Tuesday, July 31, 2012

July in Review

Well, I can't believe July is over. Just like that! We have been busy, as all of you have been, I'm sure.  We started July with our annual visit from Larry's parents.  They come camp out at our place for a week or two in their motor home and we so enjoy it!

Enjoying a game of Rook at Larry's parents "campsite" next to our house

Playing a game of Tiddly-winks with Grandma

Larry and his parents

This first night they arrived, we had scheduled our churches' first summer evening potluck at our place. Larry made a little clearing in the trees and set up tables, so that we could try to be out of the sun. He even plugged in a fridge out there to keep food cold!

Potluck in the trees
Larry's parents had to be going, but we still had fun times ahead. At the Stampede Parade we go to every year, they hand out free tickets to the local raceway. So were able to enjoy an evening there last weekend. As we were sitting there, we could see this HUGE storm coming. We were hoping it would miss us, but it didn't. All of a sudden, the sky opened up and water poured out. I got drenched within 10 seconds of trying to get to cover. We all squished in a breezeway until the storm had passed. After one and a half hours they were able to start the races. And it was fun. Friends of ours were also there, so it made the evening extra special.

The approaching storm
Some of the different types of cars that raced that night

Around the farm, we haven't been enjoying too much from the garden just yet. Soon I hope.  We have had a broody hen in one of our barns that I placed 8 eggs under.  They were due to hatch Monday, July 30th. I went out in the morning and was so disappointed to see a hatched chick that had fallen out of the nest and was dead.  I came back in the house and waited for Jacob to come in from mowing so that he could remove the body for me. About half an hour later he came in. So we headed out to the barn. We all agreed it was dead, all but Jacob. He said he thought it was still alive. So he touched it and it moved it's wing! Pour thing. I just left it out in the cold for an extra half an hour. I felt really bad. So I put it up with the mother hen. She started to peck at it. I thought she was trying to get it under her, but she started to really peck it. Like she was trying to eat it. I thought maybe because it was near death, she has an animal instinct to put it out of it's misery. We didn't want to let "her" die without a fight. So we brought her in the house and put a lamp over her.  You can see what she looked like in the photo below.

I kept peeking in at "her" for a few hours, then I thought I should do some weeding to get my mind off the pour little thing.  A little while after I got outside, Ben came running down to the pumpkin patch, yelling that the chick was standing I came running back to find the chick looking much better. And a few more hours later, she was standing and walking around and lonely. So we took her out and she just loved it.
Jacob enjoying the chick and the chick enjoying Jacob

Rebekah and chick

Now when I put my hand down in the box, she comes running to it knowing that she will be out playing with us soon enough.

Along with life, we have had loss on our farm this month. We lost our dog, which we have had for 3 years and our only cat, which we have had for 6 years in separate incidences.
Now we have no mousers or protection from coyotes.  We are looking for new pets, but it is hard to find a dog that it good around chickens and children, yet can chase of a coyote and doesn't poop in our yard like our other dog.

Well, it's off to the pumpkin patch with me to get some more weeding done.
Have a blessed day.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

$105 Worth of Groceries for $5!!!

Hello friends. I just wanted to share of how I got $105 worth of groceries today for only $5.00. I know we all would like to cut our grocery bill down these days with the price of groceries going through the roof. This  is how I did it. I have been buying all my milk at Shoppers Drugmart (I don't know if they are in the States, but they are all over Canada). They sell their milk for $0.20 less per gallon than any grocery store in town.  So I signed up for their rewards program and earn "points" for every dollar I spend. I usually wait until they have 20x the points and stock up on milk and anything else they have on sale that we might need. We can go through 1 1/2 gallons of milk when Larry is home!
So I calculated that I would have had to spend $200 at 20x the points to receive $100 of free groceries! I had enough points to get $200 free, but I only want to buy items that are on sale and that we need.  I could only find $100 worth of things we could use. I got a lot of "convenience food", because summer is so busy and it's nice to have quick, easy meals.

Here is the list of our $5.00 grocery bill;

2 pkg's of bagels
1 case of bottled water (for Larry in his semi truck)
1 bag of tortilla chips
3 pkg's of tortillas
3 bags of Lays potato chips
1 pkg of frozen perogies
2 bags of frozen hash browns (I need to make more homemade hash browns!)
2 bags of frozen french fries
2 boxes of chicken wings
4 frozen pizzas
1 gallon of milk (I just bought 7 gallons the other day)
2 kilograms of peanut butter
misc toiletries (shampoo, etc.)

Not only does Shoppers Drugmart have an excellent rewards program, they quite often mark down their groceries well before the expiry date. Such as last week I bought 9 blocks of 340gram cheddar cheese for $1.50 each! That is only $0.44/100 grams. The cheapest sale price in this area at any store is $1.00/100 grams. The expiry date on the cheese was later in August.

Does anyone else know of any stores that offer great deals or rewards programs. Please share if you do. I think it's great to help one another cut down our expenses.


This post is linked up to Thankful Homemaker - Link Up #17

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Happy Birthday to My Beloved

Yesterday we had another chance to honour my husband, it was his birthday. (Not that we don't honour him everyday, but this was special). The kids (and him) wanted to open his presents right away in the morning. I would have waited until we had cake later, but... He opened them in the morning.  He was pleased with his gifts; Jacob gave him a box of gum, Benjamin gave him a bag of bridge mix, Rebekah gave him a big coffee mug with a bible verse on it and I gave him a pair of jeans and a pack of socks.

All were impressed with this box of gum!

Rebekah made his birthday cake and decorated it. It turned out so lovely (and yummy).

Larry with his cake
Well, Happy Birthday to my husband and my prayer for him is that God would guide his steps in all the decisions he needs to make as leader of our home and that he would draw close to the Lord as he goes on his way.

Linked up to A Wise Woman Builds Her Home

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Jacob's Vocabulary - Wacky Wednesdays

I really just want to try to remember some of the things that Jacob says that make me smile. I really don't remember too much about Rebekah and Ben, so I thought if I write it down, I will be more likely to remember.
Yesterday another stray dog showed up at our house. Jacob fell in love with her, so we will give her the one week chance to see if she follows our rules, if not we call the no kill dog rescue and they will find a good home for her. Anyway, I guess she sneezed, but this is what Jacob told me, "She must be sick because she "bless youed"."   I love the way little ones put things together to learn on their own. When people sneeze, other people say "bless you", so that is what he thinks it's called.

I am participating in "Wacky Wednesdays" from Rebekah's blog, Country God Girl

God's Blessings of Fun!

I wanted to share of God's goodness to us over the last week. We were able to do a whole bunch of awesome things for free, which is such a blessing, as our funds are a little limited right now. 
It is stampede week here in our home town. Our stampede is the largest 7 day outdoor rodeo in Canada and from here most of the contestants go down to the Calgary Stampede.  About 50,000-70,000 people attend the events at our rodeo. 
Every year our town impresses us more and more. They go out of their way to make everyone feel welcome. So there are free pancake breakfasts everyday of the rodeo in different places around town. We were able to make it to 2 of these. Also this year a local butcher shop was serving a free barbecue everyday! They were serving amazing, huge burgers with all the toppings, beef on a bun, different types of sausages and pop. We were able to make it there 3 afternoons. They kept telling us to come back and bring friends, so we made sure to tell a bunch of friends about it as well.  Another thing our town does for the out of towners coming to the rodeo is offer all free camping.  They also put on fireworks shows almost every night. We went to 2 nights and they were beautiful.

Then, there is the Stampede Parade.  The kids always have a blast watching it AND getting all the candy. But at our parade, they don't just hand out candy, they hand out free tickets to a local car raceway (they gave us enough for our family and Larry's parents to go while they are here), coupons off the admissions price to the County Fair and free Frosty coupons for Wendy's.

Here are my kids enjoying the parade
The kids enjoying the free barbecue at Family Meats

The kids going into the hotel
After we enjoyed all these fun events in our home town, we headed south 40 mins to the closest big city to use up some vouchers Larry had earned while working in the States with his rewards program. He earned a free hotel stay and 4 free movie tickets to any theatre we wanted. So we went to the big theatre to see Madagascar 3 in 3D. My kids have never been to a big theatre before, so this was pretty cool. (Well, Rebekah had been once 7 or 8 years ago).
In the theatre

Then on Sunday, while we were enjoying the pancake breakfast before Cowboy Church, a man approached Rebekah and asked her if we had tickets to the rodeo that afternoon. She told him no, (we could not afford it) and he handed her 2 awesome tickets and told her to enjoy! Our really good friends were going as well, so I let Rebekah and her friend sit together in our seats and I sat up with the rest of the family. God is so good and his mercies are new every morning.
Steer roping
Mounted Shooters
Horse riding
Canada Day fireworks
To top off our great day, we headed back to town for the Canada Day fireworks to celebrate our country's 145th year.
It was lots of fun. When I think of God's goodness to us, I feel so inadequate, but I will really just treasure these memories we made and thank the Lord who made it all happen.