Chili's: Go to their website and sign up for their e-mail club. You receive coupons on a regular basis for specials that they run at the restaurants for appetizers, desserts, drinks and more. On your birthday, you receive a coupon for a free dessert (mine was a brownie sundae, but I don't know if it changes).
Texas Roadhouse: My favorite restaurant, by the way! Join their e-mail club (used to be called VIP club) by clicking on the link for a free appetizer on the bottom of the page. Fill out the info and you'll receive a free appetizer on your birthday, and a free appetizer for your anniversary (if you're married) and also for your "anniversary" of the date of signing up for the e-mail club.
Auntie Ann's: Sign up for Pretzel Perks. Again, it's an e-mail thing. You receive monthly coupons for free pretzels or drinks, and for your birthday you also get a free pretzel (this time, I had to buy a pretzel to get one for free. Oh well.). These are sent out all year.
Speedway Gas Stations: If you are a member of the Speedy Rewards points club, you know that you receive points for anything and everything you buy from the gas station/convenience store. On your birthday, you are sent a coupon for 200 free points--just go in with the coupon and your rewards card and have the cashier scan it, and boom! Free points. You can earn a lot of great things with your points, from free candy bars to money off your gas purchase.
Dairy Queen: Join the Blizzard Fan Club and you receive occasional coupons for Blizzards. On your birthday, you receive a BOGO for Blizzards. One is never really enough anyway, right?
I'm sure that there are others out there too; if you have some ideas, leave a comment at the bottom of the post!
I'm a bit sad about being a year older. When you start to realize that you are getting to the age in life that you never thought you'd be when you were young, it sobers you a bit. Sometimes being a grown-up is hard and not fun. But when you have great family around you, and someone to love and spend all of your birthdays with, it is worth it.
We spent this weekend with family--my mother and stepfather on Saturday, and my in-laws on Sunday. We all had a good time together. Now I'm wondering, "where did the weekend go??"! Here are a few photos of our fun on Saturday at the Toledo Zoo. They are setting up for the annual Lights Before Christmas display, which can be seen in some of the photos:
|White Lion--he looks fierce, but he's actually just yawning.|
|Mr. Hippo gives us the stink-eye. He has tiny eyes.|
|Lizard!?! "I seeeeee yoooooouuuu!"|
|One more lizard. I loved his colors!|
|The elusive mallard. "Quack quack quack". Translation: Quack quack quack.|
|What a great day to work on your tan...|
|Photo from Wikipedia|
Information taken from The Owl Pages and All About Birds.
Aging is an inevitable part of life. From the moment we are born, we being to age, and yes, die. No one is immune from this, regardless of all of the silly vampire movies that say otherwise. The Bible has several passages about growing old and still being Christ-like: "So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal" (2 Cor. 4:16-18). "Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled" (Titus 2:2-5). And finally, "The glory of young men is their strength, and the honor of old men is their gray hair" (Proverbs 20:29). (That last one was for the hubs, when he someday loses his auburn locks to the distinguished look of white.) While our bodies will always age, it's what we do with them that makes all of the difference to the Lord. He has given us directions of how to "age gracefully", so to speak. It's what I strive for--but I am rarely graceful. Still...if I have to get old, I might as well do it Biblically!