Friday, October 1, 2010

Funny Girl

We have been THROUGH it this week, and I'm not sure that we're done with this stomach bug since Jack has still yet to show any signs of it.

Anyway, a while back, Jack said that he hated something. I calmly explained to him that we didn't say that we 'hate' anything, but if we don't like something, we just say that "I don't really like that." I have found myself saying the word 'hate' more than I thought, and I only notice because these kids catch me! Like today...Avery had just thrown up for the first time around 4:30am and I was holding her and said, "Oh my Avery, I hate it when you're sick! Mommy just wants to make it all better!" In her very quiet, raspy, sick, morning voice she says, "Mommy, we don't talk about hating things." Way to teach me, Avery.

Off to put these babes to bed, and spray some more Lysol!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


CVS has some great deals this week! I have had a lot of people ask me how I did so well, so I figured that I'd share on here! If you have specific questions, I'd be glad to answer them! :)

First of all, I started my week with $14.99ECB (Extra Care Bucks) from last week, so that helped me tremendously. However, if you don't have that many to start, you can still do well! My parents have me shopping for them now too, so I bought different things for them based on the ECB that I had left from their last week's trip.

I did 2 transactions for myself:
1st transaction
Revlon lipstick: $6.99 each, get $5.00ECB
**printed $2 Revlon coupon from this site:
So you pay $4.99, but get $5.00ECB

The Revlon site will only let you print the coupon twice, so do it! (I did)

Bumblebee tuna cans: $0.59
**$1.00/2 cans from last week's paper
Pay: $0.18

Ivory soap (3pk): $0.99
**$0.25/1 pack
Pay: $0.74

Subtotal: 10.90 + tax = 11.99
Paid: $11.99 in ECB from last week, so truly FREE!!! (and I still had $3.99ECB from last week, AND gained another $10ECB from the Revlon products)

2nd transaction
Covergirl eyeliner: $7.00 each, get $2.00ECB
Covergirl face powder: $8.99 (NOT ON SALE, but I needed it!)
**$2.00/2 Covergirl products

Subtotal: 13.99 + tax = 15.11
Paid: $13.99 in ECB (last week, plus 1st transaction); $1.12 out of pocket

Then I got $2ECB for next week!

I really could have done better, but I bought the Covergirl products because I *had to* have them...I usually only buy things that have good ECB rewards. Oh well..I'll have to be more strategic about next week's visit!

I know I said that I'd write about my parents' purchase, but I've got to go to bed! Hope this might have helped some of you!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Busy, Busy

Since school started for Jack and Avery last Thursday, I feel like we have been busier than we were all summer long! Maybe it's because Jay's at work and I have the three to myself, but it's been busy!

Of course Jack and Avery say hillarious things everyday, but yesterday they were on a roll! I wanted to get these written down so I wouldn't forget! I'm giving you a little bit of background for each of these stories, because they don't really make sense without it, so bear with me. :)

Jack goes to school on Mondays, and I kept Avery out this year just to have some special time with her. I was worried that she was going to get upset that Jack got to go and she didn't, so I made sure to plan something fun so that she'd have something to look forward to. While we were in the car line at school, I heard this:
A: "Jack, I'm really gonna miss you when you at (s)chool."
J: "I'm gonna miss you too, Avery."
A: "But I'm so EXCITING about going to the pawk with just Mama!"
That just made my day, and confirmed the fact that I need to spend some time with her when Jack's not around. We had a lot of fun!

Avery LOVES to color. Jack pretty much hates it. He sits down to color with Avery (just to be doing the same thing that she is) but ends up scribbling on about 5 pages while Avery colors in the lines (as good as a 3 year old can). So the other day, I really praised Avery for how well she colored, using different colors and stayed in the lines. Jack asked if his picture was good, which was a dinosaur covered in blue scribble, and I told him that I wished that he would be more careful and take his time. ANYWAY, yesterday he came home with a picture from school that he had colored SO well! He stayed in the lines pretty well, AND used appropriate colors for everything! I praised and praised him for what a good job he did, and put it on the refrigerator.
**Fast forward about 3 hours...
A: (holding the picture on the fridge, and in a very excited voice) "Jack, this picture is just AWESOME! You did SUCH an AWESOME job staying in the lines!!! I am SO proud of you!"
J: "Thanks, Ave! That's why Mama put it on the frigrata!"

After naptime yesterday, Jack came in the living room very quietly and sat on the couch. He didn't say anything for about 5 minutes and then this:
J: "Mommy, when I grow up, I'm gonna ma(rr)wy Brooke from my class."
Me: "Oh really? Why?"
J: "Cause she's my fwiend."
Me: "Did you tell her about this?"
J: "Yeah, she said ok."
Me: "What does it mean to get married?"
J: "Well, you live togetta, get a ma(rr)wied wing, get a lot of money, and have cheeldwen (children)."
Me: "Oh, well you have a few years."
J: "Yeah, when I'm 18."

That's all for now...gotta run these sweeties to school!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

$50 Grocery Challenge Take 2

***Disclaimer...If you have absolutely NO interest in couponing, stop reading now. This is lengthy! ;)

I DID IT! I went to both CVS and Kroger this week, got everything that we needed, plus some, and spent under $50! I am so's the little things in life! :) Last week, I was pretty close after going to Kroger, but the fact that I went a little bit over really kinda bothered me, even though I said that I was happy with it. Since I went over, I decided not to attempt CVS last week. It was nothing that we really needed, just stocking up.

That being said, here was my CVS trip:

1st Transaction
Blink eyedrops ($7.99, coupons for $2.50, get $7.99ECB)
Shout spray x3, Fantastic ($10, coupons for $3.10, then she took 2 of the instant $0.55 Shout coupons off and scanned them, so it ended up being $4.20 off), get $3.00ECB)
Vitamin Water x10 ($10, coupon for $1.00, get $5.00ECB)

I also had a $5 off $25 purchase...perfect!

So, with all of that, I would have spent
$7.99 + $10 + $10 = $27.99

Minus coupons
$27.99-$12.70 = $15.29

Then I had $3ECB from last week
$15.29 - $3 = $12.29, plus tax = $13.85 out of pocket

But don't forget those ECB that I got back! $15.99 to be exact. :)

2nd Transaction
Colgate ProClincal toothpaste x2, Colgate Wisp ($10, coupons for $1.00, get $2.00ECB)
Crest Floss ($3.49, coupon for $0.75, get $2.50ECB)
Mentos gum x2 (BOGO @ $1.79)

I also had a $5 off $15 purchase...yes!!

So, I would have spent
$10 + $3.49 + $1.79 = $15.28

Minus coupons
$15.28 - $6.75 = $8.53

I had that $15.99 in ECB from the 1st transaction, so I used $7.99 of those and paid out of pocket $1.22 after tax.

Again, I still have $8 in ECB from the 1st transaction, and earned another $4.50, for a total of $12.50ECB to start next week.

CVS Out of pocket: $15.07, earned $12.50 back for next week. Not too bad!

Then I went to Kroger (thanks, Katie, for babysitting so that I could have a peaceful trip! :) I had it all planned out, but as it happens sometimes, the deals weren't all the same as what I planned. Bummer. But, since I was shopping ALONE on a Monday morning, I had time to refigure some numbers to spend a total of $33.14.

Work it...$33.14 + $15.07 = $48.21 YES!!!

Everyone was up from their naps when I got home, so instead of staging my Kroger purchase for a picture, I put the cold stuff away and played with the babies. So no picture, but know that I got a lot of fresh stuff, 2 Tombstone pizzas, 2 gallons of milk, and chicken breasts.

FYI: If you need toothbrushes or floss right now, go to the Reach website and print some coupons for $1.00 off. I'm not sure how many they'll let you print, but I printed 2 since I already had 2. Certain types of Reach toothbrushes and floss are on sale for $10/10, so you get them for free with the coupons!

Monday, August 16, 2010

$50 weekly grocery challenge

I've been clipping coupons and combining deals for a while now, but this year, I've got to be harder on myself when it comes to groceries. Every time I go to the store, I don't buy anything without a coupon (some exceptions, like milk, fruits, and veggies). While I've done really well this summer, I found that I was really buying more than we needed, while still spending our normal $85ish per week. I realized that method wasn't really saving us any money, I was just getting more for that same amount.

That's when I decided that this week would be my first week on a $50/week grocery budget. And when I say groceries, I'm including household items and toiletries. I spent probably 2 hours this morning getting my Kroger and CVS lists ready, and I think I did pretty good for the first week! The total before my Kroger card and coupons was $118.66, and I spent $51.46 after tax! That was 39 items, so that averages to just over $1 per item! I went over my goal of $50, and I still haven't gotten to CVS, but I'm pretty sure that my CVS bill will be less than $5 when I'm done.

So, first week and I'm about $5.00 over my goal...I'm happy with that!

Some things I didn't get on major sale or with a coupon:
2 gallons of milk
2 lb. chicken
fresh broccoli
sour cream
frozen pancakes
salad mix

I'm hoping I can do better next week, but fairly proud of my first attempt!

I need to get to CVS, but I hate to take all 3 kids out for a 10 minute trip...too much trouble to load and unload. This is my first time attempting CVS in multiple transactions...usually I just use my ECB the next week. But with this challenge, I need to spend as little as possible at the moment!

If you're interested, here are my plans for CVS:

1st transaction:
Blink Tears (7.99); Coupons for $1.50 and $1.00, 3ECB from last week;
SO, I'll pay $2.49 and get $7.99 ECB back

2nd transaction:
Zegerid OTC (9.99); Coupon for $3.00 = $6.99 ***Get $7.99
Crest floss (3.49); Coupon for $0.75 = $2.74 ***Get $2.50
Total: $9.73-$7.99 ECB from 1st transaction = I pay $1.74, and get $10.49 ECB back

3rd transaction:
Covergirl face/lip products (Spend $15, get $5ECB); Coupons for $4.00 off =$11.00
$11.00-$10.49ECB from 2nd transaction = I pay $0.55, and get $5.00 ECB back

Grand total paid: $4.78, and I'll have $5.00 to start next week's deals!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

It's been a while...

I started this blog with such good intentions of posting often, but then somehow forgot my login information and it took almost 3 months to figure it out. SO, here I am...I'm back.

We have been so busy lately! Summertime always seems to go by so quickly, but I have to say that this summer has been a really fun one. We've travelled a ton (for a family with 3 babies) and it's really been fun!

Avery had a birthday, and she is THREE! I can't believe the time has passed so quickly. She is such a sweet, feisty, dramatic little thing, and our family wouldn't be the same without her! I'm so proud to have such an awesome little girl, and can't wait to see what she becomes! The girl loves Ariel, zucchini (pronounced zook-eny), dressing up, the "Lizard" of Oz, saying the blessing (complete with an 'a-la-men' at the end), and lots more!

We went to Myrtle Beach for the first time with my parents and had a BLAST! These kids love the beach, and "Muddle Beach" has been Avery's favorite few words for a while now!

We came home for 3 days and headed to the mountains for a family reunion with the Murrays. It was so much fun getting together with Jay's family, and the Jack and Avery got to see so many new things! They love being outside, even if their mama isn't big on sweating! It's been so hot here, I don't think we've been in our backyard more than twice all summer! So these babies really enjoyed time in the 'cooler' mountain air.

Baby Grant is just growing too fast. Just a few things from the past few months...He's found his feet, is sitting up, and gets up into a crawling position and rocks. He can go from sitting to his crawl stance and back. He says "dada" and growls like a bear. His little voice is so loud...I'm thinking because to be heard in our house he has to be, but it's so stinkin' cute. He has two little tiny teeth that have made their debut and he's chewing like crazy! He's eating lots of fruits and vegetables now, and he's getting mostly formula throughout the day. He's slept through the night the past two nights (YAY!), but we're not convinced that it's anything permanent. He's tricked us like this before. :) Oh, and that boy loves his Daddy. Baby Grant, please stay little forever!

School starts for our county on Monday, and my teacher friends have been so busy lately getting their classrooms together. I have to admit that this is my favorite time of year. I love getting school supplies, getting a classroom organized, and meeting new students. So I'm a little sad I'm not going back. BUT, I get over that feeling pretty quick when I look at these three sweet faces and know that I'm going to be able to spend so much time with them and get to know the little people they are becoming. I love hearing the things they come up just gives me an insight of what's going on in their little heads. So exciting.

Although I've gotten my (part time) check all summer, I've been practicing for this upcoming year of no checks. I've been a couponing fool for a while now, but have gotten really good at deals at CVS. Here are a couple of deals I've gotten this summer. Picture one: I paid $0.13, picture two, I paid $2.26. Awesomeness!

Grant's baby dedication was last week, and just about everyone was able to come! Uncles in college...we'll let it slide that you didn't make it. :) Katie was able to stay for a few days and we had such a good time together. Shopping, Dunkin' Donuts, and Pilates...I am really going to miss her while she's gone! :(

We're going to the beach again next week, just for one last hoorah before Jay goes back to work. It should be a good time of relaxation and time with my family. Jay and I have been busy getting his new classroom organized for this year, so we're ready for some down time with the babes!

Woah, I feel like I've been sitting here for way too long. Naked children are running around the house being chased to get in the shower....I probably should go help wrangle them up! Next post will happen before 3 more months pass...I promise! Now for a few random shots from the summer...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

It's Official!

It's Official! I'm a stay-at-home-mom! I am so excited about spending this precious time with the kids. I look forward to play dates, library time, being able to volunteer at Jack and Avery's school, and everything that comes along with being a mommy. I stayed at home when Jack and Avery were babies, but I think I was so eager to make money that I didn't enjoy it as much as I could have. I am going into this next school year with a different outlook. Grant is our last baby, and before I know it, all of our kids will be in school and I will want to go back to work just to have something to do!

That being said, money is going to be tight. Super tight. I will be watching every penny like I never have had to do before. Unless I have a lot of people hittin' me up for monogramming or making things, we'll be doing a lot less eating out and traveling! It will all be worth it though, just to say that I was able to stay home with them while they were young.

So, anyone need anything monogrammed? Need a bow holder? Bows? :)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Happy Birthday, Jack!

I woke up this morning to a whisper in my ear, "Hey mama, I am 4 ye-uhs old today." After being up all night Friday night for Relay for Life, getting a 3 hour nap Saturday morning, and being up making a dinosaur cake until 11:00 last night, I really wasn't thrilled to see the clock starting with a 6 this morning. But that little voice made it ok.

It is so hard to believe that Jack is FOUR years old today! Our lives have changed so very much in the past 5 years. When we got married in July 5 years ago, it never even crossed my mind that we would have a baby less than a year later! He has been such a sweet blessing. A few things about Jack...

He was a sweet, sweet boy as a baby. We had trouble with breastfeeding, but once we figured out that he wasn't going to do it and switched to formula, he was no trouble at all...just about as easygoing as they come.

He has always been curious, and while I could post story after story and picture after picture, I'll share this one:

This was one morning when we were struggling with him getting up earlier than us, going into the kitchen, and getting a 'wake up snack' before breakfast. On this particular morning, he followed our instructions NOT to get anything to eat, but then decided to paint his body, fingernails and all, with nail polish. In. our. living room. :)

He has always been very responsive to punishment. When he was 2, we expected 'terrible twos' and instead got a child who seemed to understand consequences. Weird, huh?

While he was only 13 months old when Avery was born, he has always been the best big brother. He loves his sister more than anything, and watches out for her where ever they are. It makes my heart so happy to have this bond starting so early. Their relationship just shows that even though Jay and I weren't planning on having kids as early as we did, or as close together as we did, it happened for a reason. The love that they have for each other is one that I prayed for, and continue to pray for as they get older.

Jack is a funny man. He loves being the center of attention and making people laugh. I have so many stories that one day will make it on here, but in this next picture, he's 'covering his pecs' with bubbles. He comes up with the funniest things, is so creative with his stories, and picks up any little details from stories that we might tell to other adults and repeats them in a story. We have to watch that boy!

So Happy 4th Birthday to my sweet boy! I just can't believe how much he has grown up and changed...he is such an awesome son.

Monday, April 26, 2010


My babies love a schedule. Monday through Friday routine of school 9:30-1:30, getting home at 1:50, snack from about 1:50-2:00, nap 2-4, 'help' me make dinner and pick up toys some time between 4 and 6, dinner, bath, bed at 7:30...they thrive on it, know what to expect, etc. And being a teacher, I love schedules, lists, organization. But sometimes I feel like all I am is one big organizer. Each night, I make sure the laundry is done, the clothes are picked out for the week, lunches packed, kitchen cleaned, folders from school are checked...and in all of this, I feel like I am missing the part of being a mommy. I'm so overwhelmed with what has to be done and completing my to-do lists that I end up not spending much time just hanging out with my babies. It's after they go to bed that I realize that I don't know how much I really played with them in the midst of our busy-ness. Do I get things done? Yes. Am I stressed about making sure things are just right? All the time. Does this affect how I speak to my children? Of course. And I hate it. I need to learn how to prioritize in a major way. So, since they're all napping, I'm going to go make lunches for tomorrow, get things ready for dinner tonight, and finish another load of laundry. Hopefully I can enjoy the preciousness today!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I'm new to this!

I follow so many blogs of friends, so thought I would start my own! Bear with me as I try to figure this whole blog world out! :) I've attempted to start one about 10 times, only to have a baby wake up, phone ring, 2 year old potty accident, etc. So here goes!

What better way to start out a blog than with some things I'm thankful for. There is so much that I DAILY find myself thanking God for, so I thought I'd share!
1. My husband. He is such a patient man who stresses about little and loves a lot. God sure knew what He was doing when He put us together...Jay balances out my planning, high-strung, worried self.

2. Jack's beautiful, tender heart. I'm so proud of the little man he is becoming, looking out for his little 'tister', while showing me his sweet little innocence all the time.

3. Avery's feisty attitude. While it may cause more arguments and 'throw downs' than I'd like, that girl has such an attitude sometimes. Like today in the car on the way home from school she says, 'Jack, I am SO mad at you right now.' (Jack, sitting quietly watching the cars go by) 'I am just SO SO mad (lip poked out)' Me: 'Why are you mad at Jack, Avery?" 'Oh, I'm just mad. Just kidding Jack (smile)'

4. Grant's sweet giggles. That boy makes me smile inside and out when he laughs.

5. My parents. I couldn't be more thankful for parents who are eager and willing to keep my babies while I'm at work. My babies love their GIgi and Papa (or as of late, Geeg and Pop, shortened by Jack) so much and leaving them with my parents makes going to work so much easier.

6. My job. While I pretty much get stressed on a daily basis, I am so thankful to have the opportunity to do what I love, 4 hours a day so that I can spend the other time with my family. Although short lived, I have really enjoyed this year, changes and all.

7. My friends. I have the best friends, from college, church, and at work. I constantly feel supported, loved, and needed. Couldn't ask for better!

8. Jack and Avery's school. We had such a bad experience with 'school' before, and I couldn't love where they are right now any more than I do. Their teachers love them so much, and do things for them that I would be doing if I were with them. A true blessing!

9. God's timing. A lot of you know about my job/house situation, but it's all falling into place. The plan was to stay part time next year and move into a bigger house (which would also mean bigger payments, etc.). The part-time plan didn't work out, and I'm not ready to go back full-time right now. Although we might not have the opportunity to live in a house where each of the babies has a room to themselves right now, I am excited about being able to be home with them next year. They're only little once, and I'm afraid I'd regret working through their baby-hood.

10. Our health. My family has been through so much this past year with my mom's original diagnosis of Stage 3 pancreatic cancer in February 2009, to a new diagnosis of lymphoma in July, and a negative CT scan just under a year later. God is good!!

So that's all I have to say for today. There aren't many quiet moments in my house, but right now I've got all 3 snoozing away. We'll see how often I get to post! :)