Sunday, March 29, 2009

Stuff I Love Right Now

I got this great idea from Kristina Werner at kwerner design blog (check out her awesome designs). This blog post appealed to me because it records a snippet of my life at the present time. I am forever thinking that I need to create scrapbook pages about myself but never get around to it. Now maybe I can keep this record and come back at some point and create a page or two.

March 2009 Things I Love

  • I am really loving the Darius Rucker song It Won't Be Like This For Long. I had several of the other songs from his album Learn to Live but hadn't even heard this one until last week when I caught Darius in n interview on a local radio station. They played this song and I bought it when I got home. By the way Darius is not only a talented singer but a very funny, down to earth guy.

  • Love, love Jason Mraz's I'm Yours and You and I Both.

  • I just discovered Joshua Radin and his I'd Rather Be With You is one of my most played.

Television and Movies

  • Even though I saw the movie Twilight in the theater, we have it at home and I have watched it twice. My hubby said it's a total chick flick but he at least sat through it once with me.

  • Grey's Anatomy still tops my list of favorite television shows. I look forward all day on Thursday to seeing Dr. McDreamy.

  • I have just started watching Private Practice and am hooked.

  • And of course there's American Idol. I think that there are some very talented singers this year but my favorite is Danny Gokey. I love his voice but his story is also incredible.


Other Stuff

  • Since I am always looking for things to please my picky eaters, I am a follower of Picky Palate.

  • I recently discovered these cool lunch boxes. What a nifty way to pack lunches for your kids. And it helps the environment because it's reusable.

  • And since I am all into saving money, The Coupon Mom website comes in really handy.

  • Palmolive has a new dishwashing liquid, Pure + Clear, that contains no fragrances and dyes and the bottle is made from 25% post consumer recycled plastic. And it works great!

  • Bath and Body Works True Blue® Spa Heel of Approval™ Cracked Heal Treatment is the bomb. Seriously. I used it for a few days and could already tell a difference in my dry skin.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Too many choices

Why is it that we have 300 television channels and at least that many movies on DVD, but the kids can never find anything to watch? The boys wanted to watch a movie tonight so I flipped through our massive collection of DVD's and read them every title. When nothing seemed to strike their interest, I flipped through the entire television guide, twice. Still nothing. So I had to go through the DVD's again. Finally they both decided on Nim's Island. Then I had to figure out how to turn the DVD player on and switch the television to movie mode. What happened to the good old days when we had twenty channels, a few movies on VHS tape and one remote controlled it all?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Saving Money

In this economy most people are looking to save money any way they can. I have always been a pretty thrifty person but in the past few months I have found myself looking for ways to save even more. With the economy on such shaky ground, who can afford not to.

One of the easiest ways of saving money is to reducing eating out expenses. I figured the best way to do that was to write out a menu for the week and stick to it. This was rather painstaking but I managed to get an entire month's worth of meals on our calendar. The next step in saving some money was to start shopping the sales and using coupons.

My theory has always been to buy the specials from the grocery store and the rest from Walmart or Sam's Club. It take some planning and a bit more time but in the end, I find that the saving really add up.

To save even more on our weekly grocery bills, I use coupons. I have always clipped coupons but sometime over the past few years, I have become a bit lazy in using them. I am not sure why except that perhaps the older my kids get the busier my schedule and therefore the less time I have to plan ahead.

I did a bit of online research to figure out the best ways to use coupons and the best places to find them. I thought I would share some of the best links.

1) It's Hip to Save has a great post describing easy ways to save time while you're out to save money. While you are there, if you are new to couponing, you might want to check out the Couponing 101 link located in the Information Station. There are a bunch of other links to great money saving ideas.

2) The Grocery Game is a website that scans sales flyers for grocery and drug stores and matches them up with coupons. The list identifies items that are on sale, tells you when and where to find the coupon (online or in the coupon flyer from the newspaper) and also whether it is a good buy. Items are color coded - Green for too good to pass up, Blue for stock up and black for pass unless you need it. The site does charge for the service which is $10 for 8 weeks of one store list and $5 for each additional list. You can get a trail subscription to the service for one month for $1. I subscribed to the service for the trail month and found that my local store did not have some of the sales listed and also I was unable to find some of the coupons that were listed. While I did like the concept, I don't think I will continue the service beyond the trail. For those new to couponing, this might be a good site to get you started.

3) Get Rich Slowly (I like the website name) has an article on how to save $100 (or more) at the grocery store this month.

4) Jill Cataldo aka Super Couponer has some great links on her blog. She teaches super-couponing classes (click on the link located in red on her blog) that teach you how to save money on groceries and get groceries for free or pennies on the dollar. I am unfortunately not near any of her classes so I'll have to make do with her online tips for now.

5) Coupon Clippers is a service that list that claims to be the largest online grocery coupon clipping service. You can order coupons for a small handling fee. They also have sales alerts. This service would be great if for instance your store had a buy one get one free sale on something you use on a regular basis. If your store doubles or triples the store coupon, you could get the item for pennies or even free. So if you have several coupons for this item you could really stock up.

6) Coupon Mom is a free list with a ton of money saving links. You can subscribe to their newsletter (which I highly suggest). I found a link on the site that allowed me to look up coupons for the items that I use. It does take a bit more time than using a site such as Grocery Game but it is FREE.

Obviously in order to use coupons, you must have them first. In addition to the coupon inserts in the Sunday paper, you can find coupons in All You Magazine and Better Homes and Gardens magazine. To print online coupons, you can go to and Most manufacturers websites are also a good place to find printable coupons. A few even offer an email newsletter with money saving coupons attached. General Mills recently sent me an email with $4.75 worth of coupons.

The bottom line is that saving money takes some time and planning ahead is the key to maximizing your savings.

Happy Savings!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

New Design

Just testing out a new blog background. I tried creating my own but it was causing me more stress than it was worth so I used a premade one from Blog Helpers. I hope to one day soon be able to sit down and figure out this whole blog design thing but for now I think this one looks pretty good. Plus it was free so that makes it even better.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Prayer request

You never know what your children say when you aren't around. Sometimes it's better not to know. Especially if it comes from your child who has a vivid imagination and has not yet developed a conscious.

At church on Sunday, the kids are able to give prayer requests during their chapel time. Harrison informed us tonight that his teacher prayed for his dad on Sunday. When we asked why, he said, "Because I told them you were in Iraq".

David and I have decided we will no longer be going to pick Harrison up from Sunday School.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patty's Day

Monday, March 16, 2009

Just a printzel

You never know what to expect as far as dinner conversation around our house. Sometimes all the kids want to talk at once. Sometimes they don't want to talk at all. And sometimes you don't know if you should believe what they say (mostly this involves Harrison).

About halfway through dinner tonight, Harrison started telling us about a boy at lunch today. I don't think that David or I were really listening at first. I heard Harrison say "Today at lunch John stuck a pencil up his nose, pulled it out and ate it." It didn't really register with me until Holden asked him to repeat what he said. So Harrison repeated "Today at lunch John stuck a pencil up his nose, pulled it out and ate it." Holden (aka "The Lawyer') launched into his twenty question mode. He wanted to know why someone had a pencil at lunch and how they could possibly eat it. Harrison turned to Holden, rolled his eyes and said in his most matter of fact voice "Not a pencil, A PRINTZEL" which is what he calls a pretzel. Oddly enough Haley also called pretzels printzels for years so I think she knew right off what he was talking about. Either way that was disgusting which is the point I think he was trying to make.

Monday, March 9, 2009

A birthday to remember

I am still standing after a weekend long birthday celebration starting with five 13 year old girls spending the night and ending with a birthday dinner with grandparents on Sunday. To top all that off, I came down with a really bad cold. Seems like once the kids bring it home, I am destined to catch it. I love them and all but wish they'd keep their germs to themselves.

Friday night we took Haley and her friends to Yamato's Japanese Steakhouse for dinner. The dinner was good and Haley got to ring the gong and the entire room sang her "Happy Birthday". The ride home was rather eventful with David getting pulled over by the cops. The girls were saying how cold it was so David rolled the windows down to make them even colder. It kind of backfired because they decided it would be fun to yell out the windows at the cars we were passing. They yelled at a police car as we drove by and he whipped in behind us and followed us for a bit before pulling us over. Talk about hearing a pin drop. The girls all got really quiet.The police officer thought it was a group of teenagers and wanted to investigate further. While he had us stopped he gave David a warning ticket for his tag light not working. I have kept the ticket to put in Haley's scrapbook so she can remember the time she got her dad pulled over.

When we got home, the girls went to their own "private theater". David had spent the better part of Friday setting up the garage with a movie projector, large screen and some seating. We put out a table of theater snacks (candy, chips, and drinks). The girls started out watching a scary movie and you could hear them scream every few minutes. I know the neighbors were wondering what was going on. David couldn't resist scaring them so he snuck out back and pushed a broom through the doggy door and knocked over the recycle bins. The girls all came running in the house screaming, thinking something was trying to get in. I think they finally went to bed sometime around 2 a.m.

On Sunday Haley's grandparents and great grandmother came for lunch. Since Haley is our swimmer, her grandma made a cake that looked like a swimming pool with swimmers in the lanes. She also got some cute shirts and a sweatshirt that said Got Chlorine? on them. It was such a beautiful afternoon, we went outside on the screened porch after lunch.

Now, the birthday celebration is finally over and I am trying to recuperate. Thank goodness birthdays only come once a year.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Happy Birthday Little Girl

Today we celebrate Haley's thirteenth birthday.

My how time flies.

Happy Birthday Sweet Pea.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Friday I sent Holden off to school even though he complained of his ear hurting. I would have let him stay at home but he was adamant that he wanted to go. He had gotten all dressed up as a lawyer for career day at school. And he did look cute with his blazer, tie and briefcase. So I gave him some Tylenol and sent him on his way.

I went out to breakfast with the hubby and looked forward to an entire day of doing nothing. Just me and no schedule. Funny how quickly plans change. I was pulling into Target around 9:00 and my cell phone rang. The school nurse was calling to tell me Holden was in the office with a fever and complaining of feeling bad. She wanted to know if I wanted him to tough it out or if I wanted to come and pick him up. Being the outstanding mother that I am, I elected to pick my child up and forfeited my one day of leisure.

Saturday wasn't much better for Holden and by Sunday the only thing that got him off the couch was a bathroom break or a trip upstairs to lay in his bed. I figured he would be better by Monday, but the cough was much worse and he complained of feeling achy. I was anxious that he might have the flu but a trip to the doctor on Monday ruled that out. Instead, he has bronchitis and some kind of weird viral infection that mimics the flu. He was released to go back to school today but he was in no shape to go. He was up half the night coughing and this morning he still had huge bags under his eyes. Early this afternoon he had a brief period where I thought he might actually be on the upswing but he wouldn't eat dinner and has been laying on the couch most of the afternoon.

Oddly enough Harrison is jealous that Holden is able to stay at home from school. Sunday night he started "prepping" us for what was to come on Monday. He complained of a headache and a stomachache. Monday morning, Harrison tried refusing to go to school and when he realized that wasn't working, he started complaining of a stomachache. I have fallen for that line before so I sent him off to school. He made it all day and came home feeling fine. Last night when we were talking about keeping Holden home another day, Harrison started trying again to get us to let him stay at home from school. He told David he had diarrhea three times yesterday and he felt sick. Then he told me that he had a small cough and he thought he might be getting Holden's cold. I gave him some juice and sent him to bed telling him he would be fine in the morning. This morning he was slow to go but I managed to get him up and to school without a huge hassle. Late this afternoon, I got a call from the school nurse telling me that Harrison was in her office and he had thrown up in the classroom. I felt so bad because I thought that perhaps I had neglected to take his "illness" seriously. David went and picked him up and noticed that once Harrison was in the car, he perked up. When he got home, it wasn't 30 minutes before he asked for 1) something to eat and 2) if he could go ride his bike. Those were enough to convince me that what Harrison suffered was sympathy sickness. Upon further questioning, he didn't really throw up but rather had "a little spit up in his mouth" and it wasn't in the classroom as we had been told but in the bathroom (where a teacher would not be able to see).

So who knows what tomorrow will bring. I am not sure Holden will be any better so he will likely have to stay home another day. Harrison, I am sure, will also try to concoct some other illness to try and get out of school. After these past 5 days, I have decided I am ready for winter and all the colds that seems to come with it to end. Having sick kids is no fun.