Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Children's Hunger Run - Update!

We just found out this morning from our friends at CHF that we don't need to drive all the way to Utah to run for this great cause! San Antoino will be hosting the same 5K race on the same day, at the same time! How exciting is that?! Any SA friends want to join us?!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Fight Against Summertime Hunger

One of the reasons we decided to live off $10 a week this year is because we know that there are other families out there that are struggling. Families that need help making ends meet, feeding their kids, and feeding themselves, and it didn't seem right that for the amount of money we were spending on our own food in a month we could help feed 25 of those families. It makes sense to cut back a little if it means life for someone else.

That is why we decided to match our food budget each month with a donation to food/water organizations that know how to help people who really need it. We are a little behind on our pledges, three months behind (it seems like summer is flying by), but we won't let our lack of dedication to schedules stop us from doing what we promised! This month we would like to look at a different need of one of our favorite charities. They do such great work and have REALLY great staff. ;) Children's Hunger Fund has been around for 19 years and have been dedicated to helping others, at home and throughout the world.

"Children's Hunger Fund seeks to alleviate the suffering of children by equipping God's Church to communicate the Gospel through effective compassion ministry."

Their mission this time of year is to aid in summertime hunger. You can read all about Benton Harbor, Michigan here, a city where 86.9% of the school-aged children receive free or subsidized lunches, but not during the summer. Without the schools what will the kids eat? In this video, a man (who seems to be working at a local clothing distribution of some sort) says this: "We've given food out to families who haven't eaten in 2 or 3 days. It's unfathomable in this country." It is. We live in America and some of our very own neighbors are hungry. Not only for food, but for hope as well (but really for food, too). "It's in towns like this, like Benton Harbor, MI, where CHF hopes to equip pastors, local pastors, who love the people of that town, to come in and begin to minister with compassion to the people of that city."

This story is not just a Benton Harbor story, it is one that is told all around the world. People in our own neighborhoods are in need, and we are all called to love them. Kids are hungry in our cities, especially now, during summer when they can't receive food services at school. CHF is equipped to fulfill this need and bring the hope of our Savior to these hurting families. We're glad to be able to give and see the work of such a faithful and necessary ministry.

[Our friends over at "Seed A Need" are also working to fight hunger at home which they say is twice as great in the summertime. Check out a video of theirs with some great ideas here!]

We love the work and the people of CHF so much that we have also decided that we would love to sweat with them... lol. On August 28th in Salt Lake City, Utah, USANA with be sponsoring the 2010 Children's Hunger Run, a 5K! And we will be road tripping all the way! We haven't even announced this officially to our families yet, but we are just so excited to go and run for a great cause! So stay tuned on the details of our trip, it is coming up soon!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Menu Monday and our TOMS Giveaway Winner!!

Well, we thought we were getting back to normal... Last week we had a ton of fun and if you follow our Twitter updates on the blog you might have noticed that we ate out almost every day! That's right! And we didn't pay a dime (well except for tips, we like to thank our waiters!) Last week's adventures included two shared burgers with sides, a breakfast on a bun for each of us, our Wednesday small group dinner, and an art gallery opening that included a very nice spread of pasta and cheese cake! :)
Sometimes the blessings are just so wonderful. I remember when we started this whole project and I was very concerned about how we were going to make it- money was tight at the time too, but as we were sitting down at a nice restaurant waiting for a delicious cheeseburger I started to laugh at myself. Here I was worrying about how we were going to pay bills and eat, and there my wife was printing of coupons for free things! I haven't worried much since that day! Our Provider looks out for us and knows what we need!
My Mother-in-law was just telling us a story about this last week... after showing some "crazy love" to a friend, she went shopping and stopped into a pizza shop to grab something to go, and as soon as she ordered the guy handed her a pizza and said "Have a good day." FREE PIZZA! He has just scratched off a coupon and won a free pizza so he passed it onto her. Once she got home she had an e-mail from the friend saying that she was sorry for not thanking her sooner and that she knew the LORD would bless her for her kindness. :) How cool, right?! If loving people means free pizza then sign me up! ;) Tina has always encouraged us and loved us and we would like to say thanks, Mom, for being so supportive! :)

Now, since this is a Menu Monday post we need to get down to business... This week is going to be a piece of cake... or, well, pie (pizza pie that is!) Taylor is gone yet again- this time she is going to be headed to Michigan to visit extended family. So it's just me, and if you haven't learned by now I could live on pizza for the rest of my life!
So let's see... we talked about last week, this week, Taylor's trip, my love for pizza... I guess the only thing left to do is to announce the winner! So with out further ado, our giveaway results!

Thank you to all our entrants! (And thank you to all our followers, in green!)
Shake 'em up!
A blindfolded Brogan to draw the name!
And the winner is...
My very own Mom, a very dedicated reader and follower!
Congrats, Mom! We hope we've blessed your feet as much as you have blessed so many others! :D
Thank you to all of our readers, our new friends and our old friends, and those who are still being sneaky but blessed none the less by our posts! We enjoy your comments and your love! :)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Bless Your Heart, Bless Your Feet Giveaway!

Our readers know that we have always been a huge fan of TOMS shoes, especially since we got TOMS giftcards for Christmas! This was so exciting, we had always wanted TOMS and now we each had a pair, but choosing which ones was the hardest part... and of course waiting for them to come in the mail (and if your Taylor, sending them back for a larger size and having to wait even longer). But they are the coolest shoes ever! I've been wearing mine since the day I got them- to work, to shop, to church, to drive. I've worn them so much that I've actually had to stitch up a few holes!

Well this weekend, we were playing host to our great friend Rachel and she, along with her sister Katie, own a giftique in Bracken Village called "Bless Your Heart"! You can always find TOMS at BYH (well girls can), but this week they are doing something awesome with TOMS. Last Saturday they hosted a TOMS "Style Your Sole" party with paint, markers, and a handful of local artists to help you create. Basic TOMS are canvas which makes them perfect to turn into a one-of-a-kind work of art. We wish we could have been there but we were celebrating a wedding here in Houston (Congrats Allison and Josh!), and if you couldn't make it either don't worry! All this week BYH is hosting a silent auction to benefit The Mentoring Project. The items that are up for bid? Custom designed TOMS made just for you by awesome artists! All you have to do is browse through the select artists and bid on the one you like, highest bidder wins!

Now that we have Blessed your Heart we want to Bless Your Feet! That's right, we want to give one of our readers a pair of TOMS! Everyone gets three chances to win- (1) first go to the TOMS website to browse all the awesome styles and leave us a comment telling us which pair you like best! (2) Also, if you are a follower or become a follower you'll get a second chance (must leave a comment as stated in (1) to be entered)! (3) And, if you're truly a TOMS fan and place a bid at Bless Your Heart's Facebook Auction we will enter you for a third time!

If you didn't think it could get any better, for every pair of TOMS sold, TOMS sends a pair to child with no shoes! So what are you waiting for? Bless Your Heart, Bless Your Feet, then bless someone else's feet :) Good luck!

BYH's Auction will end at 6PM on Saturday, 26th. TaylorFrankie entries must be in by the end of Saturday (26th) and winners will be anounced in next week's Menu Monday.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Menu Monday

This week, I feel like were really back to normal...well, for a little bit...just one more week until I'm off to Michigan!

We went to Kroger with a couple of coupons in hand and our plans to take advantage of the 10 for $10 sale! (That's where the ice cream comes in! ;) Some of our staples lately have been eggs with tomatoes and sausage, peanut butter and jelly of course, and some pasta which we haven't had in a while. We also picked up some flour so Frankie can make pizzas while I'm gone! (His favorite!) The beautiful box of Lucky Charms in the background was free from a coupon I won last month! Yep, all 1lb and 8oz of it's sweet, sugary goodness! We also had a free coupon for the bag of rice, so that should add some nice flavorful variety to our week! :)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Menu Monday

Somehow we managed to eat almost all of the food we bought last week!!

Having Brogan and Teddi here was a blast and after I sort through some pics I'll post some of the good ones! (I took over 150 at the Children's Museum alone! Oh my!)

We figured spending $20 of our own and $20 from Mom would be good for while the kids were here and for this week, but I guess we didn't realize how much four people can eat in one week! Lol! We do have a little bit of leftovers (like the delicious foil pack we shared tonight!) and Mom left a couple of goodies behind (SunChips, waffles, cereal, milk, bagels, bread, and some sandwich fixins!) from their weekend here in Houston. We're gonna try and make do since we already spent our bi-weekly budget.

Here's some pictures from Homemade Pizza Night!
The kids absolutely loved it!

Only two more weeks until I leave for MI with my parents! Most of my extended family lives there and it's great to visit! From the end of that trip I'll meet Frankie in NY to go to CT to see our friends! Hopefully all of our savings will add up and we'll enjoy some great food while having a great time visiting! :D

Friday, June 11, 2010

World Cup 2010

Are you a soccer fan? How about a fan of eliminating AIDS? No matter what country you are cheering for (RED) is a great team and they are asking everyone to play.

(RED) and Yahoo got together and are offering a sweet deal. All you have to do is play Yahoo! Penalty Shoot Out and make a goal. For every goal that is made today Yahoo will donate a dollar, to up to $100,000, to help eliminate AIDS in Africa.

So have a little fun and do a lot of good!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Menu Monday on Tardy Tuesday

We're a little behind this week since we have a 6 year old and a 5 year old (aka "the littles") with us! It's incredibly exciting and a lot of fun, but a little tiring. We also use the laptop as a CD player for them at night which is usually when we do our blogging! So here's our Menu Monday on Tardy Tuesday! ;)

These are some groceries mom sent with the kids...

And then we used our $20 and some of Mom's to buy some more goodies for this week and the next.

We had a great dinner of sausage, potatoes, and carrots last night, and homemade pizzas the night before! Yum! We tried using part wheat flour in the crust for the first time and it tasted pretty good! We still have plans for foil packs (since Teddi thinks we are actually going to go "camping" at sister camp), Smores, quesidillas, hot dogs, and Ramen! Teddi loves her noodles! lol!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Menu Monday x2

We hope you all had a blessed Memorial Day! We spent the day with my Air Force Daddy and the rest of the family, relaxing after a long, fun day at SeaWorld on Sunday!

Summer has thrown us off a bit lately, with me being out of school and back and forth between SA during the weeks, and it continues to be out of the norm... last week I spent Mon-Fri in SA then Frankie came down for the weekend and we came home yesterday. All he had to buy for food was some cheese and he was set with pizza and some anniversary leftovers!

This week we will only be home for three days, leaving for SA again on Friday to meet Fred Martin from CHF! He's been wanting to meet us since our original Food Pak adventure and now's our chance! (More on that later!) So this week we aren't buying groceries, which I always think is fun! We'll work with what we have leftover from whenever which includes: some flour, more never ending instant mashed potatoes supply, a bag of brown rice, a can of vegetarian beans, a little bit of bread, pepperonis, avocados from Frankie's grandma :), 6 eggs, and a few other miscellaneous things. And tonight, we have special reservations at Chik-fil-a to try their new Spicy Chicken Sandwich for free!

I think we'll make it. ;)