Saturday, January 31, 2009

Does he think I don't work hard enough already?

What's a boy to do when his mama's working, he's bored and has access to a bathroom?

Toilet paper the bathroom, of course.


Oh, and don't forget this....


Caleb decided to dump a bucket...yes...a bucket...of water
on his bedroom floor.


See it in the picture at the bottom? Well, half of the bucket?

Who says being a stay at home mom and work at home mom is easy?

Huh, huh...that's what I though!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Who said TV's bad for kids?

This morning the kids were watching Little Einsteins and this particular episode was about making music.

So, Afton had a great idea to make her own music.

She took a piece of plain, white paper, a few crayons and used a little imagination and came up with this.....

Here is the first video attempt (she was a little shy)
Please excuse her bed head and my nasally voice (I really hope I don't sound like that in real life!)




Here is the second attempt.



And here she is modeling the music she wrote.



I say it's a musical masterpiece!



Thursday, January 29, 2009

I bundled, I shoveled, I conquered!

Here are a few pictures I took this morning on a very quick (and brisk) walk with the kiddos!


After 2 hours and 20 minutes of shoveling yesterday, sore arms, wet jacket, cold legs, pulled muscles, lots of praying, sleet, rain and wind I conquered the snow!

All of it.


Even the piles the plow tossed into my driveway after I had already shoveled it. Let me tell you something about plow snow. It's compacted and heavy.


I just kept thanking God I had arms to shovel with and legs to get me around my driveway.

I'm just hoping there isn't anymore snow in the forecast. At least until next week!


I had to add these two, wicked cute pictures I took of the kids on our walk.

Poor things were trying not to get blinded by the sun while I kept saying, "Open your eyes!"

They kept telling me, "I can't! It's too bright. My eyes keep shutting!"



It all worked out though. I got my pictures and the kids kept their eyesight.


Be that "Sweet Target Customer"

Just take a minute and read this post.

Look for opportunities to be that "sweet customer".

Instead of sighing and becoming irritated we should be patient, kind and loving.


Be the example of Christ as you wait in line with other customers.

Be compassionate.

You never know who the frazzled mom with a crying child is or what kind of a day they have had.

Maybe their day has been great, but it's nearing lunch time and little one is getting hungry.


Maybe this is the only moment that person has in their already busy day to pick up the
last few items on their list.


Be patient with the erratic driver on the road. Maybe they are rushing to relieve a babysitter.
Maybe they have a sick child. Maybe they have a headache and are trying to get home.
Or maybe they are excited about a date night with their spouse. Or maybe, just maybe, they are having a bad day and just need a break.

Put yourself in their shoes and give them the same courtesy you hope others would give you.
We all have been there or will be there.

I love the verse she ended with so I'm going to quote it again.

Ephesians 4:31-34 (NLT)

Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.


Just a few thoughts for today!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Let's have some fun on ANOTHER snowy day!

I pulled this off of Facebook and had to post here because it was too funny! Plus, I would love to see some of your names!

Feel free to repost on your blog or just leave a comment with your funniest name!

Ok...here's mine...


1.YOUR REAL NAME:
Steph G

2.WITNESS PROTECTION NAME:(mother and fathers middle names)
Jean Joseph

3.NASCAR NAME:(first name of your mother's dad, father's dad)
Blair Conrad

4.STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first name)
Gagst (I'd like to see what creature I was with that name)

5.DETECTIVE NAME:(favorite color, favorite animal)
Orange Horse

6.SOAP OPERA NAME:(middle name, town where you were born)
Christine Epsom

7.SUPERHERO NAME: (2nd fav color, fav drink, add "THE" to the beginning)
The Red Coffee

8.FLY NAME:(first letter of 1st name, last 2-3 letters of your last name)
Sne (huh?...lol)

9.STREET NAME:(fav ice cream flavor, fav cookie)
Chocolate Chocolate Chip (yum)

10.ROCK STAR NAME:(current pets name, current street name)
Gracie Max Hampton Rd (still unsigned)

11. PEN NAME: (1st pet, street you grew up on)
Katrina New Rye

12.YOUR GANGSTA NAME:(first 3 letters of real name plus izzle)
Steizzle (how would I say that?)

13.YOUR IRAQI.. NAME:(2nd letter of your first name, 3rd letter of your last name, first two letters of your middle name, last two letters of your first name then last three letters of your last name)
Tgchphgne (excuse me while I hack up a lung!)

14.YOUR GOTH NAME:(black, and the name of one of your pets)
Black Max

15.DANCER NAME (favorite perfume/cologne plus favorite candy)
Tommy Girl Hershey Kiss


Have fun!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Favorite Commercials

With the Super Bowl right around the corner I was thinking, "What would be better than a 'Favorite Commercials' post?"

So, here are a few favorites of mine.










(I thought the guys face (at the end) was so funny & my kids love the way he says "Hot! Hot!")



I know I have more favorites, but I have to give my kids food. Caleb is in the cupboard eating dry cereal!


We have a winner!

Finally! My persistence seems to have paid off!

It took me a long time and lots of trial and error (and frustration), but I've finally figured out the whole blog layout/code/editing trick. I still have lots to learn, but for now I'm just please I got this far!

So, tell me what you think of the new look. I hope you like it and, if not, I'm sure I'll change it up again...lol.

I'll be back later on with a more substantial post.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I was tagged!!!

I was tagged by a beautiful new friend (visit her blog here). So, I guess I'm it...lol

The rules are as follows:
Once you’ve been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 5 people to be tagged
.

  • I am a born again believer
  • I'm married to my best friend
  • I have 2 + 1 children
  • I am a stay at home mom
  • I am a work at home mom
  • I love Starbucks
  • I love to read
  • I love to blog
  • I love meeting new people
  • I can't wait to be debt free
  • I was not born to shop...lol
  • I love coffee!
  • I love swimming
  • I want to lose 20lbs (the rest of my baby weight)
  • I like walking/jogging, but don't do it because I'm pooped at the end of the day. Plus, it's really cold right now (I know, bad excuse)
  • I need to exercise
  • I like an organized house
  • I love taking pictures
  • I want to be a photographer one of these days
  • I love clipping coupons and saving money
  • I love church
  • I love playing games at home
  • I wish I could get rid of our TV, or keep it only for movies and cancel cable
  • I love candles and scented oils for the home
  • I love lip gloss
So, there you have it. 25 things about me you may or may not have known. I guess I'm supposed to tag people, but I'll just leave that up to those of you that read this. If you do just let me know so I can check you out...lol

I have a post in progress with my thoughts on yesterdays inauguration. I'm not sure if I'll get it done today. We'll see. I'll post it when I'm finished though. Even if I'm a few days late...lol


Monday, January 19, 2009

Changes (continued...)

I had really high hopes for these "changes". My hopes were dashed as soon as I started playing around with new layouts and features.

I would really like to know more about designing my own page with the features I want. Like 3 columns. I like 3 columns. However, most of the layouts are only two columns. Plus, I really want to have my own banner at the top and for some reason this layout and the other layouts have problems with that. It usually shows up WAY too large.

Anyway, those are my blog layout woes. I still have some hope of redoing the look. It may have to wait for a short time though. Until I find something that I really like and will work with me!

Until then I hope you don't mind my "blue" layout!


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Changes

Please excuse the "mess" while I try to change & update

the look of my blog.

This isn't as easy as thought it was going to be.

So, if things look funny one visit and the next it's totally changed,

that's my playing around.

It's definitely a work in progress...lol.

Thanks!



Frogs and housework

"Eat a live frog every morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day"

Mark Twain


A funny way to say, "Do your least favorite household chore first and you won't have to worry about it for the rest of the day."

Today I'm eating my "frog"...laundry!


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Linkage

As I sat down this morning with my cup of hot coffee I was intent on "fixing" the problem I ran into last night with blog updating. I'm trying to come up with a new, fresh, comfy look and my attempts last night failed miserably.

So, I sat down and the first thing I ended up doing was update my blog list. No problem.

Then I started looking at some that had posted and a title caught my eye. So I clicked on it. Which lead me to another post. I clicked on that.

What I read was so perfectly placed it could only be a God thing! If you've never experienced God in a unique, unexpected way then we need to talk. It always amazes me how much our God loves us. The God that created the universe and is all mighty and all powerful knows even the tiniest detail about us! How amazing. That is another post for another day though.

Back to what I read.

So, the title was "Can We Really Discover Joy in the Journey?" and it started with a letter (more like a plea) from a mom of 3 little love bugs whose husband is deployed.

The "letter" is basically about a mom who has lost her joy. She so easily got caught up in training, teaching, discipline, correction and keeping the house together that she just does it. She does it because she has to, not because she wants to.

I know I can relate to those feelings. There are times and days that I just keep going to make it through the day. Check the items off my list so I feel like I have accomplished something that day.

What I miss seeing is the accomplishment in making my children laugh. It's an accomplishment to sit and read with the kids instead of doing that last load of laundry.

What I miss on those days is the silly grins from my children. I only see the glares they throw at each other. I miss the laughter and correct for the unkind words they use. I miss the quiet play, but ask them not to yell.

Do you see where I am going? Some days I get so focused on teaching, training and correcting that I miss all the good stuff I'm supposed to see!

The author of the blog, Kendra, gives this woman several very important things to think about. That is what I want to link to this morning. Please check out her post.

The most important thing we can do to start our day is spend some quiet time with God. Start your day off the way you should and the day may not be easier, but you will have the groundwork laid to properly handle whatever challenges arise.


Saturday, January 10, 2009

Suze Orman's 2009 Action Plan book - FREE

Thanks to this site I found out about Suze Orman's 2009 Action Plan book is free to download until January 15, 2009.

Just go to Oprah.com (I linked to it) and download a copy.

Just be sure to follow the "rules" since it is copyrighted.

Happy reading...and saving in 2009!



Friday, January 9, 2009

Update on book banning

(edited to add this link - Wall Street Journal article from 1/14/2009)


If you haven't read my post from yesterday you can read that below.

I just wanted to add this link, as well as a few of my own thoughts.

My understanding of this law is that these books may still be sold as long as they have less then 600 ppm (parts per million) total lead. This means companies, small businesses, thrift stores, Goodwill, churches etc etc...the list goes on...would need to test each item before giving it away or selling it. The cost of testing each of these items is in the thousands. Think of how that will damage these institutions financially.

Churches that collect coats, clothes and other items for needy families won't be able to do that anymore. I won't be able to buys second hand, gently used clothing for my children anymore. Used book stores will likely have to close. Curriculum fairs will cease. You won't be able to sell these books on craigslist or give them away on Freecycle either. The penalty for selling these books could be fines or imprisonment.

Anyway, those are just a few more thoughts on the new law. Again, this isn't really a surprise. It's just one more thing we need to work around in our quest to be wise with the money God has given us. To spend wisely, save and be frugal.

Happy Friday!


Saving with my Keurig

Those of you who read my Christmas post saw that my hubby bought me this beautiful, shiny Keurig for Christmas.

I've been using it and loving every minute of it. One really cool feature is that you can use a K-cup or your own ground coffee. It has a K-cup sized coffee filter to put your grounds in if you choose to do it with your coffee.

I was wicked happy about that because I had several bags of coffee in my cupboard. The only thing I was not looking forward to was purchasing the actual K-cups. It just seemed to be more expensive.

My mom did the math and she said it came out to about $0.50 per cup, but I figured my ground coffee would come out to be less. More work, less money...I'm cool with that.

So, I just did the math on the ground coffee.

If I have a 12 oz bag of coffee I get approximately 27 scoops of coffee out of it. With the Keurig 1 scoop = 1 cup of coffee.

I spent $5.99 on a bag of DD ground coffee (thanks to CVS and a $1 off coupon)

That would mean I am "paying" $0.21 for a cup of coffee. I'm saving $0.29 NOT buying the K-cups. I like that!

I took it even further and figured this out:

A 12 oz bag of coffee @ $6.99 per bag = $0.26 per cup
A 12 oz bag of coffee @ $7.50 per bag = $0.28 per cup

I did those figures just in case I didn't have a coupon and had to buy at full price. Either way I still save over the K-cups.

Now, this doesn't mean I won't ever buy the K-cups. They're totally fun! How could I not buy them?!

Thanks, honey, for my really cool gift! I love it and I love that you know me and what I like!


Thursday, January 8, 2009

America, we have a problem

Please go check out this link and then do your own research. Don't take my word for it or the articles word for it.

However, this is something that is unbelievable! This law that has been passed will hurt so many families and businesses that help struggling families. Or families that choose to live a frugal life. I almost feel like I have to "stock up" on everything in the next month.

I know this is the way things are meant to happen and I also know things won't get better. Change will come and it may seem better at the time, but it will be a short time. In the long run we, as Christians, know the outcome. It's still not going to be easy, but that is just another reason to be on our knees and in the Word. God is faithful and He will provide for our needs no matter what.

Philippians 4: 6 & 19
" Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him
for all he has done.
And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which
have been given to us in Christ Jesus."




Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A mixed bag

As I type this I can hear the sleet and rain hitting my living room windows. I'm so happy we
have a home, heat and power! I'm not terribly excited about having to shovel,
but as long as I get to come into a warm house I'm content!
Plus, I get to make some coffee. Coffee always makes things better!


********************


We're still going strong on the potty training fun. Although we seem to have hit a bump in the road. For some strange reason Caleb doesn't get that poopy goes in the potty. He gets all the rest (most of the time) except for this. Figures too! The worst one to end up in his jeans and boxers...

Oh, and another thing. Boxers and boxer briefs for little boys are the most adorable thing ever!!! It's so funny to see him running around in boxers. He's like a little Mike!

********************

On another note..

One of my commitments for this year is to reduce our grocery shopping bill. It seemed to me
it's the best way to save some money. It's much wiser and a whole lot healthier too. That means I
make menu's, buy the food I need, cook it and *voila* money in the bank.
Ok, so maybe money in the bank isn't that easy, but it's a good start.

What I've been doing is going through all the flyers for Walgreens, Rite Aid and CVS. If wasn't already a "rewards" member I made sure to sign up. Then I would clip the store coupons, combine them with coupons from the Sunday papers, circle the deals I needed to take advantage of, and then go shopping.

For instance, last night I went to Walgreens with a small list of items I needed to buy. Some of the items are not what I usually use, but when purchased with the coupons and rewards it saved tons of money. I went up to the register with these items in my basket.


After the cashier finished ringing me up the total came to $57.59! Ouch, right? (Pharmacy stores like that always seem to be more expensive anyway)

BUT after my register rewards, store coupons and regular coupons combined with the sale prices, I paid a whopping total of...are you ready?

$16.41

That's right!!! I saved $41.18.

What can be better than that! I walked out with a smile on my face! It's almost like a game. And I won!

After I got home I entered my receipts at Walgreens.com. (At the end of the catalog period they will send you your money on the items that had mail in rebates. If you have it refunded to you in the form of a Walgreens gift card they will had an extra 20% to the gift card total! FREE MONEY!) So, in all I truly ended up spending $14.91.

I figured I would share my very happy news because I was so excited and to show you how easy it is to save money on items you use every day. If I can do it, anyone can. I had to let go of brand loyalty, but that was easy. Especially after seeing my receipt.

Don't forget to take advantage of coupons and flyers too! There are so many savings in those. As long as you are only purchasing what you really use. Don't buy stuff just because you have a coupon.

Look for great deals and pair them with a coupon or two.

It's a great way to save money!

Happy shopping and saving!

Oh yes...I also enjoyed one of these today...


It's a smoothie made with unsweetened soy milk, bananas, strawberries, and honey.

Delicious!



Christmas memories

This past Christmas seemed to be more relaxed than years past. That was a good thing!

Most times we're so busy driving from one place to another and coordinating times and dates and places that we don't have the chance to just enjoy everything. It's understandable with a big family and extended relatives, but sometimes it becomes a chore, not a joy. Especially since we live about an hour from everyone and we have little love bugs. That means lots of packing and unpacking!

So, this year we switched it up a bit with my family and that seemed to help a ton. We all (my side of the family) figured that since we had the more flexible bunch we should have our family Christmas on January 1st. That way there is no pressure. We did plan a little hang out at my mom and step dad's place though. That way we could still see people without the gift giving and all that.

While it was strange not to do Christmas on Christmas it was also quite nice. Plus, we had all day on the 1st to hang out and nowhere else to go before or after!

Christmas morning was nice because we woke up, ate and opened gifts with the kids. They are at such a fun age right now and I loved watching them play with their new things.

Afton's gift to Mike was a box of hot chocolate. She was
so excited to give it to him because she knows how much he likes hot chocolate!


We bought Afton a camera since she loved using mine.
Do you think she liked it?


From me.


Mike's helping Caleb with his remote control car. I think Mike
was more excited than the kids were...lol


My most favorite gift from my hubby!


A little bit later Mike's family came over and we exchanged stockings with them. The kids were also given a few more gifts which they were siked about!

Now they both have their own Nemo


Caleb's favorite toy. It lights up, beeps as it backs up and
has a tractor that comes with it!


Afton was given roller skates and she absolutely loves them. She
wears them all the time...in the house!


A man and his tools. He's a happy boy!

(I don't have any pictures of me since I'm the one behind the camera. I'm ok with that though.)

Later on we went into town to pick up Miya and then we visited with some of my family for a little bit. After that we went home and enjoyed the rest of the evening.

After that we went home and enjoyed the rest of the evening.

Mike had to work the next day so it was just me and the 3 kiddos! We had a great day and the kids had a blast playing together!

Our next Christmas was Mike's big family gathering on the 27th. It was really nice to see everyone and catch up. Plus, it was quite entertaining (to say the least). We always do a yankee swap and this year someone put in a "couple's" basket. We won't go into detail about the contents. Needless to say it provided many moments of laughter (and blocking of children's ears...lol).

After that, of course, was the 1st with my family. As always, it was a good time with great food!


So, those are a few pictures of our holiday gatherings. I didn't post any of us with Mike's family just in case they wouldn't appreciate it. I never had a chance to ask them and I'm not sure if all are ok with being posted on my blog!

I hope everyone had a safe and merry Christmas!