Creatively Switching Rooms

Daughter's room familybringsjoy.comThis morning I will be packing up my oldest daughter’s room…technically not her room, her belongings in the room.  Now that she is in college, we promised our youngest daughter she could move in to the room.  I’m hoping this activity will not bring too many tears or emotion.  In essence all I am doing is switching rooms.  So it’s not like my oldest won’t have a place to stay when she does come home to visit.  But when she isn’t here visiting, my youngest daughter’s room (which will soon be my oldest daughter’s) will be a guest room.  Are you thoroughly confused now?

I think I’m going to try and make this activity fun by transferring her memory board square items onto scrapbook pages.

Remember when I shared how we made her memory board wall? (you can see the original post by clicking here.)  Below was what it looked like not long after we installed it.  Now it is completely filled with photos and high school paraphernalia.  Those items will quickly transfer onto 12 x 12 scrapbook paper and be a perfect addition to her scrapbook.Daughter's Bedroom Memory Board Wall

I’m so overdue for some craft therapy.  My craft room has mainly been used as a gift wrapping room since Christmas and I’ve been craving to get in there and do something creative.  Problem is, it’s quite the mess!  Maybe now that I’ve finally put away the Christmas decorations, I can tidy the room up so I have a place to create again.  Speaking of my craft room…my very sweet best friend from Haven (Home Bloggers Conference) featured my craft room on her site.  Candace’s post from her blog Vintage News Junkie is titled Top Ten Craft Room ten craft rooms buttonCandace has put together a pretty awesome collection of craft rooms.  I always love to see how people organize and decorate their hobby rooms.  Hop on over to her site and take a look.  I am honored my craft room was included…just so glad you can’t see it now.  I’m not feeling too transparent to show it to you today.

Well, like my Grandma used to say, “I’m off like a dirty shirt” to pack up my oldest daughter’s room. I can do this. I think I can. I think I can.

Happy Monday,

Tricks To SAVE MONEY Online

Today feels like Monday to me.

Why you ask.

on top of suitcase

Daughter happy we were able to zip up her suitcase. Sitting on it helps!

Today my kids went back to school! Well, at least my 2 youngest.  I took my college freshman to the airport on Saturday and she went to classes yesterday.

Didn’t matter that we picked out the kids clothes yesterday…it was still a horrible morning with crying and screaming. Sigh…just keeping it real.

Anyway, it’s quiet now.  I started a load of laundry and ate my oatmeal.  Sat down at the computer to change my Christmas desktop background and screen saver.  Guess what came up on my screen? The dreaded yearly “It’s time to renew your McAfee Subscription.”  So I clicked renew and a screen popped up and told me it would be $89.99 for a year of virus protection for 3 computers.  Before I signed in I thought to myself, “I wonder if Ebates or Retail Me Not might have a discount I could use?”  Both of these sites are my go tos for saving online.  Boy was I glad I did!

I logged onto Ebates first to find out they are paying a 12.5% rebate!  Woo hoo!  Let me tell you it all adds up!  I’ve received almost $400 in money back from Ebates!  Even better, when I clicked on McAfee from Ebates it offered me $45 OFF the $89.99 price!  I only paid $44.99 for my McAfee renewal!  AND 12.5% of that $44.99 I will get back!
Ebates Coupons and Cash Back

Here’s another secret…combine Ebates and Retail Me Not.  Now this time I wasn’t able to combine them.  I tried, but McAfee said “$45 savings has already been applied.”  But many times I can go to a store through Ebates and also use a discount code from Retail Me Not.  This brings double savings!  I’m almost afraid to share this information because I don’t want the 2 sites to find out and make it where we can’t do this.  Hopefully that won’t happen.

Anyway, I wanted to share this awesome deal with you.  If you need to update your virus protection program…might as well pay HALF PRICE!

OH!  I almost forgot!  Yesterday, I downloaded Retail Me Not’s App on my phone and saved $10 at Bath & Body Works!  Retail Me Not now has IN STORE coupons!  I knew they had an app now, but didn’t think I needed it because I don’t do online shopping on my phone.  The screen is too small for me (it’s what happens when you get old.)  So I didn’t want the app to take up space on my phone if I didn’t plan on using it.  Well, turns out it is definitely phone worthy!

P.S.: Ebates also has a phone app.

Disclaimer: I was not paid by Retail Me Not, Ebates or McAfee to write this post. I like the two sites and want to share them with my readers.

Last but not least, since this is my first post of 2014 HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Saving Brings JOY,

In The Trial of Adversity

trialsThings have been rough lately.

Our family is going through some major turmoil.

I don’t really feel comfortable divulging exact particulars.

This is the reason I haven’t blogged much.

If you are here and reading this, I apologize for bringing the opposite of joy.




Other Emotions,

This Is Really Happening

Twas the night before I take my oldest daughter to college…

car is packed for college

The car is packed.  Yep!  I’m so exhausted.  I need to head to bed and get some shut eye before arising early in the morning to drive for 11 hours.  I’ve been wanting to sneak some time to blog about this important milestone in our family’s life and it just didn’t happen.  The only reason I am typing this up now is because I’m waiting on some cd’s to burn.  I’ve been writing letters to her.  These letters include a playlist of songs about the subject of each letter.  I plan on sharing this on the blog sometime.  Anyway, it is taking an eternity to burn these playlists for some reason.  So I decided I would hop on and capture what I’m feeling.

Earlier when we were in my oldest’s room packing, I glanced over at my youngest to find her crying.  She had just said before, “I can’t believe she’s leaving.  I don’t want her to go.”  She ran into my arms and sobbed causing a chain reaction…as I then began to cry.  I honestly didn’t realize how much this was going to effect my 2 younger children…the oldest leaving.  They both adore her.

It is going to be weird for all of us not having her here.  So many people have asked me recently, “how are you holding up?”  “Are you ready, mom.”  I think I am ready.  I am really excited for her.  I know she’s ready and I know she will have a wonderful time.  It will all be in God’s hands.  I recently told a friend of mine… to be a mom, you have to be willing to have faith.  Otherwise, you will be a nervous wreck and stressed out all the time.  I’m so grateful for the opportunity she has to go to BYU in Idaho.  I went there and received my associates degree when it was called Ricks College.  It will be so fun to go back and see how the campus has changed over the 20+ years since I was there.

Getting everything into her car was no small feat.  I have to admit we ended up leaving a few items here, but they are easily able to be purchased there.  We made 2 trips to the store for more space bags today, but we did it!  You should have seen my 2 girls and I as we very carefully shoved her memory foam mattress topper into a space bag.  It took a while before we were able to seal the bag shut so we could suck the air out of it. {I put a video on Instagram today of us using a space bag.}  We took turns sitting on it and punching it.  I’m sure it would be a funny sight to behold, but I was not backing down.  Where there’s a will, there’s a way!

My disks are done so I’m headed off to dream land.  I hope to plop a few photos on here tomorrow and keep in touch with our travels.  I really do appreciate all of you who have expressed support of me during this monumental time in a mother’s life.  Some of my dear friends on Instagram, who also have kids going to college, have been so sweet and we help each other.  That means a lot.

Kids bring joy,

Putting Off the Inevitable

mammogramI’ve put it off long enough.  It’s time.

This morning I’m headed to have my first mammogram.

Yes, I’m nervous.

I’ve been told you should begin having them at age 40.  I turned 43 on Monday.  How many of us procrastinate the things we don’t want to do…or maybe I should say things that are painful?  Totally ME!

I came across a pin titled “10 Secrets to a More Bearable Mammogram.”

I wish I read this about a week ago.  Some good advice.

I sure hope you have better plans in store for you today.

Wish me luck…

Be proactive,

Tuesday Ramblings

Bloggy Ramblings

I love comments.

It lets me know people are still reading my blog and care about the time and effort I put into it.  THANK YOU! 🙂

I have not made money from my blog.  Every once in a while I receive products to review, but usually if I receive a product, the company offers a giveaway for my readers as well.  I did not begin this blog to make money.  I don’t think making money by having a blog is wrong by any means.  As a matter of fact, all the bloggers I have met who do make a living from their blog (bless their hearts) are very hard workers.  They have to work very long hours typing, editing and collaborating with companies and other bloggers.

I initially began Family Brings Joy back in 2008 as a way to share our family life with our family and friends.  It still has that purpose yet it has blossomed into much more.  This blog keeps me connected to the outside world.  Oh how I would have loved to have a blog when my kids were young.  Moms with young children can feel alienated.  Blogging and social media must be a blessing for those moms.  It is also a blessing for this mom.  Living in a remote part of the country with not many friends can be quite lonely.

Still, having a blog is quite time consuming.  And like most people, I like and prefer to be compensated for my time.  However, I don’t like going to blogs and being inundated with ads.  I find them very distracting and frustrating.  This is why I have tried to keep ads at a minimum.  I only share companies who have products I believe in and are family friendly.

DH asked me yesterday when I was going to write another blog post.  I laughed because this past month and a half has been a whirlwind in our lives.  The time just hasn’t been there.  I have to say, a part of me wonders if I should keep blogging.  I’m feeling overwhelmed right now. 🙁

Feelings Ramblings

It’s almost like I have put aside all the feelings I should have been feeling and am experiencing them all at the same time right now.  I know, it’s weird.  Probably doesn’t help that my monthly visitor has come.  Sorry if that’s too much information, but come on, we all know about that.  If you are a man, you know about it from being around women and how the hormones can affect us.  If you are a woman, you most certainly know how this time period intensifies everything.

Trip Ramblings

BTW, jet lag sucks.  We returned home Sunday from our daughter’s graduation trip to Maui, Hawaii. {Yes, it was amazing!}  I had no problem adjusting to the 5 hour time difference when we got there.  It’s been the 5 hour time difference since we returned that has been killer.  Not to mention the LACK of sleep on our 7 hour overnight flight we took from Saturday to Sunday.  I will NEVER do that again!  You know you’re a mom when you let your 10 year old child lay their head on your lap on a plane, so they will sleep, even though you’re leg falls asleep and becomes painful so you can’t sleep.  Honestly, unless you don’t mind sleeping sitting up in a very tight and cramped space for hours…I don’t recommend flying overnight on a plane.  My ankles were so swollen after…looked like they did when I was pregnant.  If you can afford to fly first class, then by all means do that if you take an overnight flight which is over 6 hours long.  Those people who flew first class {American Airlines} had seats that completely reclined…almost the size of a twin size bed.  It’s pretty sucky awful to pass first class seats recliners only to sit on the very back of the plane stuffed like sardines.

And don’t get me started on…how do people afford to go to Hawaii!?!?  Oh my goodness it was expensive!  Let me tell you, we’ve been planning this vacation for about 5 years…pretty much when our daughter began high school.  People warned me it was expensive.  Our tickets cost $1000 a piece…that’s $5000 for airfare alone for our family!  I won’t go on my rant about how disgusted I was with the service we received on American Airlines.  I might have to save that for another blog post.  So our food bill probably almost cost the same as our airfare.  The food at the grocery store and at the restaurants was outrageous!  Don’t get me wrong, the food was delicious and amazing, but how do families afford to vacation to Hawaii?

I overheard someone saying they knew someone who spent their whole life’s savings account visiting Hawaii.  I believe it!

If you don’t want to go into debt by vacationing there, then you better start saving your money.  We met a sweet couple while we were in the ocean who did not give each other gifts for two years for every holiday so they would have the money to go.  So SMART!  They left their kids at home…lol.  They had already spent a week in Oahu and were now spending a week in Maui.  That’s definitely the way to go!  Very smart of them to save money for the trip instead of giving gifts.  A family should do that as well.  I could see myself wrapping up a photo of a para sailing brochure to give to the kids for Christmas.  That way they know the money from their gift was going to something awesome to look forward to.

Anyway, I am rambling.  Time to get some work done.  I’ll have to begin sharing some photos from our trip to Maui with you tomorrow for “Wordless Wednesday.”  If you can’t wait until tomorrow to see photos, I have 26 trip photos posted on Instagram.  My Instagram user name is @familybringsjoy.  Love my Instagram peeps!  It’s killing me to again be posting another post WITHOUT photos.  But, it’s either post it without or not at all.  This writing was probably more for me than you.  Since I’m such a visual person I don’t always read posts without photos…gasp!…I’m sharing secrets with you.  So if you are like me, then I don’t expect too many readers or comments.  No worries!  If you did read this, well bless you.  You’re pretty dang awesome! 😉

P.S.: This post took 2 hours to write and that’s without any photos. Granted, I am a mom and needed to do mom stuff during this time period.  Just a FYI 🙂