About Me

My photo
Thanks for visiting! My name is Lori and I am married to my high school sweetheart and have 2 beautiful girls. What is 'Life With Sugar & Spice'? It's a blog where I will share everything from my faith in Jesus Christ and my girls (sugar and spice) to thrifting and decorating! I started it as a way to showcase our everyday life to family out of town!
Powered by Blogger.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Six Flags..Finally

Ever since we moved to Georgia, nearly 6 years ago, the girls have begged to visit Six Flags.  Being a Disney girl whom never had to pay to visit Disney (yes, I'm bragging), I hate the thought of shelling out lots of money to visit a theme park.

The girls participated in the Six Flags reading program and thus, their tickets were free.  That combined with discounted Lockheed tickets, we could finally afford to go.

We went this past Friday and the day started out rainy.  And, if you know anything about Six Flags, nearly the entire park closes down when it rains.

Luckily for us, the day turned out beautiful with a mix of clouds and wind!  Yipee!  We were able to spend the entire day riding roller coasters and running around the park. 

 There was a Coke tent serving free Coke...needless to say, we visited a couple times!
 The Hubs and Chloe waited in line for about an hour and 45 minutes for the new Dare Devil Dive.  They say it was worth the wait...I'm not quite convinced.
 Great picture of the Hubs as they finally got on the ride.

 Rylie rode the swings 3 times.  As for me, once was enough! 

 I had to capture my girls hand in hand.  They had such a great time and I treasured seeing Chloe encourage Rylie at times she was fearful to ride something. 
 We thought we were slick wearing ponchos on the river ride.  Yeah, lets say that it didn't work out so well!

 This ride was ridiculous!  The Wheelie...the thought of spinning in a circular motion very fast did not appeal to me.

 The Hubs gave it a shot and ended up sick to his stomach!  At least he tried!

 In order to save money, we packed lunch in the car.  They have a strict no outside food/beverage policy so we took a break and hung out tailgate style!  I am proud to say that we didn't spend one dime in that park.  In fact, Ry found a dime!  My girls have grown up learning that we rarely purchase anything extra.  They're thankful to just enter the gates.

 The Hubs and Chloe spent quite a bit of time riding the coasters that Ry was too small for.  So, Ry spent about an hour on Skull Island...their little water park within Six Flags.  It was a blast and I only wish I could've joined her.  Instead mom supervised and held onto all things electronic!

I can't get enough of this girl!  She was determined to have fun no matter what.  She soaked her clothing and afterwards was totally fine spending the last hour at the park soaking wet! 

We enjoyed our sweet family day.  No phones or distractions.  Just good ole' family time enjoying each other and having fun. 



Thursday, July 26, 2012

Gone to Camp

My sweet girl is off at camp!  She left Tuesday morning with a group of kiddos from our church and headed off to Toccoa, GA which is about 2 hours from home. 

This is C's 3rd year, so I wasn't as nervous about sending her off since I knew she was in great hands.  I just adore our Children's Director as if she were my own Momma!  In fact, she loves C as if she were her grandchild, so what could be better?

The camp is located at the Georgia Baptist Convention Center and sponsored by Student Life For Kids.  This will be C's last year at Kid's Camp, as next year she moves up to the middle school youth group.

We received a picture today, so I'm sure she's having a blast!

Description: cid:e76b49db-db34-4596-bac9-7acff85309df@exch023.domain.local

But I'd be lying if I didn't say that I missed her and pray for her several times a day.  I pray for her safety, but mostly that God would plant seeds deep within her heart and use her to minister to others.

Love my girl and can't wait to hear all about her sweet time at camp!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Praying For a Soldier

It's hard to believe that here in Georgia, we're all ready in the hustle and bustle of getting our children ready for school!  Summer is officially coming to a close and we'll be back into the swing of schedules and books.

In just a few weeks, our children will go back to school and begin their day by reciting these words:

"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

It's a perfect time to remind our children (and ourselves) that the flag stands for freedom.  And freedom comes with a price.  It's not truly free at all.  We have thousands upon thousands of men and women who have lost their lives protecting our country.  Regardless of how you feel about the war, our men and women are sacrificing more than I could ever imagine serving our country.

Would you please join me in praying for them? Praying for protection, for peace, and for their families.  For the unbelievable sacrifice these soldiers make and the sacrifices their families make while they are away.

Specifically would you please pray for this sweet couple below?  


Major Mac (as the little kiddos call him) flies black hawk helicopters for the National Guard.  He is deployed in Afghanistan for about a year flying with a medical team.  I'm not sure of the details as I'm bad with all the lingo!
Please pray for protection for him.  That he would be clothed daily in God's armor.  That God would not only protect his physical body, but his mind as well.  That God would use him to share the gospel.  

Please also pray for his incredible wife, A.  She has been Chloe's teacher at church for years and is a sweet woman of God.  She has been such a blessing to our family as she has planted seeds in Chloe's heart that are now bearing fruit. 

Pray that she would be encouraged on difficult days and that she would be able to rest in God's perfect peace.

Thank you for joining me in prayer!



Monday, July 23, 2012

God is Merciful

If you read or watch the news, you know what happened in Colorado last week.  If you don't, just google Colorado shooting and you will instantly be in the know. 

It was a tragic event.  Nothing more to say.

Scrolling through facebook, I found this post that many of my friends have shared.  It's from a woman whom was at the theater that evening with her two daughters. Their lives were spared.  In her post, she shares her love for Christ and her heart for sharing the gospel.  From what I can tell she's an amazing writer.

I wanted to share it here because I realize that not everyone whom reads my blog is a believer.  I also am well aware that I'm not the most fantastic writer on the planet.  She was able to write exactly what I know in my heart to be true about the amazing God I serve - he is merciful.  Despite such tragedy, he will use it for good.

So please hop over to her blog here...and take the time to read an amazing post!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Donating Your Tax Dollars

*****This post is for my mother and is about the Georgia tax and private school scholarship program.  Skip over it if it doesn't interest you!

Did you know that you can support any accredited private school in Georgia and you can be reimbursed 100% of your Georgia State tax liability up to $2500 per year?  If you own a corporation, you can donate 75% of your liability up to $50,000.

Seriously!  You can donate to any private school in Georgia and the amount is refunded to you on your state income tax return.  

I know it sounds too good to be true, but it isn't.  We have gone through this process twice and it really is as simple as filling out some forms on the scholarship website, mailing a check and then getting the money back on our tax return.

So why wouldn't you want to donate your money to a school instead of letting the government have it?

Our girls' school, Cornerstone Prep, uses The Pay it Forward® Scholarship program.  Though, there are other programs that help with this process.  The school receives 100% of the donations and those donations can go to specific students that the donor can choose.  

So how does the scholarship program make money? 
They take 10% of all corporate donations.  And since corporate donations account for a large percent of what they receive, they do not take any money from individual donors.  

 How does the process work?

First, go to the Pay it Forward Scholarship website, and apply to be a donor.  Choose a school (our girls attend Cornerstone Prep Academy), donation amount, and a student (if you have one you'd like the money to go to).  Fill out the application.

Second, wait for the state to accept your donation request.  This takes about 30 days.  It took us about 45 days.  You'll receive a letter from the state stating that you have 60 days to send your check to the scholarship program.

Third, this is where it's difficult for some families.  You have to be prepared to mail a check in whatever amount you choose to donate to the program (Pay it Forward).  For us, it was $1,000.  Not everyone can do that.  

For us, we counter this by having the least amount of state tax withdrawn from K's check that we can.  So basically, we consider the donation a prepayment of taxes.  And, since we also receive a scholarship, it goes towards our tuition cost which we'd pay anyways.

Fourth, at tax time, you make sure to use the deduction on your state return and you are credited dollar for dollar the amount you donated. In our case, we were refunded the exact amount since we paid in more tax than we owed.

You can also use this as a federal deduction, though you can't use the entire amount.  See your tax professional for help with this.  If using TurboTax, this is computed for you.

So, what's in it for an individual with no children in private school?  

Well, honestly, not a whole lot.  It redirects your tax money to a private school, gives you a federal tax charitable deduction and you help a child in need.  I look at it this way, you're going to pay the money regardless.  So why not have it go to a good cause?

If you're interested, you can go to this link: http://www.payitforwardscholarships.com 
 They have a ton of information under the resources tab that explains the tax code and process.

And, if you're still not convinced that it's that simple, feel free to call and speak to a representative:

615 Oak Street, Suite F 
 Gainesville, GA 30501 
Ph: 770.534.3611 


Monday, July 16, 2012

A Visit From the Sunshine State

***Updated 7/18 since the video link was not working.

As you may recall from the many posts a few weeks back, we spent 17 days visiting family and friends in the Sunshine State.

Well, this time the Sunshine State came to us!  My brother and his wife and their too cute little girl, came to visit last week. I was quite shocked since we've lived here almost 6 years and this was their 3rd visit.  And their 2nd Visit was this past winter.  I'm not quite sure how I managed 2 visits in one year, but hey, I'll take it!

Unfortunately, the sunshine didn't follow them, but the rain did!  We had crummy weather which made it difficult to plan things to do.

Nonetheless, we enjoyed their company, especially that cutie-patootie niece of mine!  We spent some time at the pool...which is a typical summer activity!

And on a day when we thought it wasn't going to rain, we headed out to Red Top Mountain so the girls could play in the water and run around.

There was a rock that Ry decided to jump off of.  She had a blast and J wanted to, but her mommy objected.  She is only 4, so I guess she had a right to say no!  ha!

 This is J and my "big" little brother. 
 My brother and his sweet wife.  Have I told you how much I love her??? We joke that if something ever happens, she stays and he goes.  Yes, I love her that much!

Ok, so we found this rope swing and my brother decided to give it a try.  I was secretly hoping he'd drop in the water...bad sister aren't I?

 And just for some self humiliation, here's a video to prove my brother didn't get to have all the fun (click the link below). 

Momma On A Rope Swing

After it monsooned, I mean rained, we headed to Chick fil a for dress like a cow day.  My brother thought we were nuts and wasn't quite so excited.  I did manage to dress up my niece and the girls.  We all scored free food and well, Allen paid for his.

And, why does Ry look scared?  It was raining so hard you couldn't hear a thing!  Crazy!

Of course that's all the pictures I took.  Yes, bad Aunt Lori.  We did have fun and it was great having my family visit.  I always enjoy getting the chance to entertain them.  I'm trying to convince them to come back in October, but I'm not so sure I could get 3 visits in a year!  We'll see!



Friday, July 13, 2012

Just the Girls

Pictures are something that are very important to me, yet we don't take enough of them.  The last family picture we had taken professionally (well, semi-professionally) was in 2006. Yep, 6 years ago when Ry still looked like a baby!  And, to make matters worse, I haven't had any of the girls since then other than the awful Target experience a few years back!

I found this cute photographer in our area.  She's just starting out and I decided to give her a try.  Of course her rate was "just right" and fit my frugal budget so that was just the push I needed. 

We had a mini shoot the day before C turned 11 and I planned on pictures of only the girls, but luckily Megan pushed for me to jump in a few and I was so glad I did.

I was very pleased with her work and am pretty sure I'm going to hire her in October.  I just might actually send out a Christmas card this year! Just, maybe!

And just so we can keep it real, here's my favorite:

Heee, heee, just kidding!