Saturday, February 28, 2009


(It's a good thing you can't see me right now, cause I am doing a crazy, happy dance...woo hoo!)
(Don't you like my little advertiser?)
This is my Shopper's trip this past week.  I checked out twice so I could get lots of guacamole for Will's birthday party.

Transaction 1:
Dentyne single packs - 2
Dentyne 3 pack
Rice a roni - 12
Chex Mix
Cheerios - 3
B/C Warm Delights - 2
Blueberry muffin mix
Brownie mix - 2
Toaster pastries
Success Rice
Tomato Sauce - 4
Quaker Rice Cakes - 1 reg. + 1 mini
Hershey chocolate bar
Dawn hand soap - 2
Pringles mini - 2
Dawn dish soap - 2
2000 flushes
Chicken broth
Old Orchard Fruitsense (Kiwi Dragonfruit Flavor is REALLY good!)
Tuna Pouch - 2
Tuna Can
Wholly guacamole - 3
Crescent rolls - 2
Sour cream - 2
Dannon yogurt smoothies - 4
Coffeemate creamer - 2
Gillete Shaving Gel
Johnson's baby shampoo - 4

total before coupons = $140.18
total I paid = $30.09
Savings - 80%

Transaction 2:
Gerber Graduates meal
Fiber 1 muffin mix
Minute maid rice - 2
Reeses 100 calorie snacks - 2
Dole Pineapple chunks - 3
Healthy Choice Steamers - 2
Chef Boyardee micro meals - 5
Crunch and Munch - 2
Chock full o nuts coffee
Wholly salsa - 3
Wholly guacamole - 3
Jimmy Dean breakfast entree

total before coupons = $57.67
total I paid = $14.17
savings - 77%

If that doesn't convince you coupons are TOTALLY worth it, I don't know what will :)

Friday, February 27, 2009

Real Food

Evan is six months now. That means he is big enough to eat REAL food :)
I love feeding my kids real food. As in, food other than me. Not that I begrudge them nursing. It is, without a doubt, what's best for them nutritionally. I just don't enjoy it. Probably because both my boys bit from birth ;p You can't get mad at a newborn for biting you, they didn't do it on purpose after all. But OUCH! It hurts. Anyway...
Rice cereal + Evan = happy baby. He ate all the cereal I made and wanted more. Big shocker there...I dread to think how much this child will eat when he is a teenager!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

My husband is SO talented!

Look what my husband made!
My little brother had a Marine birthday this year and my mom asked my incredible husband if he could make some simple wooden guns out of scrap wood for the party. She (and everyone else) was blown away by these cool guns! My DH made them out of scrap 2x4s with his router. He used a real (old, disabled) gun his grandfather gave him as the pattern. These guns are solid, fun, and oh so cool!
Just had to brag a little. Isn't my husband amazing?!? (I tell him so, but he doesn't believe me ;p)

pigtails and kittens

I was going through old pics this past week and ran across this picture of me when I was seven or eight:

I am posing (of course) and holding my kitten (he was at max 3 months old at that time, yes he was a big cat!) that I got for Christmas when I was six. I LOVED that cat. He was the best. Since I got him for Christmas I was going to name him George Bailey, but my dad said I watched too much TV. So I settled on Crockett because he looked like the coonskin cap that Davy Crockett wore.
Crockett was smart. We put a bell on his collar because our PETA-fanatical neighbors came over to complain to mom that he killed a bird in their yard. Well, Crockett learned how to walk without ringing the bell! The only time he would jingle it was when he wanted my dad to let him outside - and dad would get out of bed (fast asleep) and let him out! Another thing Crockett could do was open doors. He would stand on his two back feet and use his two front feet to jiggle the knob until it opened. I got in trouble for leaving the door to the garage open a lot before we figured out it was the cat :p
The best thing about Crockett though was that he was GREAT with kids. My twin brothers were toddlers and my sister was a baby when we got him and Crockett would let my siblings do ANYTHING to him without biting/scratching/hurting them at all! They pulled his tail, sat on him, picked him up around the middle, etc. If he didn't like what they were doing, he would just get up and leave.
He even moved cross-country with us when we moved from Colorado to Virginia. He sat in the back of the car with me and moaned the whole trip. We drugged him, but it didn't put him to sleep - it just slowed down his meows :) We also had him declawed before moving cross-country. He learned how to catch birds/mice/whatever without claws.
He was a great cat. I hope that my kids will someday have a pet as wonderful as he was!
Want to join Sincerly Fro' Me to You? Head over to We are THAT Family.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I love pacifiers

Ode to a pacifier

Biting, munching, sucking, chewing
always soothing
though small, you are sturdy and hold up well
even when my little one starts to yell
taking my place to soothe and quiet
so I am not the only diet
pacifier, pacifier without you I'd be lost
we will not lose you at any cost
and when my little one has grown too tall
I'll hang you on my tree to recall
that happy, busy, crazy season
of pacifiers, diapers, and two-year-old reason.

Want to join Things I Love Thursday? Head over to the Diaper Diaries.

Will's Birthday

2 years ago I was in the hospital. It was a Sunday morning, but church was cancelled because it was snowing. In the afternoon there was a Nascar race. I remember it all vividly.
2 years ago today, I watched my husband cry tears of pure joy as he held his firstborn son. I saw both my parents turn into the kind of grandparents that totally spoil their grandkids. And I held the most perfect baby boy that the world had ever seen. William: my sweet little boy.
Happy Birthday William! I know that God has GREAT things planned for you :)
Mommy loves you so very, very much <3

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Random Photo Tagging

My friend Jessica tagged me in her random photo post so I am passing on the chain (insert evil laughter here). The instructions are to post the fourth picture from your fourth folder in your pictures folder. Here is mine:

This is a picture of my wonderful cat that I got for Christmas at age 6. He died when I was 18. He was the best cat ever in so many ways and for so many reasons!

I think I'm supposed to tag four more people now too. But, it's late and I can't think of anyone so, if you're reading this and feel like participating go for it and leave me a comment so I can come see your random cool picture :)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Free Cool Photo Gift!

For this week's Sunday Shout Outs I want to tell you about Christine. She is the sweet, gorgeous mommy of twin girls who blogs over at IEMommy. I have been subscribed to her for several weeks now.
Christine has a strong interest/talent in photography and for ALL of her subscribers right now she is offering to glamorize one of your photos by making it black and white with COLOR like this one from her site:

Isn't that COOL?!?!?! I am so in awe of her for taking the time to do this for so many people. AND for being so talented.
Her blog is really fun can check it out HERE and get your own gorgeous picture done :)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Finally Friday

(picture credit)
This has been one of those weeks where I've often thought "I can't wait until it's Friday!" Do you have weeks like that too?
It wasn't a bad week, just very busy. I am ready for this week to be over and looking forward to (hopefully) a quieter week coming up.
Finally, it's Friday.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Nail Polish

I love nail polish!
Painting my nails makes me feel so girly and pretty, even in my sweats :) Plus, as the only girl in our family, it's one thing I get to do ALL BY MYSELF!
It always makes me feel better if I'm having a bad day. I especially love the way my toes look when they are painted some outrageous color (like black with glitter, or red with white stripes, or purple, etc.)
I don't particularly care if painting my nails weird colors is juvenile - I like it!

(picture credit)
PS - I only use weird colors on my toes. My fingers are usually painted light, demure colors. Cause then it doesn't show as much when I chip them doing dishes/changing diapers/laundry/being a mom.

PPS - Want to join in the fun? Head over to the Diaper Diaries for Things I Love Thursday!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

His/Her Jars

I don't remember where exactly we got the idea, but my husband and I have used this for quite a while now.
We got two containers like these:

(picture credit)
Then we labeled them HIS and HERS. We each got a bunch of slips of paper and wrote down things we like to do together or like done for us. For example, taking a walk together, getting a foot massage, watching a movie, a really good kiss, praying together, etc.
We put our slips into our respective jars. Each week we get a slip out of the OTHER person's jar and try to do whatever it says for the other person as many times as we can during the week. Like if my card reads "a foot massage" I will try to give my hubby a foot massage as often as I can during that week.
It's fun to focus on something different each week and find out what your spouse really likes. It's also a way for us to remember to keep romance at the forefront of our busy lives. His/Her Jars - it works for us!

For more Works for Me Wednesday, check out Rocks in My Dryer.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Sunday Shout Outs

This is the I-have-GOT-to-get-more-sleep edition of Sunday Shout Outs. Evan is six months old this month. He will be starting solid food on his brother's birthday. However, he DOES NOT sleep! He takes two 1-hour-at-the-most naps during the day (morning and late afternoon) then goes to bed between 8-9pm. He sleeps for maybe two hour stretches at a time. That's it. If I put him in bed with us, I can nurse him when he wakes up without ME waking up much. But then I am really sore in the morning because I inevitably slept in some weird position so he could nurse comfortably. I haven't slept longer than two hours since August. This is not good. Here is a strategy that I am going to start trying. Because I am tired.

An overview of different sleep training methods from Baby Center

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Who Doesn't?

It's Things I Love Thursday over at the Diaper Diaries - head on over to join the fun!
In honor of Valentine's Day. The thing that I love is CHOCOLATE!!!
Seriously, who doesn't love chocolate?
I have discovered since becoming a mom that I love chocolate more than ever now too. It's the perfect afternoon pick me up when I need a little extra energy. It's a great dessert as I unwind from the day. It's a quick breakfast on-the-run for busy days. It's a great treat to pack in your husband's lunch to tell him you love him.
Chocolate is the perfect food for any situation.
Forget flowers for Valentine's. Bring on the CHOCOLATE!

(picture credit)

What's your favorite dessert/flavor of chocolate?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Diaper Deal/Steal

Check this out!

I ordered 2 extra large cases of Huggies, size 5 diapers from @ $36.99 ea.

Then I got FREE two-day shipping & $10 off. (Want the same deal? You can use the code Booksnboys to get $10 off your first order of $49 or more. Shipping is always Free and 2 day over $49. Disclosure: I also get $1.00 off at no additional cost to you. Thanks!)

Total - $63.98 (makes it 24 cents a diaper. Same as Costco)

Also included with my order is a free 1 year subscription to Parenting Magazine. Now, I'm not a big fan of Parenting - they're kind of preachy about their opinions. So I was reading the fine print on the offer and it said if you mail your proof-of-payment and this refund form to Parenting, they will refund you $14.97 - the one year subscription price. Make sure you print your receipt and the rebate form. (The rebate form can be found in your shopping cart, after you add at least 1 item, in the box that says, "Parenting subscription included with your first order of $15 or more.")

So - $63.98-$14.97 refund = $49.01

Making Will's size 5 diapers 19 cents each!!!!
Not only that - the diapers were delivered the DAY AFTER I ordered them! (There is also a coupon book to use with my next order.)

:) :) :)

I LOVE getting deals like that! That totally works for me!
Hope that helps some of you score some CHEAP diapers!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The best husband in the world. No, seriously, he is!

I started writing the story of my husband's and my relationship and how we ended up getting married. But then I realized that, while it is a great story, it didn't have as many brag opportunities as I wanted.
I admit it - I really like to brag about my husband. He is so awesome that it's really easy to do! For example: my husband built our house. No, he is not a contractor or a professional builder at all. He is a machinist (he makes things out of metal, like the cone part on the front of a fire engine, or pieces for the toll roads, or computer parts). He is just really good with his hands and figured he would learn a lot. It took him about three years start to finish to build our house. He and I became a couple in year 2 of the house. He did practically all the work himself. The only exceptions I know of were pouring the cement, hanging drywall, and siding (although he said if he had to do it over, he would do the siding). EVERYTHING else, my incredible husband did himself. If he didn't know how to do something, he researched it and got assistance from friends until he had a good idea of how to do it.
It constantly amazes me that my husband took on such a huge project. That he stuck with it for three years! I LOVE the fact that my house is a constant reminder to me of the ingenuity, perseverance, hard work, and talent of my husband. I love how we've already shared such special moments in our house (his proposal, our first kiss, our wedding night, etc) and look forward to making many more memories together.
See, my title for this post was right. My husband is the best in the entire world. Not because he built me a house. But because he makes it into a wonderful home.
I love you so much Ken! You are the second best thing that ever happened to me!!!* My life has been so much more full and richer since we got married. I am SO glad you chose me! You are my favorite person & BEST friend <3

(*1st thing is, of course, Jesus Christ becoming Savior and Ruler of my life.)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sunday Shout Outs

Today's Sunday Shout Outs are of course about Valentine's Day. I love Valentine's Day. It's such a great chance to show/tell the people you love most what they mean to you :)

Creature Comforts has a great iron-on pattern for two cute pillow cases. This is what I made my hubby for Valentine's this year.

These printable little boxes are so cool! I printed one and had my brilliant husband make it a little bigger so I can put Valentine bracelets in them for Will to give his girl cousins.

I'm thinking about making this Overnight Stuffed French Toast for breakfast on Valentine's Day (since it's a Saturday) from Taste of Home. Doesn't it look so yummy?

For dessert on Valentine's Day I am waffling back and forth between making something chocolate or these Conversation Heart Cookies. What do you think I should do?

If I can find the hats, I am seriously thinking about making these for my two little boys to match...

Candy Cane Syrup recipe from Story Book Woods. This would look so festive over ice cream with pink sprinkles!

I really wanted to make this wreath from Little Birdie Secrets, but I don't think I'm going to get around to it. All well, I'll get the materials on sale after Valentine's this year and have it all ready for next year!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Valentine Card Idea

(picture credit)
For Valentine's Day last year I made my husband the coolest card ever! I did a candy card - similar to the one pictured except with less candy :) It was really easy. I got a bright pink poster board and wrote my message with a sharpie, taping the candy on as I went. He LOVED it! Total cost for me around $5 but that will depend on how much candy you get. Here is what my card said:
My Darling Husband,
Thinking of you fills me with ALMOND JOY. Whenever I am in a CRUNCH you are MR. GOODBAR for me. You are MOUNDS of FUN DIP and can always make me SNICKERS. When we are in bed together, sparks, STARBURSTS, and HOT TAMALES always seem to fly, sending us to the MILKY WAY. I've seen plenty of NERDS and BUTTERFINGERS in my life, so I never thought I'd marry someone as BUBBLICIOUS as you! I really appreciate how you are always ready to help me with our BABY RUTH if I need a FAST BREAK. Now that our 3 MUSKETEERS is turning into a quartet, I will try to take every opportunity to send HERSHEY KISSES your way! Whether we are swimming in 100 GRAND or TWIX a rock and a hard place I will always be here loving you. I love you GOBSTOPPERS! Happy Valentine's Day!
With SKITTLES of love, Your Wife

Perhaps there is someone in your life that would love a candy Valentine card?

Thursday, February 5, 2009


I had three brothers before I got a sister. I REALLY wanted a sister. In fact, I prayed for a sister. And then, the summer after I turned five years old, I got my wish. My favorite little sister. My only little sister. Eight boys and just the two of us girls. I am SO GLAD I have my sister.
Not that she's a perfect angel. Trust me, I shared a room with her forever (and the mess was all hers let me tell ya). But she is lots of fun and has a sunny personality. She's a great photographer and babysitter.
Em is the thing that I love this Thursday. 'Cause she's my awesomest little sister.

Auntie Em & Will <3

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Valentine Mailbox

When I was a kid my mom did a great job of making every major holiday special. Each holiday had its own traditions and surprises. Valentine's Day was no exception.
On Valentine's Day my mom would make beef burgundy. It was the one time a year she made it ('cause it was a lot of work). Always delicious!
Another tradition we had was the Valentine Mailbox. I can't remember a Valentine's without the mailbox. It has always been a part of Valentine's Day for me. Our mailbox was a simple cardboard box that my mom covered in paper and decorated. Each year she would get it out a couple of weeks before Valentine's and we would get to make and fill Valentine's to put in the mailbox. There were always surprises that showed up from Dad and Mom at the last minute as well. The anticipation of opening the mailbox and passing out the valentines that evening was almost as good as Christmas!
Since I have my own family now, I made a Valentine Mailbox for us this year. Like my mom, I got a plain cardboard box and covered it in construction paper (red, white, and pink). I decorated the top and cut a slit for the valentines, then I brainstormed to remember how my mom decorated the sides of the mailbox.
One side had our "family tree" on it - my mom drew a tree and wrote all our names in it. Another side said "Happy Valentine's Day". One side was blank, and the last side had hearts and arrows saying "Daddy loves Mommy", "Mommy loves Daddy", Daddy loves CL", etc. I decorated my box sides similarly to the way my mom decorated her mailbox. Why fix it if it ain't broke?
My handsome hubby offered to help me, so I had him color some conversation hearts for the blank side of the mailbox.
All in all, I think our family Valentine Mailbox turned out pretty well!

I'm hoping that as our boys grow up, they will be able to have fond memories of a great tradition continued into a new generation.

Easy, Handmade Baby Gifts

Today's edition of Works for Me Wednesday sponsored by Rocks in My Dryer is about baby gifts.
Now I don't know about you, but I go to a LOT of baby showers. And it is customary to bring a gift to every shower. Averaging $10 a shower (for a cheap gift) gets expensive fast. What to do?
Well, I picked up a hobby I learned when I was a kid. Crocheting. Add a little older-and-wiser mathematical knowledge and voila!

Easy, unique, and special baby blankets! With some mathematical help from my handsome husband, I created the crochet pattern for these blankets and I think they turn out pretty well! (The pink and blue blankets pictured are for a set of twins :)
Plus, they are soft, cuddly, machine wash/dryable, and they make babies happy! As evidenced by Evan modeling for me:

Sweet and special - hey that works for me!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Let it snow!

In honor of the snow that came down yesterday, we made a bunch of snowflakes to decorate the inside of our house. We hung them above the kitchen table which, in retrospect, was a bad idea because now Will climbs onto the table to make them swing. They are pretty and festive though!

The blue snowflakes were all templates that came from Family Fun. We made a snowman, hearts, and flowers snowflakes.
The white lacy looking snowflakes were ones I cut out of coffee filters. Delicate, lacy, and with some glitter, perfectly gorgeous and twinkly!
The pompom/3d snowflakes are made from white pipe cleaners threaded with tri-cornered clear beads. Instructions can be found at Family Fun also.
I am also hoping to make these glittery window clings. That is an after-the-kids-are-in-bed sort of craft though :)

PS - just realized the pompom/pipe cleaner snowflake's picture is sideways! Sorry about that.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sunday Shout Outs

When I read this post, I cried.
Granted it was two in the morning and I was nursing a baby and hadn't even been to bed yet, but still.
If You're Sitting There With Spit Up On Your Shirt, This One's For You.