Sunday, May 31, 2009

Adoption Play Day for NC/SC Family's

Will be held at the Crossroads( Latino themed )mall besides Carowinds at the playground on June 20th or 27th, at 10:30 to 11am- ? (come when you can). Please leave a comment to let me know if you will be able to attend and which day will work better for you. Everyone is invited who has an adopted child, from any country! If you know anyone who has an adopted child please invite them, send them to my blog. We have allot of fun!

They have plenty of places to choose from to eat.

Friday, May 29, 2009

This Week's Family Updates

This week marks a huge mile stone for Sara Ava. She has officially been home in the USA longer then she was in Guatemala. She came home at 2 3/4 yrs. old. She will be celebrating her 3 yr. Gotcha Day soon! It amazes me that she has been home this long ,when it felt longer trying to get her here those 11 1/2 months. Now both girls have been home longer then they lived in Guatemala. PRAISE GOD!!!

My mom made this dress for Sara Ava. I found this beautiful material at Wal-mart and then found this cute pattern, I do not have a sewing machine so I asked my mom to make it! Thanks Mom, it turned out great!!!

Yesterday Josiah Graduated the 5th grade. He is officially finished with Elementary! Waaa.... I can't believe he is going to Jr. High too!

This is his 5th grade class.....

Josiah received an Award for making A/B Honor Roll.

Then he received his diploma for Graduating Elementary. Way to Go Siah! We are very proud of you!

A quick little update on my running........
I finally started running a mile at a time. I am not running straight through yet. I have to take 3 quick little breathing breaks. But I am getting better. My goal is to be running it straight through by the end of Summer.
Finally..... I wanted to Thank everyone for praying for Karlton's work!!! We saw a huge difference last week with everyone praying for us! But this week has been very slow again. We are 3 pay checks behind now so PLEASE keep us on your daily prayer list! We can certainly use it! Pray for plenty of work for Karlton and also pray for some help with all these debts he has with his business! I'm afraid we will have to go bankrupt and loose everything! But I know God is in control and has a plan for us and will not leave us! I just have to remember that when the phones are ringing off the hook with people wanting their money. Also Pray that God will send us a buyer for a few things that we are trying or need to sale!!!! We would very much appreciate it!


Here are some recent Family Photo's that Karlton's step mom took of us. I think they turned out pretty good for 7 people. It's so hard to get everyone smiling, looking the same way with out making faces. Thanks Darlene, I love them! What do you all think? Which one or ones do you like best?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Heads Up!

OK Guys ...... after reading your comments I want to help you start saving money! With the economy the way it is and the way Karlton's work is going I feel like I needed to try to do something to help! Plus I really felt the need to start stocking up for really hard times. I have never been able to stock up on anything , especially with 2 growing , eating machines, I mean boys. Usually you can not even tell I have been to the store, now our pantry , fridge , and freezer are fuller then it has ever been!By spending less money!! Sounds weird huh! I was spending on an average of 129.00 a wk. on groceries for a family of 7. Well this month I am going to try to only spending $80 a week. But it may take me a couple of weeks to have everything before I start seeing the difference. So far this week I definitely see it. But I still have a few more items to buy for this week.

Terry ,I had to take a couple of things back to Victoria Secrets today and they do still have things on sale! Like their makeup ....... So I would still go and see what they have. Its worth it! Starting June 16th is their Semi- Annual Sale and it is always really good!!!!

Also , a reminder that Bath and Body will start their great sale June 1. This is when I stock up!

Now for an easy lesson on how to start couponing! I do not want to over whelm you so I will just give you the basics to get started!
1. Start buying the Sun. paper, every Sun and keep ALL the coupons even if you do not think you will use them. You never know when things will end up free, or you can give them to someone who may use them.
2. Sort them by categories and put them in labeled enveloped or files ( this just makes things easier).
3. Go to to find all the deals and what coupons to use. They will have places to click on to , to print out coupons too. This is where I am getting allot of them. This site does all the work for you in showing you where all the deals are.
4. Plan your meals after you buy all the free and cheap items for the week. Don't plan your meals first and then see what coupons will help! This is what I used to do and this is why I never saved that much money!
5. Always use your coupons on Sale and B1G1 Free items!

Harris Teeter is having their triple coupon days starting today for 7 days. They always have double coupons everyday. Remember this is only coupons up to .99 cents. Bi Lo does the double coupon every day to up to .99 cents.

Does this make any sense? These are the easiest steps I can give you to help get you started. Hope you try! Once you do and you start seeing the savings you will be hooked!!!

If any one else has any heads up or you would like to add anything please feel free!! I'm all about good deals!!!


What An Exciting Day!

I am so excited! I had an awesome day of grocery shopping. I am having sooo much fun using coupons too! Here is all the loot I bought today. I went to CVS, Target, and Harris Teeter.
(view 1)
I bought 51 items which would have cost me $ 126.01
I paid - $34.08
For a savings of- $ 91.93

(view 2)

Yesterday I went to Food Lion and Bi Lo and here's what I bought.

I bought 19 items

paid $20.72

Saved $42.48


The total for the last 2 days is:

Total of groceries before: $192. 83

I paid : $55.32

Total Saving: $138.51

I only have a few more things to buy for the week. But I have brought my grocery bill down a ton and will have things left over for a while too!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

My Weekend Savings

I went to K-mart Sat. and bought the Life cereal 3 boxes for $8. They automatically took a $1 off for purchasing 3 of the same kind of cereal which brought it down to $7/3 then I had 3 -$1 off coupons which brought my total $4.14 with tax. That is $1.38 per box.

Then I went to Target and bought the rest of the stuff in the picture. My total was $8.77 , I saved $15.01. I got the travel size sunscreen, the first aid kit, and a candy bar (not pictured) for free.

Sun. I went to CVS and bought a fingernail polish for $3.99 minus the $1 coupon I had. I got back $3 in register rewards and it also gave me a $3 off a $10 for my next purchase. Then I purchased B1G1 Free Maybelline Mascara. I paid $7.49 for both and then used my $6 off for a total of $1.49. My grand total for the day was $4.84 for 3 items w/ a total saving of $14.39. But, then Mon. I went back for some things I needed and didn't do quite as well but still OK. I purchased a Band aid for $2.99 w/ $2 rr and I used a .50 coupon. I also bought a Colgate for $2.99 it also had $2 rr , plus I used a $1 off coupon, I paid $4.84. Then I bought napkins for $3.49 and a box of tissues for $1.29, after I used my $4 off I paid 84. So my total for yesterday was $5.68 for the 4 items, I saved at least $5.50. Not to bad!

I am starting to get the hang of shopping for hardly nothing. Sometimes it does not go as planned but I'm learning. Starting Wed. Harris Teeter has triple coupons up to .75 . So I will definitely be heading there. I am hoping to get most of my order for hardly anything. We will see.....

If you wanna start saving money on groceries or get things free you can go to this site. I am using this one the most.

Victoria's Secret was having an excellent sale too! I bought 10 pr. panties for $25. That's $2.50 each. I have always bought their panties because they hold up for years. I love their bra's too! They also had their make up on sale for 75% off. I love their make up too! I think the sale was just for Memorial day but June 16th their Semi-Annual sale starts. That's when you can really stock up! Also, June 1st Bath and Body starts their Sale too!

Happy Shopping..........

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Lilee's First Song

This is the first song Lilee has learned all the word too.( Please excuse my singing!) I just thought I would share some sweetness with you. You will have to pause the music on my side bar to hear Lilee singing. Sorry.......

Saturday, May 23, 2009

My Son Is Officially A Teenager Today! -Updated!

*****I added an update at the bottom of the page , so make sure you check it out!******

I can't believe I have a teenager now.... Waaa! Happy 13th Birthday Jordan!!!! we Love you soooo much are are very proud of you and all that you do and are! You are a very smart,(when you want to be.)handsome, pretty good, cool kid! You are the one that made me a mother for the first time and now you are the one making me the mother of a teenager.

Jordan is having a paintball party all day today with his dad and friends ( at a paintball park). I will be joining them very soon with Pizza and the party food! He has been so excited for this day for a very long time! Hope you have a wonderful, fun day today!

Jordan had a great party. He invited a few of his friends , along with his dad and brother (Josiah ended up playing after all.) and went to play paintball for the day. I came at lunch and brought all the food and then left with the 3 little ones. It was too dangerous to be there very long! Paintballs were flying everywhere! Yikes! But all the guys love it and had a great time! Jordan said this was his best party ever!

The Paintball Warriors, minus Karlton.

Friday, May 22, 2009

More Savings....

I did pretty good yesterday at Bi-Lo. I bought 23 items for $17.32. My total before all my coupons and saving was $ 49.77 for a total savings of $32.69. I went to 4 different stores for their sales and my coupons and my total savings for the day was almost $60. Usually spent around $125-140 a week on groceries for 7 people. This is with me budgeting and buying the sales things and using a coupon or 2. Yesterday I spent $124.00 and that included buying all of Jordan's B/D party foods, supplies, and cupcakes. Plus ,I came home with a lot more groceries. I can officially say that my freezer, fridge, and pantry are a lot fuller then they usually are. (but that does not mean tomorrow they will be, lol)
Some of my favorite buys of the day were:
2hot dog buns: .49 ea.
2 BBQ sauce: . 24 ea.
2cool whip: .44 ea.
2wheat thins: 1.24 ea.
2kraft singles: . 58 ea.
2ball park hot dogs: 1.15 ea.
crest multicare toothpaste : Free
razors: 1.74
secret deodorant: .47
secret deodorant: 1.34
deluxe velveeta shells mac.: .50
kashi waffles: .94
And I also hit the jack pot on 6 pk of annuals. I bought 7 pks. for .75 each. Woo Hoo!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Prayer Request and Running Update

First off, I need to ask everyone for their prayers. Karlton's business is basically at a stall, his company has been taking a really hard hit from the economy for a while now. All the builders that he worked for are either jobless or have shut their companies down. Right now he is trying to just get enough work just to pay us. But that is not helping all the credit card companies and people he owes from his business. Please add us to your daily prayer list or any prayer chains that the Lord will send Karlton work that will help him to keep money coming in for us and to pay all his debts for his business.

Karlton is an (electrician) Electrical Contractor in the Charlotte area (NC & SC), he has an unlimited license that allows him to do any size of a job weather it is putting recess cans in for an individual or wiring an apartment building, or a department store. So if you have electrical work that you need done or you know of any Building Contractors that need help please keep Karlton in mind.

We are trying to sale an old work vehicle and trying to get rid of unneeded things to try to stay a float. These times are really scary right now and with me not being able to help out financially it makes me feel helpless (useless), being a stay at home mom to 5 kids. At the worst time possible our lawn mower died, our microwave stopped working and I desperately need a new dryer!

I know we are not alone and their are people even allot worse off then we are! If you have any prayer request add them to my comments and I will certainly add them to my daily prayer list too! I don't know if you are like me but I feel so much better when I know that people are praying for me / our family!

Philippians 4 : 6
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything , by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God."


I also wanted to keep you posted on my running.... I just completed my 2nd week. I have added another .2 of a mile a day so this week I ran a little more then 4 miles. I am enjoying it so much!!! Even with the minor aches and pains. LOL.... I feel so free when I am running! Plus it makes for a great nights sleep! I am still lifting weights everyday too. I am seeing allot of changes going on with my body.... some good.... some not! I have only lost 1 lb though. MAN it is hard to loose weight! I keep hearing I am adding muscle ,but I would rather just lose the weight! HA! I can't wait until I can run a mile a day, that will be a huge accomplishment for me! Hope I am not boring you with posting about my running / exercising.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Saving $$ W/ Coupons

Well I have officially joined the couponing craze! I have always used coupons but I never got the really good deals like freebies or next to free. My friend Heather got me jazzed about this with her posts on her blog with all the good deals that she was getting. So I went to a few of her favorite coupon sites and got the bug. Here is one that I used to learn how to get all the good buys and print out all the coupons , that gives you all the heads up.
I gave it a try this morning and went to Target and Walgreen's to see what I could get and here is what I came back with (see picture above). After 14 coupons, my grand total was $4.03. I saved $15.77. The Axe Shower Gel , the Bliss Candy Bar, and the Reece's were all FREE. The only thing I bought at Walgreen's was the buy one get one free, candy bars. The rest of the things all came from Target. Here's what I paid for each item.
2 Mayo- 0.49 each
2 Ranch Salad Dressing - 0.49
Baby Wash- 0.57
100 Calorie snack packs -0.04
Ritz Crackers -0.99
Snack Size Pringles- 0.19
Not to bad for my first try. Thanks Heather for posting to get me started on saving (more) money! Do you get all these great deals with using coupons. If so Please leave me a message of any other ideas or great deals you have gotten lately. We can use all the help we can get right now with the economy the way it is especially with 5 kids!

Friday, May 15, 2009

A NC / SC Adoption Get Together

I don't know how many of you all read my blog that live in NC or SC , but if you are interested in having a play day for our adopted kids please let me know. The first one I did we met at the Latino themed mall that is next to Carowinds and had a great time. They have an excellent huge play ground for the kids. The 2nd one was at the Columbia Zoo. We had great turn outs at both.

Teresa, Sophia, I really hope you can come! We miss seeing you all and the kids are ready to play again! I was thinking of doing the Latino themed mall again. My big kids really enjoyed that
place. I am open for suggestions!! Please let me know if you have an ideas or you would like to come and join us! You can e-mail me at or leave a comment here.

Also. let me know what date will work for you in June.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Guilty As Charged!

Jordan Craig Shrum , in 9 short days will be making his mother Mary Ann Shrum age 32, the mother of a teenager. He will be starting the 8th grade this coming August ......

where his brother Josiah Shrum age 11, will be joining him at his Middle School, Yes, this is right this poor mother will have 2 in Middle School this year ..... (People he is not as innocent as his looks here in this picture)

and his sister Sara Ava Shrum age 5, will be starting Kindergarden.
How can these children do this to their poor momma , it seems so unfair! Why is life so cruel!?!?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Update On Running..........

I just wanted to give you all a quick update..... I just finished my first week of running. I have ran 5 days since last Tuesday. I am only running 3/4 of a mile a day so that brings my total to 3.75 miles. I have no idea if this is good or not , but to me it is great! I am proud that I am sticking with it and I am really enjoying it. My breathing is getting a lot better , the pain in my side while running is lessening, and today I only had to walk 2 short times for a quick breath. I know I am getting faster too because I started out by listening to almost 3 songs on my ipod my first run and today my 2nd song was just ending as I ran into the yard! This week I will begin to run and walk 1.5 miles. But I am going to half it up, and then keep building on it.

So anyway... I hope that I am encouraging someone! Just take it from a non- runner.... I never ran in my 32 yrs of life!I never liked it before, because of all the ailments. But I am sticking with it and enjoying it! Any of you that live near me who wants to come and join me... Please Do!!!! I am not naming any names....TRACEY !!!! LOL!!! But seriously if you want to come and join me come on. I am just beginning so you don't have much to catch up with. I promise I am very slow!!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

How I Spent My Mothers Day!

I sort of had more of a Mothers Day weekend. Friday Karlton and I took Lilee to see Ghosts of Girls Friends Past. ( We didn't have a babysitter so we took her with us, since she does sooo good in a movie.) I recommend going to see it! It is really cute and funny! Then Sat. we all went Shopping for the day (mainly for Jordan's B/D coming up) and then we went to eat at my FAVORITE Place to eat! Romano's Macaroni Grill... I had the Mushroom Ravioli and it was delicious, and of course their scrumptious chocolate cake! All I can say is Yummmmy! Yesterday I was taken to lunch and then basically came home and chilled! I worked in my garden a little bit with my flowers. Look at (the picture above) the Peonies I picked out of my garden yesterday. This is only 4 flowers, and they are huge! They have opened up even more since I cute them and put them in a vase. Then I came in and took a nap.... which was really nice!

Joel came home Friday with a flower pen that he made me! It is sooo beautiful!! Aren't gifts that your children make the very best gifts!!!! Then Sat. morning he had my breakfast waiting for me that he had fixed with a little note. Sunday I woke up to a card that Joel had made me with cards from the other kids and Karlton. Karlton and the boys are building me a Arbor to grow roses on as my gift. I will be sharing photo's of it as soon as it is done.

So that was basically how I spent my Mothers Day. Now you can share yours too, by leaving a comment! I read all the great comments that were left already! Kristy I am sorry you are sick! That is no fun! But to the other commentors, sounds like you all had a wonderful Mothers Day!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mothers Day!

We would like to wish all of our blog readers a very happy Mothers Day! Especially our moms! Hope you all have a wonderful, relaxing, special Mothers Day!

How will or have you spent your Mothers Day this year??Please leave a comment and share what you did or how your Mothers Day was Special. I will be adding more tomorrow how mine was spent!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Getting Back In Shape........

Pre -Adoptions ( a little more then 4 yrs ago) I weighed in at 118. Then the grueling wait for Sara Ava to come home began ......18 months later after we started our adoption I had gained 5 lbs. It was months and months later ( almost 13 to be exact) until Lilee came home I had gained another 6.It wasn't like I could nurse and all my weight would magically go away, like it had with the boys.So I knew I better do something! After I laid off the bags of chocolate (my stress reliever) and started to eat better again I lost 2 of it pretty easy. But after Lilee was home a year and I still had only lost the 2 lbs.

I took my hubby's advice and started lifting (light) weights. After a few months my weight had not changed but I noticed that all my clothes were fitting me really good and my stomach started flattening out. Then after the New Year I upped my weights a couple of lbs. and started doing lunges and squats for my legs and dropped 4 lbs. I have always done some sort of exercise weather it has been Yoga, Palate's, or exercises on my exercise ball, but I never would stick to anything that long. I can see the most body changes with lifting weights, not only the muscles that I have never had but the toning and the inches that it has taken off by flabby legs and booty.

Then ............. we went on a cruise that had FOOD, FOOD, every where and delicious desserts!!!! MMMMM! Lets just say I came back with a few lbs. Anyway..... I got right back to my lifting and lost 2 lbs . Now I have decided it was time to kick it in gear to loose the last 3 lbs. I want to loose,so I started running this week! I am not a runner and I have never ran in my whole life so this is huge for me!!! My goal was to start out by running a 1/2 a mile Tuesday,so that I could build up to a mile, and then eventually 2. I ran 3/4 of a mile my first day! I was a little shocked.... but it did not go with out pains. I soooo could not breath for a while afterwards and I thought I was going to pass out from my head being so dizzy!!! But I think I like it!!! Running....Not the dizzy part.... Ha! So this evening when I have help watching the girls I am going again!!! Whooo Hoo!!! I think I over did it a bit my first time because I had some great running music I was listening to on my ipod. You know the kind when you look down at your speed while driving and say woooooo! I think I might have been doing the same with running so this time I am going to put some calmer music on to run to..

I am an avid water -drinker always have been, but now I have almost cut out soda's from my diet too! ( I allow myself 1 -2 a week )Even though I never drank that many I have noticed a difference in my mid- section,I am not so blotted anymore.

Ok now ..... Are there any runners out there that read my blog? Have any helpful hints on running??? Is it normal to wake up the next day and your sides hurt so much you can't move? please leave me a message I need your support to keep going!!! Or have any healthy tips or life style changes that you have made recently that would like to share?????? Now its your turn!

(I had pictures to share with you as a visual but decided against it to spare you all!!!!LOL)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

New Life

What do you think of when you hear the words new life? For me it is Spring time when everything busts into bloom and makes everything look new again.... a whole new world. It also makes me think of babies!

This is a rose that Josiah picked me yesterday. Notice how big it is compared to his hand under neath it. This is the largest rose that I have ever gotten off of this bush that is many years old.

Then he and Joel went around the yard gathering more flowers for me. This is a little bouquet they picked to put in a small vase.

My whole yard is is bloom right now. I have roses every where!!!! Someone stopped by the house for Karlton the other day and said what are you growing? Your yard smells sooo good!! I said roses!

This is a lady banks that is growing on my pergola. They are very light yellow.

Then I have my monster rose bush that has taken over everything! The more I prune it the faster it grows.

These are the tiny roses it grows.

Then the other new life that is at my house right now is a batch of new baby bunnies.

We have white w/ black, and black w/ white, and one solid black.

Here are all 5 of them. Anyone want a baby bunny????? I have 4 that needs to leave now!!!! If you live in the Charlotte ,NC / Lancaster, SC area and want one let me know!

This is Macadamia , Josiah's bunny. See how tiny they are.... We will be keeping this one.

Friday, May 1, 2009


Wishing we were back here..... getting off the boat in Nassau. Happy times!!!