The Results Are In….

Black Friday 2011 has come and passed.  So what were the results?  Well, after catching up on my sleep and analyzing my deals, here are the results….

1.  We most definitely had fun!  Not only did my mom and dad go with me, but we also convinced my brother’s fiance to go as well.  We definitely made memories laughing at my dad almost getting run over, him almost running over others, eating at Cracker Barrel, and most of all, getting good deals.

2.  This year was much crazier than other years.  Wal-Mart in Georgetown, SC was a nightmare!  They didn’t have most of what we came to get though we were there about an hour before the sale began (we were told things were already in people’s carts an hour and a half before the sale began).  Not to mention that some items we were wanting that were being released at 12 were already long gone because they gave them out early at the 10:00 sale, though the sales ad says you can’t buy until 12!  Bad move, will hear my complaints!  Then, in Belk, my brother’s fiance was looking for boots and when she went to find them, people had taken the boxes to all different parts of the store, tried them on in the floor, and left them there.  So, if you were looking for boots, you had to search for them ALL over the store because people just left them in a pile on the floor.  Seriously, people?

3.  We got some good deals.  While I didn’t go for any major deals like TVs, I did manage to get all of my Christmas shopping done at amazing prices.  Best deals of the day?  HP Wireless Printer for $39.  Bride Wars DVD for $1.96.  Nice Griddle, waffle maker, blender for around $10 each (these are for wedding presents).  Garage door opener for our house for $99.  Comforter set for our guest room for $48.  Fleece sleep pants for $4.50.  3 pk of Wilton cookie pans for $10.  And the list continues….  My parents got a lot of other really good deals that top mine!

I am sad it is over and can’t wait til next year.  Not sure who my shopping companions will be but you can bet that I will be out there with someone!  We are still in Georgetown, SC enjoying time with my parents with plans to put up the Christmas tree today.  I LOVE the holidays!!  More pics and posts to come….

Wanna know a secret??

What to write this week?  As I was thinking about that, lots of things came to mind – stories of the 5+ people we have seen come to know the Lord in the last two weeks, an update about all the fun things Kinsley has started doing and saying recently, insights about what the Lord has been teaching me lately – but then it hit me….I want to share a secret with you.  A secret that will help you know me better than most people.  A secret that will help you as you are thinking about what to talk to me about the next time you see me.  A secret that may be something you too deal with.  Are you ready??!!?!

The secret is…..I LOVE BLACK FRIDAY!!!  I think it would seriously count as an addiction.  I love Thanksgiving – spending time with friends and family, good food, being thankful of all the Lord has given, and watching the parade Thanksgiving morning.  But more than all of that, I love Thanksgiving because the day after is BLACK FRIDAY!!!  Want to know how serious this addiction is and how much I love it?

I started researching Black Friday ads mid-October and check daily (if not multiple times a day) to see what retailers have posted new ads.  I have been going Black Friday shopping the last 6 years or so and have managed to get both of our families involved and excited, because you can’t shop alone.  Ed went with me one year but isn’t too keen on it (so he says, but mind you the next year he went out with my brother to Best Buy on his own accord).  Here are the reasons I love Black Friday:

1.  The deals are usually amazing.  On our limited budget and with being the type who likes to get the lowest possible prices for things, I am able to buy more for those I love because I get things cheaper.

2.  I finish our Christmas shopping in one day.  I may have a few things to pick up that don’t go on sale that day, but usually I am done, which Ed loves.

3.  The anticipation and excitement and thrill ride that comes as you try to beat everyone else and get the deals is awesome!!  I am not one of the people that pushes and fights to get things, but I can hold my own!

4.  Because we have gotten our whole family involved, we always have someone else to call (usually in another city and state) that early in the morning to talk about what they are getting, the best deals, the funny things they have seen, etc.

5.  When the sun rises, you feel like you have been up for a whole day.  With how early all the sales are starting now, we may actually be up for a whole day when all is said and done.

6.  It always leaves us with great family memories and fun laughs to share, and promotes bonding like none other.  For instance, my mom and I were in Bass Pro Shops one year buying multiple fishing rods for my dad and I nearly took out a hanging display holding bird feeders because the rods were so tall and I wasn’t paying attention.  I know it was a had to be there moment, but it was quite funny.  Make sure you go with someone – it makes it so much better!

7.  Having gone multiple years now, we have/are figuring out the system to get in and out of stores the quickest way possible.  Cell phones are a must as everyone splits up and looks for everything for everybody with them and calls when you find it.

But, if you are going to go with me, we have to have a list, a system, a plan, a route, etc.  You only buy what is on the list, no browsing for clothes and things that may slow us down (unless it will be quick or we are at the last stores), layout the stores we will go to in what order based on what we need and who is open when, and lastly, HAVE FUN!

What brought this post on?  Wal-Mart released their Black Friday ad last night.  I don’t like to shop at Wal-Mart all the time because they aren’t super coupon friendly and don’t really have sales, but they, as well as Target, have some of the best Black Friday ads.  Some things of interest to me were 600 thread count sheets for $19 (we get a set every year and they are oh so comfortable), appliances for $2-$9 (these make great wedding presents – especially because we have students getting married all the time), fleece sleep pants for $4.50, movies for $2-$9, and a few other things.  Okay, I know I said I mostly buy for others, which is true, but I should get a few things for us too, right?

Here is a picture of Kinsley on Black Friday last year (we ran out to Dick’s Sporting Goods to get kayaks for our summer project).  Black Friday is such a big deal for me I documented it and put it in a scrapbook.

With Kinsley being so big this year, someone will have to stay behind with her so I guess that gives Ed a ticket out of the shopping.

So, now you know something new about me, something a lot of people don’t know.  Please don’t judge, but feel free to ask questions if you want to join in on the fun.

Dancing with the devil

Halloween has officially passed us by for 2011.  This year Kinsley was a……drumroll please…..

BALLERINA!!!  Does her outfit look familiar?  It should!!  She wore this same exact outfit in Matt and Sarah’s wedding last month.  She was so adorable in it and being the frugal mom that I am, I figured why not use it twice, especially since she doesn’t have a say yet.

We took her trick-or-treating downtown in Fuquay Varina, because they had a fun little thing where all the business handed out candy.  Then, Halloween night, we took her around to a few neighbors in our subdivision, but it was so cold and drizzling rain, that we didn’t get far.  Just enough for Ed to get some good candy for him. 🙂

My mom and granny came down this week to hang out with me since Ed flew out to a conference in Orlando Tuesday through Thursday.  I kept them busy the whole trip with Halloween, going to visit my cousin Reagan and and her adorable kids, one of which is only 3 months old, looking for fabric for my living room curtains (which I love, especially after the sewing is finished!), and lots of other little things!!

As for me, things are WAY better than my post a few weeks ago.  We are starting to learn the area, we have the house in living order, I have been able to work out regularly, we have visited a few churches and are excited about the potential there, we have had a few get togethers and really fun times with friends here, I found the library and have read some great books already!, I have been able to spend time with God regularly in the Word, and after meeting with Kai, I have been given lots of responsibilities that help contribute and serve our staff team here and will even be coaching volunteers/faculty/staff on a few of our campuses.  Ed is learning his new role and starting to figure out what campuses have what going on, etc. and we are even seeing lots of fruit being harvested by the Lord on our campuses, which makes us really excited the Lord has chosen to place us here.  Just since we have been here, we/our staff team have seen 4 people place their faith in Christ!!

Thanks for your prayers, friendship, and support in helping us transition and reaching Eastern NC college students for Christ!