DOLLAR TREE- it's for ME!

I got a call last week from a local TV station asking me if I shop at the Dollar Stores. Ummmm, YES!!! I have been to Haiti and I know the value of a dollar! They asked if they could follow me and see what I buy there. So, I thought it would be good to add to the blog..."things that are worth buying from the Dollar Tree"

Basically anything that will at some point be thrown away is worth buying for as little as possible.  Gift bags, tissue paper, wrapping, streamers, party supplies and the like are all sold there.  I found some beautiful trendy multi-colored chevron wrapping paper and gift bag tags there!  They have an expensive look and feel and are only $1?!?! Great buy!!!  We also loaded up on flip-flops for my kids and to send to Haiti.  Obviously these are not high quality, but they are soft and comfortable and when they eventually get lost or broken (ALL flip-flops do) it will not be a big deal! We were able to find Colgate toothbrushes 3 for a dollar! Great deal!!! We bought many packages to have on hand and also to send in our Haiti supply box. Coloring paper, pencils, markers, crayons, stickers...also great things to buy there! My kids LOVE to draw and I am constantly buying to replace lost or broken supplies. Another party supply that is great to keep on hand is aluminium pans...I keep them on hand especially for when I make my sticky fruit cobblers which are horribly hard to clean from cookware. At $1, it is quick and easy cleanup and well worth saving my time when I'm busy. Walking down the food aisle (which I'd normally pass) I spotted Heinz organic ketchup!  Unbelievable!!! I bought 10 bottles and stocked up for summer BBQ time! You just never know what you'll spot there- it's worth the time to take a look!

Last but not least, I spotted the sunglass rack and found another pair of sunglasses that I love.  I bought a pair there a few years ago that have been a favorite of mine.  Jay had bought me a fancy pair of Tom Ford's in Europe many years ago  ($400?!) and they have fallen apart a million times.  The Dollar Store pair look very similar and have never broke. LOL You don't always get what you pay for! Being frugal doesn't mean being "cheap" it means being smart with your money! Whether you have a little or a lot- you can use it wisely and make a difference for your family and have more to share with others! Teaching my kids the value of a dollar while they are young is one of the many gifts I can give them as they enter the world on their own some day!



Keeping perspective

Being the wife of a NFL athlete is truly an honor.  It for sure has it's share of ups and downs, but, my husband gets paid to kick a ball...try explaining THAT to starving kids in Haiti!? It has been a priority of mine, at times easier than others, to keep that perspective.  To realize in the grand scheme of things, it really isn't life or death, and to enjoy this journey and where it takes us.  Yesterday's game against our former team the Miami Dolphins was yet another reminder of that reality.  

Saturday evening I spent some time at a dear friend's house.  Her son, Daniel, was left severely brain damaged after a hernia surgery that experienced human error complications when he was only 11 years old. He had just made the soocer travel team and had a bright and promising career ahead of him.  It was an outpatient procedure and his mom had planned on taking him to lunch as soon as he was done with surgery.  During surgery, Daniel was without oxygen for 10 minutes and was left severly paralyzed.  His mom, my dear friend Sue, instead of going to lunch with her active son,  he was now wheelchair bound and unable to speak, and she had to bear the pain of what could have been.  She so kindly shared her story with me last year as we watched a basketball game together and we quickly became great friends, as have our daughters.  My husband Jay and Daniel have also become friends.  Daniel loves Fox News and ESPN, both of Jay's favorites as well, as he's appeared on each of them many times.  Sue tells me how Daniel loves to cheer for Jay and enjoys watcing him any chance he can get.  

Daniel and I spoke on Saturday and I asked him if he was excited to watch Sunday's game.  He said (through his mother interpreting) that he was.  I told him how in Heaven we will be so excited to come and watch him play and that God must have a lot of soccer fields up there.  He smiled BIG, I think he knows that too.  Daniel told me with a smile that he expects Jay to make all of his kicks- I told him," no pressure, right?!' :)  

Fast forward to Sunday mid-afternoon.  I am sitting in Cardinals stadium with my 2 oldest kids watching as our team comes back from a rough first half to tie the game in the final seconds.  The punter's wife, Jenn Zastudil comes up to sit by me as we nervously watch the game go into overtime.  I leaned over to her and said, "the Dolphins are going to through and interception and Jay is going to kick a game winner."  I leaned over to my daughter and said, "Daniel's going to jump out of his chair!" I prayed, "God, please let this happen for Daniel, please let this make that boy's day today!"  Sure enough it went as called,  an interception, and a 46 yard field goal through the uprights!  My daughter told me today that she found out from his sister at school that Daniel was jumping out of his chair and his dad had to settle him down!  Oh my! If that wasn't worth that win, I don't know what is!!!!  

Keeping the perspective that this job of Jay's can bring joy to someone who needs it, is what it is all about.  As great of a win that was, it meant the world to me that it meant the world to him.  Thank you God, for answering prayers like that. :) Daniel, hope we keep you jumping out of your seat all season long! :)