LollipopandPearls Theme Song

"Lollipop and Pearls" - Jared Kraft

Friday, June 26, 2009

Vacation Sabbatical!

Leaving dark and early in the morning for vacation at the beach in Seaside, FL. Have so much spinning around in my head right now; will try and blog Sat. night or Sunday!

Blessings to all of you,

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

SHOES! Glorious Shoes!

FINALLY! I get to post my piece of creativity I've been working on for weeks!

! WHEW! Glad that's over and I don't think I'll ever do it again!


I'm grateful for patience that is growing slim right now!

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Most Bang for your Buck!

Happy Belated Father's Day to every father out there! Please count your blessings if your father is still alive; I missed mine so much yesterday. I still love him so much, and consider myself the most blessed woman in the world to have had my Daddy, Joe Lanier! I also am grateful for my husband, the father of my 3 precious children and the grandfather of my two adorable granddaughters! was my 29th wedding anniversary! WOW!
This weekend I hosted a "Coupon Party", led by our youth pastor's wife, Debbie Stull. Debbie has spent the past year researching how to maximize the use of coupons, and has created a notebook with a wealth of information! For example, she and George have taken their grocery bill from approximately $1200/month to around $400/month! UNBELIEVABLE! Yet, very achievable!

Each workshop participant received their own notebook with all kinds of goodies to help us in this process. By the end of the evening I was on information overload...yet excited to begin the process!

It is difficult to grasp the magnitude of Debbie's notebook, but this is it! It goes with her everywhere she goes! When she goes into CVS, Walgreens, Kroger, Publix, Harris Teeter, Rite Aid, Target, Walmart, and on the list goes, this notebook goes with her. In fact, she said that when she shops at Publix, the cashiers have a contest guessing how much money Debbie is going to save on that shopping trip! Isn't that adorable? They actually look forward to her doing her grocery shopping!

I will be doing a posting once a week about her process of shopping and using coupons. I don't know how many weeks this will last; you may want to invite your family and friends to check my site each day to see when the "Coupon Cache" post is happening! Please post a comment when you visit and be entered in a free surprise giveaway! Refer your family and friends to the post, have them mention your name in the comment, and receive an extra entry. They, too, will be entered. Anyone who becomes a follower of my site will receive another entry!

It's going to take a while to learn it all, but it will be SO worth it to save hundreds of $$$$$!

Blessings for a great week!

Here is an article that was on one of our local channels recently about couponing. It is NOT Debbie's materials, which is much more detailed and complete. This, however, is good information.

Coupon shopping: Clip your way to savings
By Thursday Bram

Coupons can be a quick and easy way to save money at the grocery store. According to the Promotion Marketing Association's Coupon Council, the average family can save up to $1,000 per year. To get those savings, most families need only spend 20 minutes finding and clipping their coupons, making coupon clipping a worthwhile measure - especially when the cost of groceries is rising. (For more tips, see 22 Ways To Fight Rising Food Prices
Coupons come in several varieties, but the most common is the manufacturer's coupon. A manufacturer's coupon gives a discount on a particular product; such coupons are printed and distributed by the makers of the product in question. Most stores will accept manufacturers' coupons because the company printing the coupons will reimburse them for the discount.

Stores will also offer their own coupons. While a store's coupons might give a discount on a specific product, these stores can also discount your overall expenses at a particular business. Lastly, coupon codes have become increasingly popular; entering a coupon code while completing an online purchase will provide a discount that can range from free shipping to a percentage off of the normal price.

Not all stores accept coupons, even if they come from manufacturers. Typically, stores that sell in bulk or offer lower prices routinely refuse coupons. Processing coupons can take time and money on the part of a store. Refusing to accept coupons can be a simple way for a business to cut costs.

Where to Clip

Most people think of the Sunday paper as the main source of coupons. While the local newspaper is a good source of coupons, coupons are also sent directly to your mailbox. Local businesses often group together and send out coupon books to the community. Companies, such as Valpak, also mail out coupons on the national level. These thick envelopes typically contain coupons for restaurants, professional services, groceries and more. While Valpak and its competitors normally send out their coupons unsolicited, it is possible to specifically request these coupons online. (For more on saving, read our related article The Fundamentals Of A Successful Savings Program.)

Stores and manufacturers also send coupons to customers who specifically request them, usually through a company's website. Receiving coupons from these companies is as simple as searching online for your favorite brands and finding links for offers or deals on their websites. There are also many websites that collect coupons online, making it a matter of simply printing out a discount and taking it to the store. Sites such as and RedPlum bring together thousands of manufacturer coupons, allowing users to simply search for the particular items on their shopping lists. (Stay safe while shopping online; read Shopping Online: Convenience, Bargains And A Few Scams.)

Additionally, there are thousands of websites that allow any user to list coupons he or she may have found, and to trade those coupons for others that might be more useful. It is also possible to purchase coupons, usually for a fraction of the savings a coupon makes possible. Many auction websites, such as eBay (Nasdaq:EBAY), list coupons for sale. There are also websites that sell coupons for specific geographic locations. It's also possible to buy coupons from a local seller, rather than going online; there are people all over the country who trade and sell the spare coupons clipped from their Sunday newspapers.

Making Full Use of Coupons

Finding the right coupons for specific products isn't hard, but using those coupons to their full potential can be a little more difficult. While using coupons on a regularly priced product might save a few cents, combining coupons and sales can substantially increase your savings. Making the most of a coupon in this way requires a solid knowledge of normal prices. Many stores will raise a product's price before putting it on sale, reducing the savings a buyer might expect while offering the illusion of a good deal. The simplest way to avoid this tactic is to maintain a price book - a list of the normal prices of commonly purchased products.

Creating a price book can be easy, as most families purchase the same items and brands on a regular basis. It's just a matter of writing down the prices paid on those items. After that, it's easy to tell when a sale is a good deal, making it possible to combine coupons and sales for the best overall prices.

Even though coupons are supposed to offer you savings, it's still possible to lose money with coupons. Many shoppers clip coupons that offer good deals, whether or not they normally use the product being discounted. Shoppers purchase an item because it's a great deal, but never actually use it - turning savings into a loss. It's key to avoid unnecessary purchases, even with coupons, as it's not a deal if you don't use the product. (For more money saving ideas, see Five Money-Saving Shopping Tips and The Beauty Of Budgeting.)

Organizing Coupons

Dedicated coupon clippers can wind up with hundreds of small slips of paper to track; those coupons have to be compared with the week's shopping list and have to be used before the expiration date. Managing this makes coupon organization crucial. There are more than a few ways to organize coupons, although coupon binders are especially popular. (Learn more about organizing your finances in Get Your Finances In Order.)

A coupon binder uses pages similar to those used to organize baseball cards. Coupons slip into the pages, making it easy for a shopper to flip through and see what he or she has available when planning a shopping list. Other products marketed as coupon organizers include small accordion folders that make it simple to organize coupons by their expiration dates and conveniently-sized coupon day-timers.

Playing the Coupon Game

Experienced coupon clippers have turned saving money into something of a game, seeing just how much they can save. Especially popular is seeing just how little can be spent on a shopping trip to certain stores that allow customers to combine manufacturer and store coupons. Some chains are well-known for maximizing coupons for their customers because they routinely issue more coupons when a customer makes a purchase, creating a snowball effect and making it possible to spend only a few dollars on a full cart of purchases. (For more personal finance tips, see Top 6 Most Common Financial Mistakes and The Indiana Jones Guide To Getting Ahead.)

Thursday Bram has covered personal finance and small business topics for a number of publications. She became interested in these because she needed to pay off her student loans. For more information on Thursday visit her personal site

Friday, June 19, 2009

Wonder what God was thinkin'....

I love the Lord, Creator of this universe, so much! I know that He loves me more than I can ever imagine, and it certainly is not because I deserve to be loved by Him. But there's somethin' that's been botherin' me for a long, long time in terms of His Creation! So maybe some of you can help me get it! Please....NO emails about "food for this" and "food for that"; there are other types of food to be had. Now that I have all rules out of the way,blah, blah, blah!

What in the world was God thinking when He created this?
I mean, seriously! There is absolutely no good use for them that I can find! PERIOD! They are blood-suckers, disease transmitters, they are ugly, they are stingy, and they are a total nuisance! No matter whatcha say!

Or this? I mean, to some people I suppose that's cute. To me there's no use. They are slow, ugly, don't serve us any purpose, and they are so awkward looking! Why, God, why? How would you like to have to have one of those sticking out of your head?

Here's another one: useless, cause problems for anybody and everybody, not at all cute, yeah, maybe food for an animal, but there's other things animals can eat! Come on! It just makes no sense to me. I'm completely certain none of these things were in the Garden of Eden, and I'm praying with all my heart I will have to face none of them in Heaven! Oh, goodness, no, Lord!

Now I know this is truly "a face that only a mother could love", and I'm not absolutely positive about that! Know what I mean? Wonder how you tell an older one from a younger one, once they reach adulthood? I mean, does their skin become gray, or more wrinkledy (is that even a word? Is not, I made it up!) Poor things, what do they have to live for? Do they have friends besides their own kind? Do they inner breed? Is that incest? Is there a dentist in the this house? Can you imagine the breath on that thing? Would Tic-Tacs really take care of that?

The king of all nuisances is THIS! I know this is part of judgement God has against us for sin in the world! Has to be! I can find no other logical explanation, so it has to be punishment! Another blood-sucking, whelp-leaving, noise-making monster! Can I say "hate" as a Christian? Well, I just did, so there you go! Now I'll probably have a house full of them tonight when I get home! Sorry, Lord, but I truly HATE them! Not kidding! And, really not sorry that I do, either! Ya'll better pray for me....

So, there you have it! I've lost sleep over the subject, I've gained weight over this subject, I have had hair turned grey by worrying about this subject, I have no friends because of this subject....all by trying to understand the mind of God. Is it just me, or is anyone out there suffering over the same concern? Just wonderin...

(just kidding about the lost sleep, weight gain, grey hair and no friends...I am trying to lose weight and I did have my hair highlighted yesterday to cover the gray, no really white, and I do have one friend, I'm pretty sure...)

I'm blessed to live in my own little world where everyone knows's just me! No one calls me "weird" or threatens to have me committed to an's just me, myself, and I. Taxes are cheap, too!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Join the fun with your favorite post!

I have been following "Pensieve" since she went to India with Compassion International with my pastor. She is doing a fun thing today by sharing her favorite post on her own site, as she prepares for a writing project. She has asked us to link up and share our favorite post of our own with her, as well as Twitter about or blog today linking her into it, so you can read her favorite post. Please join in the fun!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Oh well.....

Thanks to modern technology and a new printer/scanner/copier that is not cooperating, I could not scan my "Wednesday's Walk" creation I've been working on for a week! So, please check back mid-day tomorrow to see what I have to share....right now you don't really want to know what is on my mind. I will save this masterpiece for next Wednesday, but tonight, after I cool down, I will try to write something enormously profound that I know you want want to miss! WHATEVER!

Have a great night everyone, and please pray for my husband, who has been sick for almost a week and we are waiting for blood tests to come back to see if it is Lyme's disease. Can anyone tell me what possible reason God might have had for creating ticks, because for the life of me I cannot figure that one out!

Love and blessings,

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


I have been at this blogging business for some 5 months now, and am still not sure what I am doing. I know in my heart God has a plan and a purpose for my blogging. I held off for a long time, actually rebelling against the idea of setting up a blog site. However, I DO feel like the Lord wants to use it to bless others; just not sure how. So I ask you to please join me in praying about what it is He wants it to be. Meanwhile, I want to thank each of you for becoming followers and for your encouraging thoughts and comments. I am so sorry I never have replied back to any of you, and ask your forgiveness. I am honored that you became a follower, and promise to do better in the future with answering your comments. Meanwhile, know that you bless me, and I am grateful for you! I covet your prayers as, again, I seek God's will for my life in this venue. Meanwhile, I will keep going as I am, I suppose. Again, I think you:

Abigail Kraft
Lynnette Kraft
Melissa Irwin

Blessings and love,

Monday, June 15, 2009

Mental Cramps/Messy Room/DR team

Have you ever felt like you were having mental cramps? Or a brain freeze? A "Senior" moment? You know, you have something to say, but you forgot what? Or did you have something to say? Were you coming or going? Were you going up the stairs or down the stairs? It's not something Midol will cure! In fact, I am tired of thinking at all! I am writing devotionals for our mission team in preparation for our trip in July. The Lord is blessing me and teaching me in writing for the group; yet, I lately have been struggling for just the right word...or illustration...shoot, I cannot even think of what to write right now!

I have NO words clean words to express how I feel about Benjamin's room, so I plead the 5th; however, I welcome your words!

pq892uehgirgp9ut0ij11111pi!!!!!! [apw9e4uro;rghsrkbg'sr5iy[]ep56oy]0e5o6]u[ie56-i]uepijj!!!!! And that's all I have to say about that!
Lastly, but certainly not least, please enjoy the video of the pool party at my Mom's yesterday as we prayed for our mission trip to the Dominican Republic in July, led by Ryan, our missions director! Then, make it a great day!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Baby Girl/God's little creatures/Baby Benjamin

I've been offline for a couple of days; am trying to get back on track. So, while I catch up, check out this video and leave me a comment! Also, enjoy some more photos I took of God's little creatures while I was staying with Mrs. Mel, the 97-year old precious lady I help care for; and then check out the dorky photo of my son dressing up for "baby day" at school. Then link up at Lynnette Kraft's blog to join in this fun with dorky photos of people! Have a fabulous weekend!

Click here and tell me what you think of this video! I think it's HYSTERICAL! The title is "Are women born this way?"

More photos by Moi...

And now for the dorky photo of my son, dressing up for "Baby day" at school~ be sure to check out the back view and tell me what you think that looks like! UH-HUM!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

"God Created..."/2-day respite

***I will be offline for 2 days beginning Wed. and returning online on Friday***

For those who believe in evolution and deny the existence of God, please explain this:

and this???

and what's your explanation for this:

Let me see if I can explain it to you...."In the beginning GOD created the heavens and the earth..." Gen. 1:1

"The God said, 'Let the land produce vegetaion: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds'"Gen. 1: 11

"And God said: '...and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky.'" Gen. 1: 20

No further explanation needed for me, thank-you!

NOTE: Yes, these photos were taken by me at my mother's home and the home of Mrs. Mel, the lady I help care for!

I'm grateful to God for creating birds, flowers, trees, water, animals, fish...everything that has life and breath for our enjoyment! Oh, how He loves you and me!