Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Sound Mind, Sound Mom Book Club for '09

If you are setting some goals for 2009, I would highly encourage you to read more. I love to read and have decided that I'm going to give this book club a try in '09. If you would like to join, take a look at the book list . . . it's a great one! I just ordered the first two books on the list and added a third that I want to read on my own The Millionaire Next Door. We will see if this mommy of two babies can get her reading done in 2009! Anyone want to join me?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

One of These Things Doesn't Belong

I know most people are packing up their Christmas decor, but I had to publish this a little late rather than never. You see, there's a twist to the traditional manger scene here at our house this Christmas season. According to a two year old . . . this is how it looks. Apparently Dusty (from Handy Manny's tools) joined the crowd this year.
PS - It's been this way for a week!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Being a Crazy Coupon Lady . . .

sure has benefits! When I attended a recent class taught by the ladies over at Frugal Living Online, I was told to set goals of why I'm couponing. Don't just do it because. Be purposeful with my savings. So, I definately took that to heart and came up with several reasons why it would be okay for me to be the lady in line at the grocery store who pulls out her huge wad of coupons. So here are a few of my reasons in no particular order.

  1. To be resourceful with what I've been given.

  2. To cut my previously generous grocery/eating out budget in half.

  3. To pay cash for our Christmas gifts.

  4. To save for our upcoming Disneyland vacation in '09.

  5. To eliminate our credit card debt.

I'm so excited to say that we were successful with our goal of paying cash for all our Christmas gifts this year. There is a huge relief that we did not add to our debt with Christmas, and that come January we just keep chippin' away at our cc instead of watching the balance go up. Another goal that I'm seeing progress towards is goal #2. I have cut our food budget by $220 a month with coupons. In order to pay for Christmas I still pulled out the original amount I would have spent on groceries (I use cash for our groceries/dining out) and kept a portion of that money in an envelope for Christmas. This is what I will continue to do in order to save for our vacation next fall. However, there have been some recent developments with Baby #2 where she is currently on soy formula. Buying formula will most definately increase our food budget. I did manage to do a formula/coupon swap with someone off craigslist and received $30 in formula coupons! Another noteworthy thing to mention is that I am now including toiletries and dog food in this new food budget also. I had never previously figured that into my grocery money seeing as how things like toilet paper and razor blades aren't edible. But! We are still saving money each month and I include food for two dogs and our toilet paper, paper towels, razor blades etc. So, I encourage you, if you need to make some changes in your budget for 2009 . . . you just might look into becoming a crazy coupon lady too!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Graphics

Luke 2 The Birth of Jesus

  1. In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.

  2. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.)

  3. And everyone went to his own town to register.

  4. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.

  5. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.

  6. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born,

  7. and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

  8. And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.

  9. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.

  10. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.

  11. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ[a] the Lord.

  12. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

  13. Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

  14. "Glory to God in the highest,
    and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

  15. When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."

  16. So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.

  17. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child,

  18. and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.

  19. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

  20. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Merry Christmas from our house to yours. May you celebrate today the true reason for Christmas and worship the God who gave everything, including His son, so that you could have life. Happy Birthday Jesus!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve - BAH HUMBUG!

Okay, I love Christmas. I love Christmastime. I love snow. So what the H E double hockeysticks is wrong with me today? My husband just asked me if I'm pregnant. GRRRRR. (For all you wondering if I am - NO)! Our garbage isn't being picked up for the second week in a row. And I just checked the status of Luke's "big gift" and it left Hermiston on Monday, arrived in Portland Tuesday morning, and arrived back in Hermiston today, CHRISTMAS EVE! UGH. So frustrating. And sad. He's only two, so I'm sure he won't care, but I'm frustrated and sad about it. He is completely die hard for Mickey Mouse these days, and will absolutely love his gift. Now if it could just get here. So, anyhow I gotta feed the babies breakfast and get this Christmas Eve show on the road. Gonna slide on down the road to my mom's today. What would normally take 10 minutes will probably take approximately 30 minutes or more. Especially since we have to drive through all the last minute Christmas mall goers. Oh, and we gotta borrow a rig or go get chains for our 4 wheel drive so we can get there. Details. Details. I gotta change this 'tude. We are healthy. We had a great day at the mall thanks to Baker's folks. The girls went to the nail salon, (I got a pretty red sparkly pedi) and the boys went to a movie. Plus a little more Christmas shopping. Totally fun and holidayish. Not to mention that we aren't stuck in an airport, stranded on a highway or not able to see our family for Christmas. Totally grateful for all that. So this bad attitude needs to go away and be kicked to the curb. With all my two weeks of garbage.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

More?! Seriously?

I like snow. However, this is getting to be a bit much. Snow is pretty. Ice is horrible. It's impossible to drive on ice and Christmas will soon be here. Not to mention Baker & I REALLY want to hit the day after Christmas sales with his bro & SIL April. Okay, Baker probably isn't chomping at the bits to go shopping, but I am! So please God. Please don't send anymore freezing rain. And please. Could we go shopping the day after Christmas?

Food for Thought

Earlier this week

Sunday Morning

So, this morning we awoke to freezing rain on top of our snow. I was up before the boys as Natalie needed to be fed. After she was snug as a bug in her bed for a nap, I looked out the upstairs window. It's beautiful. Everything is covered in white. The thing about snow is it slows everything down. Sometimes we need that especially here at our house. We need time to be together without running here and there and being so consumed with doing things & other stuff. I always think God is sending us a little time out to refocus, rejuvinate and remind us that He is still in control no matter what the weatherman says. Today I'm thankful that instead of Baker heading to work to clean up after Friday's inventory, we get to be together. Even if we are housebound. Back to this morning. There was lots of cracking and creeking outside as as the trees are weighted down with ice. Reminded me of this verse - Isaiah 55:12 (NIV)
You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.
Which then led me to this passage. Happy Sunday!
Psalm 96

  1. Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth.
  2. Sing to the LORD, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day.
  3. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.
  4. For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods.
  5. For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the LORD made the heavens.
  6. Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and glory are in his sanctuary.
  7. Ascribe to the LORD, O families of nations, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
  8. Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering and come into his courts.
  9. Worship the LORD in the splendor of his [a] holiness; tremble before him, all the earth.
  10. Say among the nations, "The LORD reigns." The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity.
  11. Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it;
  12. let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them. Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy;
  13. they will sing before the LORD, for he comes, he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in his truth.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Finally Done!

I'm so happy! Last night there was a short break in our lovely Oregon winter snowstorm and Baker and I headed out to the mall to do some Christmas shopping. Now, those of you who know me, understand how much I love it when my babies nap. Because of that, I'm somewhat scheduled with their nap and bed times. But, we had been in the house ALL week and needed to finish up our Christmas shopping so I was determined to go. At precisely 7:30 pm I do believe that both babies were crying and I thought, "great! We'll never make it . . . it's almost time for bed." Now, normally Baby #1 goes to bed between 8-8:30 and Baby #2 has been shifting to an earlier bedtime between 8:30-9pm. But, thanks to Baker he was just as determined to go to the mall (weird, I know) and because of that we got out the door. (BTW - Baker had inventory and didn't get home until 7 or so). Even though he had a long day, well, we all did (see this post) we stuck with our plan and went shopping. At 8pm at night. We were the people at the mall with their kids at 9:30 at night. Those are the people I look at and their kids are screaming and I think, "what are they doing? Those kids need to be at home and in bed!" Anyhow, I must say we finished our Christmas shopping - yippee!!! (Disclaimer: I finished my Christmas shopping, but Baker still needs to get his gifts for me I might add.) To top it off, the kiddos were great! Okay, Luke was yelling for Mickey Mouse a couple times, but mostly they did awesome. And we had a really fun family night. Even though we were up since 5am.

Friday, December 19, 2008

This day just gets better!

Baker is doing inventory this week at work. Could be a late night. Maybe not. Could have to work in the morning. Maybe not. Tomorrow is our first Christmas celebration. Brunch at my moms. She's stayed home from work because she has been sick the last two days. So I check the weather. We are now under a severe weather warning. Great. I gotta finish Christmas shopping! Will we be celebrating tomorrow or not? Who knows. The day can only get better. Right? RIGHT?

It just wasn't meant to be!

So, I was all set for a good night's sleep. In bed by 11:30, kinda late but I got a couple things done, so I was okay with that. Then Baker didn't come to bed until after midnight. Then at precisely 5am the two year old came to visit. And wanted MILK. So, daddy got him a warm cup of milk and jumped into the shower. So this little squirmy toddler was now in my bed and 5 am is WAY to early to wake up unless you're going on a fun vacation and need to head to the airport. Catch my drift? Apparently the goober had a wet diaper that leaked through to his pajamas. UGH. Daddy kindly changes diaper and off to work. At which point I head to the toddler's bed and make him lay down. Determined to sleep, I grab a blanket and join him. After a couple wacks to the face and kidney jabs in the back . . . I'm outta there. Not only that but Baker's dog is barking directly underneath us in the garage. ARGGGGGHH. The dog pauses. I jump into my own warm cozy bed and close my eyes. Baker's dumb dog. BARK.BARK.BARK. I head downstairs thinking bad thoughts about the dogs, let them outside put them back in the garage and give them a warm blanket in their kennel. Surely I've shown enough kindness to counteract the harsh warnings and thump on the nose. Back upstairs and jump into my bed. Few minutes later . . . BARK.BARK.BARK. AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! Back downstairs this warning shows the mean side of mommy harshly repremanding, "STOP BARKING" in the fierces harsh whisper. Afterall we are directly under both babies rooms. Baker's dog runs for it and escapes into the house running for my room. I catch her and throw her into the garage. NOT HAPPY. Still determined to sleep, back to bed I go. I'm drifting off to sleep dreaming about how to ring up starbucks drinks, void them out and re-ring the order correctly with my 10% off goldclub membership when . . . WAHHHHH. A sharp short wail comes from baby #2's room. Time for a diaper change and the first feeding of the day. It is now 7am and I haven't slept yet. Change diaper. Make bottle. Crawl back in bed to feed baby. Surely she will fall back asleep. NOPE. She's found her voice recently and wants to talk. And burp. And not sleep. Put her back in bed. Go back to my bed. Another cry. Change diaper. So happy and awake I pick her up and put her in my bed. Within 5 minutes here comes Baby #1 - running. "HE - WOE? HE-WOE?" He's looking for daddy. Great. Were all up. And together. In my bed. Along with Handy Manny and the tools. Thankfully they are only a couple inches tall and take up hardly any room.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

My First Ebates Purchases

I just completed my first couple transactions through Ebates. Very simple and I got things I needed . . . I wasn't just shopping to buy! I got a winter coat for Luke for $15 with free shipping. Plus did a little more Christmas shopping over at Anyhow, I shall see how all this works and I'm a little excited to see what I'll be doing with that .45 cents I earned buying Luke's coat. Ha ha! If you haven't checked them out yet please visit ebates. My SIL (April) swears by them and so does Frugal Living. . . but please, put in my email as your referal ; )

Friday, December 12, 2008

If Money Was No Object

I would take these for Christmas . . .

A suburban for the fam and me! One without puke stains, and where my knees don't touch the glovebox because Nat's carseat makes me put my seat forward. Minor details . . .

A personal trainer here to uh, lose the baby weight

This might help too -

Then, I could fit into these designer jeans . . .

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Christmas Quiz

My SIL April posted this on her blog, and in the spirit of Christmas I wanted to post it too. Hope you learn a little and feel free to post on your blog (with your own answers of course)!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Depends on the shape of the gift and the amount of time I have to prep gifts! The year Luke was born, it was bags all around.

2. Real tree or Artificial? Are you kidding??? We live in Oregon. Plus didn't you know? A real tree is part of "going green." : ) Okay. If I had a big house with a beautiful front room I would probably get a big artificial tree (hypothetically speaking).

3. When do you put up the tree? Depends. Around the first weekend of December.

4. When do you take the tree down? New Years.

5. Do you like eggnog? A little goes a long way. Unless it's an eggnog latte - yummy!!!

6. Favorite gift received as a child? A light pink skirt and matching white/pink sweashirt top to match.

7. Hardest person to buy for? My mom-in-law. She has good taste and has everything she needs.

8. Easiest person to buy for? My babies.

9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes. A hand-me-down from my Grandma who passed away. I grew up playing with it. Very sentimental. But if you ever visit you're welcome to play with Baby Jesus & the fam- LOL!!!

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail - if I could just get them ordered.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? An electric pencil sharpener from my parents. Ugh.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? The Santa Clause. OH! But I like Family Man too.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Around Thanksgiving.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? I don't recall.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Peanut Butter Balls.

16. Lights on the tree? Of course! Not doin' candles - sheesh.

17. Favorite Christmas song? Oh Holy Night.

18.Travel at Christmas or stay home? Parents house's (local).

19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? Doubt it.

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Neither. Never have bought one before. Maybe this year on the 26th!

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Both. We have so much family we celebrate on both days. Midnight Christmas Eve has been Baker's and my tradition to exchange our gifts. Now that the babies are here . . . we need a new tradition.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Bad drivers.

23. Favorite ornament theme or color? Angels, snowmen and handmade ornaments.

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Don't really care as long as it's homemade and warm : )

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? My babies to be healthy & a table & chairs for my kitchen.

Friday, December 5, 2008

I love shopping at Safeway!

Safeway had some awesome coupons for this weekend and I took advantage of several of them. A 4lb. bag of oranges for $1.88, coke products are buy 2 get 3 free (Baker is a coca-cola addict, and he admits it too) and some killer cereal deals. I did 2 separate cereal transactions (my aunt was with me and did one set of coupons for me). One transaction was 4 boxes of General Mills cereals. Normal price would have cost me $14.46 for all 4 boxes. I paid $3.50 for 4 boxes. How? I'm so glad you asked. First they were on sale for $2.50 each. Then Safeway had a weekend coupon special 4 for $6. Then I had a coupon for buy 3 General Mills cereals, get $1.50 off and another coupon for .50 cents off cheerios which doubled with my Safeway double coupon. Bringing my grand total to $$3.50. My second transaction was for another 5 boxes of cereal. The sale was for Fruit Loops & Rice Krispies. Regular price was $14.46 and I paid .45 cents. That's right people FORTY-FIVE FREEKIN CENTS!!! How? Safeway had those 2 kinds of cereal on sale for $2.49 each. Buy 5 boxes and get another $5 off. Then I had 5 $1 off coupons for another $5 off. Then 4 of those coupons doubled (coupons only double up to .50 cents and only 4 coupons per transaction) for an additional $2 off. Bringing my grand total to .45 cents. Anyhow, I don't think I should buy anymore cereal for a long time considering it's coming out my ears now, but those two deals were pretty fun. I mean seriously, how often can you buy cereal for less than 10 cents a box? So . . . who wants cereal for Christmas?

A Perfect Latte

Today I helped my aunt run an errand. She wanted to pay me for gas money and I said, "how about coffee instead?" So no money out of my pocket, I got to see my aunt and get outta the house with two babies who aren't feeling so hot and I received the best latte in return. I went out on a limb and ordered an eggnog latte. It was so stinkin' yummy! I want another one. So, if you live near a Peet's Coffee . . . go try one for yourself and you won't be sorry!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Baby is 3 months!

Isn't she a doll? She's actually this happy all the time too! I had to brag because she's changing so fast (sniff, sniff). Plus, she loves her brother so much, and he's starting to be pretty fond of her too!

My First Christmas Present!

I know it's early, and only December 3rd, but I received my first Christmas present today. I got my ENTIRE house cleaned! Thanks to my in laws, I have a sparkling clean, dust free house. And while Luke is still napping, it'll stay clutter free from toys too! From top to bottom, my fridge, the windows, the blinds and Luke's sheets were even changed. How awesome is that? Now, if it could just stay that way . . . I think I'll order pizza for dinner!
Blog Design by April Showers