 29, 2005 changed everything. 

I don't need to go into great detail.  Everyone knows about Hurricane Katrina.  I lost my house.  It was a slab.  Sam had 6 feet of water in his and lost everything inside to water damage.  I had nothing left.  No where to go.  I brought my kids back to MN and enrolled them in their old schools and moved in with my parents.  All we had were the clothes on our backs and about 3 changes of clothing each.  I was miserable and went into a deep depression.  Five weeks later I was able to fly into Gulfport MS.  I went straight to Sam.  He said. "I cant lose you again, please marry me"  YES! YES! YES!!!  We gutted out his house fixed it up in record time and got married February 25, 2006. 

I lost my business in Katrina but was able to slowly get a few clients here and there.  But never enough to make a real living.  Sam was great and never complained.  We found out right after Christmas (before the wedding) that I was going to have a baby!!  Sam was not thrilled.  He had decided after the loss of his son he didn't want to ever feel that pain again.  I told him I was getting old and we needed to have a baby right away.  I won.  :) 

July 27, 2006 we had a beautiful baby girl.  She was not actually due until August 10th or so.  Sam's son's birthday was July 26th.  He said in early July, "I think she will be born on Chance's birthday."  I said, "No, that's too early."  I was school shopping on July 26th when my water broke!!  I could not believe it!  I was about an hour from the hospital.  I called Sam and told him I was on my way home and that I thought my water had broke.  I wasnt 100% sure because of my weak bladder, but still wanted to make sure.   We got to the hospital and found out the baby was coming.  I really did not want our daughter to share the same birthday with his son.  Thankfully she held off until after midnight and we had a beautiful healthy baby girl on July 27!  Sam cried.  He looked at me and said "Thank you so much.  I cant believe I ever thought I didn't wanted another child again".  She is his world.  His baby princess. 

On April 26, 2007 we left to go watch our son play baseball.  About 20 minutes later we got a phone call from my 16 year old daughter.  "Mom!!!  The house is on fire!!!"  I was stunned.  I said "WHAT?!"  all I could picture was a little stove fire or maybe a little fire in the microwave caused by metal.  That's what I really thought it was.  Then she repeated it and was crying.  A woman got on the phone and said, "Tina, I came by to pick up Taylor and she is safe here with me.  There is a fire above your garage and the fire department is on its way.  Everyone is safe and we got the dog out too." 

I looked at Sam.  He was watching Joe play baseball.  I couldn't believe my ears.  The first thing I thought of was "OMG my baby."  Taylor, 16 at the time, was home alone.  I knew she was safe, but I was still freaking out.  And immediately my next thought,  "This is going to kill Sam.  He can't handle this.  Not after losing Chance to a fire.  How am I going to tell him?"  I didn't have to.  His phone rang right then.  The expression on his face said it all.  We handed the baby over to a friend.  Left the other 2 kids and ran to our cars.  In a small town where everyone looks out for all the children, we knew they would be fine!   We were less than 2 miles away.  We got home and the fire trucks had just gotten there but were not able to get the water working.  We were freaking out to say the least.  The fire looked contained over the garage.  The fireman got the water running and were spraying the neighbors house.  I was screaming "Wrong house,  wrong house!!  OMG save my house!"  I was crying and Sam was having a nervous breakdown.  The neighbors brought us liquor and we watched our home burn to the ground.  Within 20 minutes the whole house was engulfed in flames.

You could see the smoke for miles and hundreds of people came by to watch. 

Like I said in a previous post today, we were in the process of building an addition and had not raised the insurance to adequately rebuild the house because we wanted to finish the addition first.  We were under insured by at least $85,000. 

The addition survived.  The rest of the house had to be bulldozed down. 

We eventually rebuilt.  It took 2 years.  We had to rent a house during that time and since Katrina had taken 85% of the houses in this area so the pickings were slim.  We ended up having to pay $2000 a month to rent while rebuilding.  That ate into our rebuilding funds.  We had a lot of volunteers in the area and a friend of ours is a pastor at a local church. (the same boy I was on my first date with the night Sam was hit by the drunk driver!)  He arranged for volunteers to help us as much as possible.  It was slow going.  But our only option.  They were a God send!! 

They framed, sided and roofed our new home! 

Things were looking up.  But we ran out of funds and were not able to complete the house.  We had no choice but to move back in uncompleted.  We moved in August 2009.  It's a work in progress.  We have the floors put in now!  What a blessing!  We still have to finish and tile the bathrooms and kitchen, but it will happen one day.  We have no cabinets in the kitchen and bathrooms, but I have faith one day those will be installed as well.  We are home and together and that's all that matters! 

Look at those beautiful floors! I negotiated with Lumber Liquidators and got an amazing price!!  Much improved over the concrete floors we lived with for 8 months!!  Notice the concrete floors below.  Thank goodness for rugs!  We still need doors for all the closets and a couple rooms.  Two more bathrooms are framed up and will be completed one day. 

He works so hard outside in the heat day after day and I want to show him how grateful I am for everything he does. This is him below one day after working outside in 100 degrees for over 8 hours. He deserves a break! :)

Now we are at present time. I have given you a glimpse into some of the trials and tribulations my husband has had to endure. I wanted you to see why it's so important to me to try to find a way to get the money to take him on a honeymoon/vacation alone. He is an amazing man that has had a very hard life. He has an unshakable faith and strength that has kept him not only going, but enjoying life and smiling. I love this man with all of my heart.  Please take a moment to share how your blog has helped you make money and ideas on how I could make mine work too!  Thank you for reading!

awake and wondering...

So TD Bonnie finally arrives, or maybe it's just a thunderstorm. Either way I am up very early. The thunder and lightning is crazy!! So here I find myself in front of the computer again. I thought this would be a really good idea to raise some money to surprise my husband with a vacation for our anniversary. But I really know nothing about blogs and don't know how to get people to read them much less how to get a blog to generate money to put towards the vacation! So please post some tips! Thanks much!

I was researching some all inclusive vacation spots and Mexico seems to be the most reasonable. Probably because the airfare is cheaper. But I found a 7 day trip for 2 6 nights for around $3200. That sounds like a really good deal to me. A friend of mine said she spent around $6000 for an all inclusive last winter in Mexico. This place is couples only, so we can truly get away from all children! There is a chain of Palace hotels and we are allowed to use any of the facilities at the hotels why we are there as a guest!

I also saw right now they are offering $1500 in spending money for spa treatments, excursions, golf etc... if you book now!! How amazing would that be? I just want to show my husband that I can give him something or do something for him to show my love and appreciation for all he does for us. I am sure some of you have felt that way too. We have so much going on in our lives that I am just not sure we will ever be able to set aside and save for a vacation. If anyone has been to the Sun Palace Resort in Cancun Mexico, please let me know what your experience was!

My husband and I never had a honeymoon. So this would be a 5 year anniversary/honeymoon in one! we got back together in May 2005. I had my own house with my children one town over. He had his house. When we got home mine was a slab and his had over 6 feet of water. So we decided to get married and rebuild 1 house! There were no churches in town and really very few places to actually have a wedding but we found 1 place willing to do it! The old Bay City Grill!

So we had a Mardi Gras themed wedding. Pulled everything together (liquor included) for under $3000!! I had King Cakes for my wedding cakes! :) It was beautiful and I had almost everyone there that mattered, but my older sister was unable to attend.

So I have this amazing husband and I want to do something amazing for him.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

My first entry...

I will start out by telling you a little about myself, my husband and my family. I am 40 years old and I met my husband when I was 14. I fell in love instantly as most 14 year old girls do! My husband is Sam and he is 43. He was 17 when we started dating. He truly is the love of my life. We have 4 children but they are not all biologically his. When I was 19 we broke up and I met someone else. I was never really in love with the other person and I always loved Sam. We continued to keep in contact over the years and even spoke of marrying a couple of times after I divorced, but the timing was never right. Finally in 2005 we were able to reunite and soon marry. I have never been happier in my life and my children love him as their father.

I have a daughter who is 20, another 15, a son who will soon turn 13 this summer and another daughter who will turn 4 on Tuesday. We are truly blessed. But, we have had our fair share of problems in the almost 5 years since we have gotten married. The first happened on August 29, 2005. Hurricane Katrina. We both lost everything (6 ft of water in his house and mine was gone) and the insurance did not come through for us just like it didn't for most people on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. But we took out a loan and rebuilt his house and got married. Since we found out we were expecting a baby we decided to add another bedroom on. We did not have a chance to finish that addition and had never raised our insurance because we wanted to wait until the appraisal was completed after the addition. On April 26, 2007 our house burned down to the ground and we were about $85,000 under insured. We are still living in an unfinished home. It took a couple years for me to find a job. I was self employed and lost my business in Katrina. I finally found a job in November 2008. After 17 months working, my job came to an end. I have now found myself unemployed yet again for the past 4 months. My husband is supporting a family of 6 by himself. He is just a blue collar worker trying his best to make ends meet. I love this man more than I could ever put in words and my next post will be more about the tragedies and hard life my husband has had.

This is just a glimpse into our lives. We are happy. We try to pay our bills on time, but we live paycheck to paycheck. We have wonderful friends and a loving family. I just want to give my husband something to show him how much he means to me so this blog is just being created to try to give me ideas on how to save and earn money to surprise him with a really great vacation for our anniversary in February.