Thank you for stopping by! Here you will find a variety of things as I post whatever happens to be going on in our home - recipes, crafts, homeschool, birthday parties, travels, meals in muffin tins and more! I'd love to know what you think so please feel free to leave comments!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

My 100th Post!

It has taken me quite a while to get to it, but I now have 100 posts on my blog! I think I started this blog in 2007 just because it seemed like the thing to do at the time. I mean, everybody was blogging, so why shouldn't I? I think I made 1 post in 2007 and maybe 2 in 2008. LOL No need to say that I wasn't much of a blogger. For some reason, this year was different and I decided to try to keep up with it, though I wasn't sure what direction I really wanted to go with it. I'm still not sure, to tell the truth. I don't have a set objective like some blogs - there is no goal of this blog, there's not a particular recipe I want to try each day or a product to review or anything to give away - at least not at this point. I guess, for now, it will be a simple place for me to share bits and pieces of our lives, providing a little window into the days of a fairly average family, just trying to get by in this crazy world.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Muffin Tin Monday & Movie Time Monday!

Our Mondays have become quite the big deal over the past several months. Laural really looks forward to them because not only do we do Muffin Tin Monday but also Movie Time Monday. Today's movie is Monsters Vs. Aliens that the kids got for Christmas. While watching the movie, we had our muffin tin meals.

Top Row: Green Pepper Strips, Frosty Strawberries, Fruit & Veggie Juice
Bottom Row: Ham Cubes, Cheesy Christmas Tree Pasta, Yogurt

 Laural loves her muffin tin!

I didn't get the pic of Laural until she was mostly done with her lunch. Micah was his usual grumpy self and only ate the yogurt, a couple bites of cheesy trees and some of his juice. Then he was ready for bed. His nap schedule makes it hard to get 3 meals a day into that kid!

FYI, I got the Christmas Tree pasta at Le Gourmet Chef. I don't know if Le Gourmet Chef is all over the place, but if it isn't, you can find it and all kinds of pasta shapes at www.pastashoppe.com

Menu Plan Monday

This will be another hit or miss week when it comes to meal planning. Like last week, I expect things to change at a moment's notice, but here is the basic plan.

Dinner @ Mother-In-Law's

Sweet & Sour Chicken
(we didn't get to this last week)

Grilled Beer Brats
Potato Salad
Glazed Carrots

New Years Eve @ My Parent's

Chicken Enchilada Skillet
(another one we didn't get to last week)


Deer Roast in the Crock Pot
Roasted Potatoes & Carrots

Leftover Extravaganza

Friday, December 25, 2009

Our Busy Christmas Day!

There's nothing like Christmas time to fill your schedule up in a hurry! We had endless errands and last minute gifts to buy in the days leading up to Christmas, not to mention all the gift wrapping. Today, Micah was cranky and fussy while we started opening presents. Thinking he was just hungry, I gave him something to drink to tide him over. A few minutes later, he was throwing up. After cleaning him up and finishing the rest of the presents, Steve cuddled with him on Laural's bed. He fell asleep for a few minutes and then threw up again. Next, we put him in his crib and after a 3rd throw up and clean up, he fell asleep for over 2 hours. I stayed home with him while Laural and Steve went to his mom's. Once they got home, we all went to my folk's house where Micah got better over the course of the afternoon. He acted like he was starving and ate and ate and ate! He had crackers, rolls and water. I was afraid to give him much more than that. No more throwing up. By 6 or 7 PM, he was back to his normal self. We hung out at my parent's for a little while, watching tv. My mom started having some sort of allergic reaction but couldn't find her Benedryl. By the time we were getting ready to leave, she was in bad shape, with an extremely itchy rash all over. So, after we got home, I found our bottle of Benedryl and sent Steve to meet my dad half way. We were just going to run to WalMart, but they were still closed. Once Steve got home, we finished getting the kids ready for bed and crashed out ourselves. It was a good Christmas though. Laural was super excited over all her presents. It was SO cute to see her get so excited over every little thing. I love watching her. She picked out a pretty pair of "diamond" earrings for me. She told me that she saw a commercial on tv about every kiss begins with K. And she wanted to get me the earrings "because they were beautiful just like you." So sweet! What a little angel! She is such a loving little thing. My baby girl. ♥♥♥

Laural got: a Tag reading system, a tub of Legos, a new Click Start game, an angel and mermaid dress up costume, Pixos, If You Give a Cat a Cupcake & If You Take a Mouse to the Movies books and a Mouse plush to match, a Flat Stanley book, a smiley spoon and spatula to help me in the kitchen, dress up shoes (from Micah), a giant pencil, Christmas stickers, stencils, a red shirt, lotion, Agent Cool Blue and Smart Rinse, a wooden penguins set, Glow necklaces, Diego glasses case, a tambourine-like hand instrument, and a Disney Princess dry erase board. Nana got her a Barbie Cruise Ship, Band in a Box, Ken doll, Barbie clothes, and a Bear Hunt wooden flip game. Tom & Steve got her a "I Can Do That" Cat in the Hat game. Grandma & Grandpa Cook got her a Dora dress up doll, a pretty purple fleece, Hello Kitty socks, and one of those expandable washcloths with Dora on it. Great-Grandma & Grandpa Wilson got her a Dream baby doll. Brian got her a bag of candy. Rob & Amy got her a Tinkerbell jewelry box like the one from the movie.

Micah got: a big bag of Mega Bloks, a My Pal Scout, Fridge Phonics, Alphabet Pal, If You Give a Moose a Muffin & If You Give A Pig A Party books and a Moose plush to match, A Fishie board book and The Very Hungry Caterpillar board book, 2 wooden cars, a giant pencil, Christmas stickers, stencils, farm stickers, nesting barrels, a wooden peg & hammer bench, Superstar microphone, green striped t-shirt, a maraca, and glow necklaces. Grandma & Grandpa Cook got him a Little People dump truck, Jack in the Box, a Spiderman expanding washcloth, and an orange shirt. Great-Grandma & Grandpa Wilson got him a bedbugs hammer toy. Brian got him candy. Rob & Amy got him a Busy Ball Popper (he already has one though).

Gifts to Both/family: Operation game, Hi-Ho Cherry-o game, Up dvd, G-Force dvd, Monsters vs. Aliens dvd (with bonus dvd), 3 Berensteins Bears dvds, an abacus, a Sit & Spin, Bunny Crackers, Pictureka card game, and the Candy Land Castle game. From Tom & Stevie: Pumpkin cookies and a $40 gift certificate to Compadres. From my parents: cookies & goody tray. From my grandparents: cookies and pumpkin bread. From Brian: cookies.

Steve got: A crank flashlight. From his mom: illuminated keyboard, Quantum of Solace dvd, Bible trivia and word challenge desk calendars, $50 gift certificate to Borders and Gospel Book Store, passport fees and a framed photo of Steve with his dad & brother.

I got: "diamond" earrings from Laural, Reese's cups from Micah, mini cookies cutters, silicone cupcake liners, silicone basting brush, magnetic to do list, fuzzy red gloves, and reusable shopping bags from Steve.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Muffin Tin Monday

We are in the midst of very busy days in our house, so we are cutting corners in a couple of areas, one of those areas being Muffin Tin Monday. We still did MTM today. We just didn't stick too closely to the theme. On top of all the stuff I'm trying to get done, I woke up at 3 AM last night and couldn't get back to sleep, so my heart wasn't much into it today. But, we still had lunch in muffin tins and that makes it a better lunch anyhow. Just ask my daughter!

Top Row: Chocolate Chip Muffin, Christmas Marshmallows, Orange Slices
Bottom Row: Cheezits, Applesauce w/ Christmas Sugar, Gingerbread Man Sandwich
(I cut the remaining sandwich into cubes and put them under the gingerbread man)

Micah went right for the marshmallows.

Laural started with the marshmallows too.

Menu Plan Monday

I am so far behind this year. I can't believe that it is already just 4 days until Christmas! Since I have SO much to do in the next 4 days, I decided that having my menu planned for this week would be critical. So here we go:

Mashed Potatoes

Garlic Toast
Romaine Salad


Leftover Buffet

Christmas Dinner @ My Parent's Place*

Stuffed Pork Chops
Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
Green Beans


*Since my mom just had knee replacement surgery on Wednesday, our family is dividing up dinner and bringing it to my parent's house for Christmas Day. My dad will do the turkey and stuffing. He insists on doing the mashed potatoes as well. He has to have them his way. My brother, Brian, is bringing the rolls. My Grandma is making the sweet potatoes, Waldorf Salad and she wanted to have ham, so she's bringing that too. I'm making the Green Bean Casserole and Cheesy Veggies. I'm also taking my super yummy, super easy Peanut Butter Fudge Pie. As for other desserts, everybody is just bringing whatever they feel like and there will probably be loads of cookies. It's going to be an interesting Christmas Dinner!

Recipe: Sweet & Sour Chicken

Sweet & Sour Chicken

1/2 c. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 c. pineapple Juice (I usually just use whatever I drain from a can of pineapple)
1/2 c. apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced (or garlic powder)
1/4 tsp. ginger powder
1 lb. chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
oil for cooking chicken
2 c. cooked rice

Heat oil in a medium skillet. Add chicken and cook through, browning slightly. In a small sauce pan, combine sugar and cornstarch. Add remaining ingredients except for chicken and rice. Mix well and place over low to medium heat. Stir constantly. Bring to a boil. Once it gets thick & bubbly, it's done. To serve: Place chicken on rice. Spoon sauce over chicken and rice.

I frequently saute julienne carrots with the chicken. My husband likes those chow mein noodles on his. I usually serve with broccoli and pineapple.

Recipe: Chicken Enchilada Skillet

Chicken Enchilada Skillet

1 lb chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
1/2 c chopped onion
2 tsp taco seasoning
1 tsp canola oil
1 can chicken broth
1/4 c ranch dressing
1 Tbsp flour
6 small flout tortillas, cut into bite size wedges
2 c cooked corn
1 c shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 c salsa (if desired)

In a deep skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Add chicken and onion. Sprinkle with taco seasoning and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 7 minutes. Combine broth, ranch and flour. Slowly add to skillet, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low. Simmer 3 minutes. Stir in tortilla strips and corn. Sprinkle with cheese. Simmer 3 to 5 minutes, until cheese is melted. Top with salsa before serving, if desired.

Recipe: Stove Top Lasagna

Stove Top Lasagna

1 lb ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 jar pasta sauce
3 c mini lasagna or noodle of choice
2 1/2 c water
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 c mozzarella cheese

Brown ground beef in a large skillet, drain fat. Stir in remaining ingredients, except cheese. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes or until pasta is done. Sprinkle with cheese. Allow to stand a few minutes before serving.

I stirred in a little Parmesan at the end before putting the mozzarella on top just to add a little more flavor. This dish reminds me a bit of Hamburger Helper.

Recipe: Salisbury Steaks with Mushroom Gravy

Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Gravy

1 lb. ground beef
1/4 c bread crumbs
3 c sliced mushrooms
1 egg
1/4 c milk
3 Tbsp ketchup
2 tsp canola oil
1 1/2 c beef gravy

Finely chop about half of the mushrooms and combine with the ground beef, bread crumbs, egg, milk and 1 Tbsp of the ketchup. Form into 5 or 6 oval shaped patties, about 1/2 inch thick. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add patties and cook about 5 minutes, turning once, until browned. Add remaining mushrooms, gravy & ketchup. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low. Cover and cook 5 to 10 minutes or until done and meat thermometer reads 160°F.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Muffin Tin Monday

It's Monday which means Muffin Tin Monday in our house! We skipped it last week because I had some sort of virus which Micah also got. We are all better now! Today's theme was Christmas Stories, but we skipped that and went with Christmas foods. With all the craziness that's keeping me busy right now, I'm feeling pretty good about just getting a good lunch made.

 Our meal today.
Top Row: Hershey Kisses, Christmas Marshmallows, Milk
Bottom Row: Cherry Yogurt with Christmas Sprinkles, Mac-n-Cheese made with Christmas Tree Shaped Pasta

Laural just loved it, as always. We combine Muffin Tin Monday with Movie Time Monday, so she just loves Mondays! It's always so much fun to see how excited she gets over all the goodies in her tin. Micah enjoyed his tin today, too. He is so cute! Because our kitchen tends to be really chilly during the winter, we have a lot of our meals in the living rooms this time of year. When he saw me coming with the tins, he immediately went over to his Bumbo seat, flipped it over since he had previously turned it upside down, and proceeded to try to seat himself. He couldn't wait. He refused the pasta but enjoyed the rest of his goodies. He ate all of his yogurt, the marshmallows and a Hershey Kiss before he was too fussy and tired to go on.

Laural showing off her tin.

Micah munching marshmallows.

Friday, December 11, 2009

'Tis the Season for Yard Deer

Yes, Yard Deer. What are yard deer? They are the decorative deer that pop up in people's yards this time of year. At least that is what they have come to be known as in our family. I can't remember how long it's been now, but years ago, Steve and I began commenting on (maybe even poking a little fun at) how popular the deer became as a decoration. Once somebody would put some in their yard, it wasn't long before at least one neighbor had them in their yard too. It was almost like a contagious disease the way it spread. We started counting the yard deer whenever we went somewhere and that is how our Yard Deer game began. Now that we have kids and one is old enough to look out the car windows and count with us, it's even more fun. We have even made up official rules for Yard Deer. Here they are:

1. It must be a deer. It can be made of any material - wire, wood, concrete, plastic, inflatable or whatever. It can be lit or not, but it must be a deer - no moose, bears or any other animal. They need not be Christmas deer. If they are year round decorations, they are fair game and can be counted. You can count the target practice deer if you want. Real, living deer do not count because it would be tough to make them stay in a yard as a decoration.
2. It must be outside. It can be in the yard, on a porch or even a roof, but it must be outside. If it's a decoration in a window that doesn't count because it's in the house.
3. If they are a display at a store that are for sale or an example of what you can buy at the store, they don't count.
4. You count the deer on your side of the road. Back seat passengers team up with the person in front of them. If there is somebody in the back middle seat, they get to pick whose team they are on. The deer must be on the road you are on not side roads you pass by.
5. Once you get to your destination, the game is over and the person/team with the most deer wins.

Some alternate possibilities:
1. Poaching Rule: If you go past a house with deer that are not on your side and your opponents miss them, you can poach them and add them to your total.
2. Continuation Rule: Instead of ending the game at your destination, you can continue once you get back into the car. This is good when you have several places to go before heading back home. The game would start when you leave your home and end when you get back home.
3. Alternate Rule: If you live in an area where there aren't a whole lot of deer, pick another semi-popular decoration people use in your area as an alternative to deer. You don't want to pick something that is super common - like just Christmas lights - because that would kind of kill the thrill of the hunt.
4. Toddler Rule: For very young children, have them join in by pointing out all the houses they see that have lights or decorations. That way they can join the fun without feeling left out.

I think I have covered all of the Yard Deer rules but if there are any questions, feel free to ask in a comment.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

When It Rains...

It pours! Yes, it's been one of those kind of days in our house. I started getting sick on Sunday but yesterday it got worse. Today, Steve woke woke me up with the news that our computer wouldn't start up. After consulting with my brother, they thought it might be the power supply. Then as the day went on, Micah showed signs of getting sick. By evening, he was going through diapers as fast as we could change them and as a result, he now has a nasty case of diaper rash. This is the first time he's had real diaper rash. Poor kid. So, here I sit with my mother-in-laws laptop that we still happen to have, making and correcting loads of typos because I am not used to using a small keyboard.

I am starting to feel a little better but I don't know if it's the 800mg of ibuprofen I took or if I'm actually getting better. Micah finally fell asleep about 2 hours after regular bedtime. I am getting ready to go downstairs and make a batch of homemade pedialyte for him for tomorrow. As for the computer, it seems there were two issues with it. The power supply and the graphics card. Brian stopped by after he was done with work and took it with him. He is somewhat of a computer repairman and has plenty of computer bits and pieces laying about. So he replaced both faulty parts and should be dropping it by sometime tomorrow. This is a really good thing considering I have a webpage I am trying to update and our yearly calendar I'm in the process of making. I've been wanting a new graphics card for a while anyhw. These crazy machines sure do pick the most inopportune of times to fail. I'd better watch what I type - this machine might be paying attention!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Pick Another Checkout Lane, Honey Sale & Giveaway

One of my very favorite blogs - The Krazy Coupon Lady - is having a sale on their new book and they are giving 3 books away to 3 lucky people! The books are on sale for 2 for $20 + $2.99 shipping which is a good deal to begin with but, there is also the chance of getting one for free! All you have to do is go to the site, follow KCL in one or more of 4 ways, comment that you are a follower and you are entered! For a bonus entry, you can blog about it (like I'm doing now). Just follow this link for your chance to win.

Even without the chance of getting a free book, I highly recommend checking out this site. I have been able to save so much money since I started couponing and KCL is all about helping you and me save money on mundane things like groceries and also more fun things like awesome jeans, movie rentals, dining out and other such stuff. I visit at least 3 or 4 times a day or more for info on savings, coupon matchups to specific stores and links to internet printable coupons.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Homeschool Today

I've been a little lax about keeping up with posting about our homeschooling stuff. I had fully intended to keep regular track of our activities and school work on this blog, but I just never seem to get it done. So, I decided that it's time to start. I also need to keep my camera handy during school time so I can post pics of what we are doing.

Today, we started a unit on penguins. I got it from www.schoolexpress.com. It's a little over her head as is, but I adjust it for her. She really enjoys it. Along with learning facts about penguins and answering questions, she had to draw some penguins. This is her first drawing.

The second drawing was what she thought a penguin looked like while swimming. I drew one first and she looked at my drawing and came up with her own version of a swimming penguin.

We also did a new math puzzle game today. It was a big hit! We did numbers up to 5 and simple adding and subtracting today.She did pretty well. Subtraction is still a hair tricky for her, but she is starting to get the hang of it.

Trying to Figure Out Blog Settings

I've been sitting here, trying to figure out a few things on this blog. I think I have the background thing figured out but I still need to figure out how to center the banner pic. I didn't see a way to do that. I need to edit the banner pic to personalize it. I would also love to figure out how to get those little corner thingies and lines that are around posts and such off my blog. I'm sure I will figure it out eventually. LOL I just hope I don't end up doing something crazy like deleting the entire thing!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Muffin Tin Monday

We find ourselves at yet another Muffin Tin Monday! There was no theme today, so I just put a few of Laural's faves in a tin and let her have at it. I don't think it really matters if it's just a plain lunch or a themed lunch - she just adores it.

Top: Green & Red Pepper Strips, Nestle Crunch, Milk
Bottom: Pretzel Sticks, Hot Dog, Ketchup

She loves posing for MTM pics! She was quite excited today as it was her first time trying the red peppers. She loved them! When she was younger, she didn't like her hot dog on a bun, so I started slicing the hot dogs and putting pretzel sticks in them. She was quite pleased with this and we have continued to do that. She got to skewer her own dogs today. She loved that too since it made her feel grown up. Very cute.

Micah missed out on Muffin Tin Monday today. He seems to prefer to nap around lunch time. If I try to feed him first, he gets quite grumpy and really doesn't eat anything anyway. He gets to eat after he wakes up, but I don't put it in a tin since he really doesn't have much of a clue. I probably should, but today, I was lazy. Ah, well. Next week.

Peanut Butter Fudge Pie Recipe

This is the recipe for the pie I made for Thanksgiving. I didn't really follow a recipe. I looked at a couple recipes and put together something that sounded good to me. I actually do this sort of thing a lot.  Anyhow, this is how I made the pie. It turned out very good but very rich. Just the way I like it.

You will need:
~ Chocolate Graham Cracker Crust or Oreo Cookie Pie Crust
~ Hot Fudge Sauce
~ 8 oz Brick of Cream Cheese (brought to room temperature)
~ 1/2 cup Sugar
~ 1 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
~ 12 oz tub of Cool Whip

Prepare graham cracker crust (either make your favorite or buy one). Spread about 3/4 of a cup of hot fudge topping on the bottom of the crust.and set aside.

Whip the cream cheese, sugar and peanut butter together until smooth and creamy. Fold in cool whip. One mixed thoroughly, fill up the pie crust. Warm a little hot fudge and drizzle over top of pie. Refrigerate about 2 hours before serving. Yum!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Lapbook

We've been working on a Thanksgiving Lapbook this past week. I'm not sure if we are going to get it done before the end of the week or not. We have a lot to do this week. We have to go to both families for Thanksgiving dinners tomorrow and then we are going to try to hit some Black Friday sales the day after. We might have to finish it up next week. Here are some pics of what we've done so far:

The cover that Laural colored. She decided to have a magenta turkey. LOL

Left side has 2 round mini books from Enchanted Learning. The rectangle minibook is from www.TeacherVision.com. The middle is an activity book from Enchanted Learning and the Thankful Pumpkin is from www.christianpreschoolprintables.com. The right flap has a minibook from DLTK.

The inner right flap has Thanksgiving facts I collected at National Geographic and Count Your Blessing match game cards that I found at  www.christianpreschoolprintables.com.

 The inner left flap has Bible verses and examples of people of the Bible who were thankful. If you lift the center flap that the pumpkin is on, there is the Turkey Feathers game that I got from www.filefolderfun.com.

Laural really likes the Turkey Feathers. She has to do the math and then put the feather in the turkey with the correct answer.

We still have to finish the minibooks and we were going to add Thanksgiving stickers to dress it up a bit but I haven't been able to find any! Imagine! This is only our 2nd lapbook. Laural really likes them though, so I think we might try to do one each month. I suppose I'd better get started on the December pretty soon!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Getting Ready for Thanksgiving, pt. 2

We finally had a chance to get Laural's hat done and get her picture taken. She's a cutie! I love that little face! She did a pretty good job on her turkey hat.

I see from the picture that we need to wash her glasses again today. Glasses on a preschooler is not an easy thing. We have to clean them constantly and we need to take them to be straightened out at least once every other week. Thank God it's free to have them adjusted and tightened.

Getting Ready for Thanksgiving

We have been doing Thanksgiving activities lately as we prepare for Thursday's festivities and one of the things we did today was make turkey hats! This is a cute craft found on the Family Fun website. Laural hasn't had the chance to make hers yet because her cousins arrived just as we were starting. I "helped" Micah make his. Ok, I made Micah's but he helped a little with making the dots in the eyes. He had fun watching and playing with a pen and drawing (scribbling) furiously on a piece of paper I gave him.

I wanted to get the binky out of his mouth before the picture was taken, but we were quite close to naptime and removing the plug could have resulted in some serious rioting which may have delayed naptime significantly. I didn't want to chance it.

We made a couple changes to the turkey hat. We stapled several items in place rather than gluing them - the band, the feathers and the cardboard that attaches the head to the band. I figured it would be quicker and the kids could enjoy the fruits of their labor sooner. Also, I traced the kids' hands for the side wings. I thought it would be neat to have a little personal touch to their hats. We also used paper circles rather than pompoms for the eyes. I just don't have pompoms laying around. I don't think our changes made a big difference in the quality of the craft.

We are also working on a Thanksgiving lapbook. I am hoping to have it finished by the end of the week but we have a lot of cooking and baking to do. Even though we will be eating at my in-laws' and my parent's places, I still have to cook. I'm making green bean casserole (all from scratch) and a loaf of bread for the in-laws' and peanut butter cream pie for my parent's dinner. Yum. I. Can't. Wait.

I'll post Laural's turkey hat pics once we get it done.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

One of my guilty pleasures is spending (too much) time online flipping through various blogs. About a month or so ago, I stumbled across I'm An Organizing Junkie while reading another blog. Now, anybody who really knows me, knows that I am about the least organized person on this planet. I'm not "Hoarders" disorganized but let's just say that there are times when I am looking for something and the search will entail shuffling through a pile of odd papers, magazines, coupons and coloring books, among other things. I doubt there will come a time when I am what sane people will call organized, but there might be hope. The main reason I clicked on over to I'm An Organizing Junkie was for Meal Plan Monday. Since I like to have meals planned out for the week, this seemed like a good place to start organizing. Who knows? Maybe after this, I can get the rest of my house in order. Doubtful, but one can hope! So here is my first Menu Plan Monday blog post.

Monday: Dinner out since I have to take the kids with me to try to fix the newsletter printing issues at the Historical Society.

Tuesday: Soft Tacos (using homemade tortillas)

Wednesday: Spaghetti with Meat Sauce, Garlic Toast, Side Salads

Thursday: Thanksgiving Dinner (once with each side of the family - we are going to be stuffed!)

Friday: Leftover Surprise (Probably: Hot turkey sandwiches served over mashed potatoes)

Saturday: Sweet & Sour Chicken, rice and pineapple

Sunday: Crock Pot Pork Roast with Potatoes and Carrots

I will post my recipe for Sweet & Sour Chicken later. It is one of our family favorites.

Muffin Tin Monday!

Today was another fun Muffin Tin Monday! The theme was Thanksgiving so we had an almost traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

Top Row for each: Sweet Potato Flowers, Mashed Potatoes & Gravy (vanilla yogurt & caramel sauce), Craisins
Bottom Row for each: Broccoli, Turkey Slices in the shape of oak leaves and acorns, Mini Apple Pie Slices (from the deli)
For beverage, they had fruit and veggie juice in bug shaped sippers.

Laural loves Muffin Tin Mondays and is now remembering to remind me that it is Monday and thus time for Muffin Tin Monday. LOL I think she saw that it was Movie Time Monday on Disney Channel which is what reminded her about Muffin Tin Monday. It sure is fun to see how excited she gets over it though.

Micah, well, I don't think that he really understands that there is a real difference when we serve lunch in a tin, he just gets excited at the fact that there is food in front of him. He always tends to go for the sweets first. Here, he is saying cheese as he poses for the picture with a mouth full of apple pie.

Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

An Awesome Giveaway! From Today's Mama & Provo Craft

This is an awesome giveaway and one I really, really hope I might win! Click on the link below (TodaysMama) for info on how to enter.

Mama’s Holiday Wish List Meme

TodaysMama and Provo Craft are giving away a sleighful of gifts this holiday season and to enter I’m sharing this meme with you.

1. What 5 items are on your holiday wish list this year? 

*a new laptop
*a new baby (not something we can feasibly have by Christmas LOL)
*a clean house (how is it that 2 small children make such a huge mess - daily??)
*some kitchen stuff (silicone muffin tins, tortilla press, sushi making stuff)
*maid service to keep the magically clean house from wish number 3 clean for longer than a day

2. What is your favorite handmade gift you have received? 

*anything my daughter makes me - it means she has thought about me and about making something that she thinks will make me happy. it doesn't matter what it ends up being, I love it! She made me an adorable card for Mother's Day this year. I treasure it because I know the love that went into it.

3. What handmade gift have you always wanted to tackle? 
*I would love to make scrapbooks for each of my children for the grandmas but the task seems daunting.

4. What was the best Christmas gift you received as a child?
*My powder blue "cloud" bike. LOVED IT! I also remember really loving a Candy doll my Grandparents got me - you could color her hair and put makeup on her.

5. What items are on your kid’s wish list this year? 
*Laural asks for Chixos every time we go near a toy department in any store. She also wants Barbie dolls, Geo Trax and a Crayola Glow Dome. Micah really doesn't have a wishlist but I want to get him some Tonka trucks and a Tag Jr.

6. What is your favorite holiday food? 
*Turkey! I love turkey dinner and then having turkey sandwiches for the next 3 days!

7. What will you be hand-crafting for the holidays? 
*Scrapbook style calendars

8. What is your favorite holiday movie? 
*I always look forward to the comedies: The Santa Clause, Scrooged and Jingle All the Way

9. Favorite holiday song? 
*Carol of the Bells with Trans Siberian Orchestra's Wizards of Winter in a very, very close 2nd

10. Favorite holiday pastime?
*On Christmas Eve, we fill up thermal mugs with hot cocoa, grab the Christmas cookies and pile into the car to go driving around to see all the Christmas lights. We listen to Christmas music (Trans Siberian Orchestra mostly) and ooh and ahh over all the light displays. I love how excited my kiddos get over it.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I Hate Spending Money!

OK, that's not completely true, but I do hate spending large amounts of money on mundane things like tires. I had no choice though. I had to buy two new tires for the Pacifica today. I replaced the front tires about four months ago and have been trying to put off replacing the rear tires as long as possible. But last week, I took a look at them and realized they were much, much worse than I thought. I was actually afraid to take the kids out with the way they looked. As of this afternoon, all is well in the world of wheels (well our little family's world of wheels anyhow).

Today was a very busy day. We started with story time, followed by our trip to get new tires. While waiting for our car to be finished, we wandered around Walmart and got lunch from the deli. Then we headed to the dollar store to get stuff to fill up our Operation Christmas Child boxes. Micah fell asleep in the car on the way home, and slept a bit longer once we got home. After he woke up, we had a quick dinner and were off to my folks' house for Travis' 18th birthday party. Once we got home, it was bedtime routines, wake Steve up for work and now, finally, time to just sit, enjoy a coke and some whole wheat crackers with Laughing Cow cheese. Tomorrow should be a little slower day though I do need to grab a few groceries. I was going to do it today while I was in town, but by the time the car was done and we got the stuff from the dollar store, we had to head back home before Kali and Austin got off the bus. It's funny - we have always planned to be homeschoolers but now we find ourselves (albeit temporarily) slaves to the schedule of the school bus.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Muffin Tin Monday

Today we had another Muffin Tin Monday. Today's theme: Foods your child is thankful for, so it was Laural's choice. Here is what she picked.

Top Row: Apple Bunnies, Cheezits, Milk
Bottom Row: Carrot Flowers on a bed of Green Peppers, PB&J Star, Sandies Cookies

She was quite happy with her choices.

Perhaps we will try having dinner in the muffin tin tonight since this seems to be the best way to get her to eat. Whatever works, right?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Kind of a Boring Day

The title says it all. Today was pretty boring, which really isn't a bad thing. We started with story time but the little girl who regularly attends was sick today so it was just Laural. We didn't stay since we needed to get to the library to work a bit more on the computers there. We got the one working correctly but it looks like the other one will need formatted again. We can't seem to get it to do anything! We still have some software to load on the working one though. We will be going back tomorrow since the kids were getting pretty cranky and hungry and we decided to leave. After we got home, Steve headed to bed. He had training tonight, so he needed to get some sleep. We had peanut butter pancakes for dinner because I had a nasty headache and really didn't feel like doing much of anything. Steve left at 7pm. I missed a Ministry Council meeting because I had no car. We watched a little tv, I played with the kids and then I got them ready for bed. Pretty boring day. LOL But it was good boring.

After getting some work done on the library computers, I need to make a Giant Eagle run. Need to nab a few good deals before this weeks sale is over. I also hope to get a trip to Kmart in this week since they have a few good deals on some toys that Laural wants for Christmas.

I am going to make onigiri tomorrow. I have had my salmon salting for almost 2 days. I need to make the sushi rice and buy some Nori at the organic store. I'm also thinking about making tamagoyaki. I've also been wanting to try my hand at falafel and lentil-hazelnut balls. I've been wanting to do bento so I've been spending time following a couple of bento blogs and flickr streams that have such yummy looking bento meals! I don't have any boxes or cute accessories though. I'll just have to serve the goodies on a plate.

I need to go order tires before bed. I took a good look at our two back tires and was shocked to see how bad they are. I could feel how rough the ride was getting but I never thought they would look that bad. I hope the tires come in fast!

Monday, November 9, 2009


It seems that a day doesn't go by that we don't have some sort of critter in our house. Right now it's mostly just lady beetles, but today, there were two new uninvited guests. The first wasn't so unusual, a large wolf spider was hanging out in the kitchen. I had to wake Steve up to take care of it. Bleh! The second was this guy:

I put him in a cup. Where else would I put him?

I found him in the basement when I went down to do the laundry. He was just sitting there in the middle of the basement floor. After I brought him upstairs, I realized that he was missing half of a front leg. After Laural had the chance to look him over, I set him free in the swamp. We don't even have to go outside to have wildlife adventures!

Muffin Tin Monday!

Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth

It's another Muffin Tin Monday in our house! And on an actual Monday! Laural gets so excited when she sees the muffin tins. When she came out to the kitchen and saw the tins, she said, "You're so nice to make lunch in the muffin tins!" She's too cute.

Today there was no set theme so I just did a typical lunch, but everyone knows it tastes SO much better in a muffin tin!
Milk to drink.
Top row: gummies, pb&j triangles, edamame
Bottom row: pb&j triangles, frozen strawberries, vanilla yogurt with sprinkles

Laural LOVES frozen strawberries. These were yummy local strawberries that I froze. Most of the 8 quarts of berries I got this year went into jam, but we saved some of the real beauties to snack on throughout the rest of the year.

Micah seemed very interested in and pleased with the sprinkled yogurt. A second after this pic was taken, the little fingers went into the yogurt. LOL He was pretty tired so he only had about half his lunch before he got too grumpy to go on. Laural was happy to finish his off. That girl is such a mystery sometimes. One day she hardly eats anything before she is just too full to have another bite and days like today she finishes her lunch and half of Micah's. She's too much. LOL

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Muffin Tin Monday (on Tuesday)

We had a lot of errands to run yesterday, so we delayed Muffin Tin Monday for a day. Laural was thrilled with her space themed munchies.
Top Row: whole wheat Ritz planets with provolone rings, rocket pb&j, milky way milk
Bottom Row: apple stars, alien egg, meteor grapes

Laural posing with her alien.

This was only our 2nd Muffin Tin Monday. I had planned to do it more often, but we always seem to be so busy that I don't have time to get it done. Laural loves it so much, I hope I can keep up with it in the coming weeks.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Deer + Car = Not So Fortunate Deer

I went out grocery shopping a little while ago. My folks kept the kids so I could have a little easier time getting in and out of the stores. I had just left my parents' when I saw something moving on the road up ahead. I realized it was a deer and slowed down to avoid hitting it. As I got a little closer, I realized that it had already been hit. It was flopping on the side of the road trying to get away. The sight broke my heart. I pulled off the road and called my dad. The deer had at least one broken leg, maybe two. It needed to be put down. They called the state police and got permission to kill it. Dad came out to where I was waiting and Brian joined a few minutes later. I had been there about half an hour and decided it was time to leave before they did the deed. Tender-hearted as I am, I cried most of the drive home anyhow. I will have to talk to Brian later to see what arrangements they made for it. I know his friend Shawn was coming to help gut it and hang it, but I don't know when they will cut it. I wonder what they will do with the hide. As sad as it was, I know that God put us in that situation for a reason. We are definitely in need and the deer will provide meat for us as well as my brother and parents. I don't know how much there will be, but maybe Grandma & Grandpa can have some too. I just prefer to see my meat in it's end product, wrapped in cellophane and ready to cook. It's so much harder when the poor thing is looking up at you, terrified and in pain. Sigh.

My Little Pirate

Laural decided months ago that she wanted to be a pirate for Halloween this year, so since we already had a pirate costume that I bought on clearance after last Halloween, she was a pirate this year. I bought a little accessory pack at the dollar store to go along with it. Here is our pre-Halloween "dress rehearsal."

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Fun Kid Stuff

Today has seen the start of some fun new stuff that the kids have started. First, Micah. Today, he started doing something that really surprised me. During dinner, as I held a bite of food in front of him, he started counting in his own little language - 1, 2, 3, but instead of saying go, he would say "mmm!" and then lean forward with an open mouth and take the bite. It was too funny. He did it not only once but with nearly every bite. What makes it funny is that we have never done that with him to get him to eat. He came up with it on his own. He has been doing the "1, 2, 3, Go!" thing for quite a while, but this is the first he has incorporated it into his eating. So cute! It's funny the things they come up with, isn't it?

Micah had his 18 month check-up and shots today. I was a bit disappointed in his weight. They said he was only 19 lb 14 oz. I think he is heavier than that (not by much) but that is what they came up with. I really don't like their scale. It's a fairly old table scale with the slide counterweights. I would like to see him on a digital scale. The doctor didn't seem very concerned. We joked about giving him McDonald's burgers. I did ask whether I should give him something like Pediasure to supplement. The doctor said I could give it to him at night before bed so that it wouldn't interfere with hunger cues and cause him to eat less food. Makes sense. I checked on the price and it was $13 for a 6 pack at Rite Aid! I will have to look at Walmart to see if it's any cheaper there. If not, I think I may need to find a cheaper alternative. I didn't hear what his length was because I was a little upset over hearing his weight. The nurse who did his measurements was not the regular nurse but an intern, so she didn't really announce it either. She did say that he was up in the 40th percentile now for height, so that is great! I just wish he'd fatten up a bit. He got 3 different shots today. I made Steve hold him down this time. It breaks my heart too much. It seemed to bother him more that he was being held down for the first 2 shots but the 3rd one seemed to really upset him. Poor guy. He was a little more clingy today than usual but part of that seemed to be that he was constipated too. Whenever he has trouble going, he always whines and wants picked up and then he puts his head down on my shoulder and rests there, sometimes trying to push. Poor guy. He's been through it today!

And Laural, well, she has learned a new word. She uses it every opportunity she can. I can't help but chuckle every time she uses it. I have to be careful not to laugh out loud because she gets all embarrassed if she thinks I'm laughing at something she has done. The word is "apparently." During dinner: "Mom, I have something to tel you. Apparently, Micah doesn't like chicken." In the car when she noticed Micah was asleep: "Apparently, Micah must have been tired." It is too cute! I love it when she gets the grasp of a new word. Especially a "bigger" word. It's so cute to see a little kid trying to talk to a grown-up. Laural gets really upset when Micah has to have shots. She plugged her ears and buried her head in my chest. She tried to calm him down and sooth him afterward. She is too cute. Such a little mommy.

We've been busy lately. Last week, we spent a lot of time at my parent's place while Ray was visiting. With choir, ministry council, story time, grocery shopping, doctor's appointment and having Austin & Kali here after school each day, our days have been filled. I think tomorrow is a free day. Stephanie is off work so she will be getting the kids after school. We don't have any errands that I can think of either. Steve is going to mow the lawn and I am going to try to get some cleaning and laundry done. I've been neglecting the bathrooms. I also need to do a little rearranging so we can have places to fit all of the good deals we've been getting with by couponing.

Speaking of couponing, I got a few good deals today. At Rite Aid, I got 2 packs of Huggies Pure & Natural diapers, 2 Reese's cups, and an eos lip balm all for $3.30 (after I get the $1.99 rebate back). At County Market, I got quite a bit of stuff. Some with coupons, some without.

2 Tony's Pizzas 10/$10
- $1/2 Q
= $.50 each

12 Chef Boyardee Ravioli microwave cups 10/$10
- $1/3 Q (4x)
= $.67 each
I normally wouldn't buy these BUT Micah is an extremely picky eater and since he is quite underweight and this is one of the few things he will devour right down, I decided to get these for him so we can try to "fatten him up" a bit.

3 Bumblebee tuna pouches $1.49 each
- $1/1 Q (3x)
= $.49 each

3 Marcal 12 pck of bathroom tissue $5 each
- $2/1 Q (3x)
= $3 each

4 Marcal facial tissue $1.25 each
- $1/1 Q (4x)
= $.25 each

Stuff I got w/o coupons:

8 Armour Lunchmakers $1 each
3 5lb bags of Robin Hood flour $1.38 each

I tried getting some of the Campbell's cream soups that were $.75 each with my $1/2 Q but it wouldn't scan and since it was an internet printable, it wouldn't go through. I was a little bummed about that since it would have made the soups only $.25 each. Oh well. Guess I will just continue to make my own soups as needed.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Go Graham Go Giveaway: Scooby Doo game for Wii, PS2 or DS

Go Graham, Go is giving away 5 copies of the new Scooby Doo video game for Wii, PS2 or DS. Go to Go Graham, Go for more info about the giveaway or The Scooby Doo site to learn more about the game. I am really hoping we win one of these since Laural is bored with her Dora game and Sonic is proving to be a little too complicated for her. She LOVES Scooby Doo. We are even reading a Scooby Doo chapter book for her bedtime story right now.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

MIcah is Officially a Walker!

Yep, my baby boy finally took those steps toward being a big boy. Instead of the occasional couple of steps and then giving up, he was walking around the living room more than crawling tonight. It was so cute watching him walk. He's still a bit stiff about it, but he does it! My baby isn't a baby anymore. Being a mom has so many bittersweet moments. I want our children to grow and develop, hit the milestones on time and be "normal." At the same time, I want them to remain my little babies that I can hold in my arms and cuddle and snuggle with forever. A year ago, Micah wanted me to hold him all the time (which I admit, was tiresome at points) but since he became mobile, he wants down to explore whatever goodies his big sister may have left on the floor. I went through the same thing with Laural of course - only it was a bit sooner with her than it has been with Micah. His health issues at birth still have him behind a bit, but it really does seem to be going faster now. In just the past couple of days, he has picked up several new words. He now says "drink," "light," and he repeats a lot of letters as I spell things for Laural. I know he says a couple other words but right now I can't remember them.

Laural, well, what can I say about Laural right now? LOL Some days that girl can seriously try my patience. One minute she's being such a sweetheart and the next she's turned into an unfamiliar snotty brat-child. She is most definitely living up to the "firey redhead" stereotype. LOL Our days have a lot of ups and downs. I still wouldn't trade these days for anything. Just yesterday, I said to Steve as both kids were chattering loudly in the back seat on the way home from grocery shopping, "Can you imagine how different our lives would be if we didn't have them?" It would be empty and sad. Not a life I am interested in. Having kids can be frightening, exciting, tiring, crazy, fun, and a whole load of other things in just a single day! But it is, without a doubt, the most amazing thing I have ever done in my life. When I look into those little faces that are looking up at wanting reassurance, love or just somebody to play Barbies with, I know that I am doing exactly what God has intended for me to do - be a mom!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Coupon Spread Sheet

Here is this week's spreadsheet of the coupons that came with each of the 3 Sunday papers I get (The Sharon Herald, The Pittsburgh Post Gazette and The Erie Times News):
Coupons Spreadsheet
Now, I need to go to bed.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

More from the Shopping Fanatic

Like I said in my previous post, I made another Kmart run today. I did two transactions tonight. More big savings! Here are the breakdowns:

Transaction #1:

3x Huggies Pullups $9.99 each
- $2/1 (3x) doubled
= $5.99 each

2x Huggies Overnights $11.49 each
- $1.50/1 (2x) doubled
= $8.49 each

Tide Stain Release $4.49 each
- $1/1 doubled
- $2 instant savings
= $.49 each

- $5 off $50 Kmart coupon

Total OOP: $30.44

Transaction #2:

2 Sensodyne Children's Pronamel $2.99 each
- $1/1 (2x) doubled
= $.99 each

3x Halls Refresh $1.99 each
- $.75/1 (3x) doubled
= $.49 each

Tide Stain Release $4.49 each
- $1/1 doubled
- $2 instant savings
= $.49 each

Clorox 2 $4.89 each
- $2/1 doubled
= $.89 each

4x Dentyne Gum $1.19 each
- B1G1 Free (2x) doubled
* bonus: one of the packs of dentine was already stuck to another and marked B1G1 Free

6x Bumblebee Tuna $1.99 each
- $1/1 (6x) doubled

2x Reeses Dark Cups $.67 each
- B1g1 Free doubled

2x Nestle Crunch bag candy $2.50 each
filler - no coupon

Dr. Pepper $1.49 each
filler - no coupon

- $12 off next purchase catalina from 1st transaction

Total OOP: $1.32!

Another great trip and now we are stocked up on diapers like crazy! And as a result of this week, I have 8 Tide Stain release, 10 packs of tuna, 8 tubes of kid toothpaste, 8 bags of Halls, bunches of baby wipes, 6 boxes of cereal, 8 deodorants, lots of pet food and treats, a bunch of shampoo, 70 razors and a LOT of other stuff. Now, here is the grand total...

Total receipts: $372.12 (before tax)

TOTAL OOP: $75.22
Savings: 80%

Almost $300 in free stuff this week! Yay coupons! I officially LOVE the Kmart double coupon event but I'm glad it's over now - 4 Kmart trips in a week is a lot of shopping!

Shopping Fanatic

I've been a doing some crazy shopping this past week. I have taken some major advantage of the Kmart double coupon event. Besides the 2 trips I already made to Kmart, I've made 2 more! Last night and this afternoon. Both times I scored some major savings. I had too much to take pics of but I will list a breakdown. Yesterday, I did 3 transactions.

Transaction #1:

2x Huggies Overnights Diapers $11.49 each
- $2/1 (2x) doubled
= $7.49 each

2x Huggies Pullups $9.99 each
- $2/1 (2x) doubled
= $5.99 each

Huggies Wipes $5.99 each
- $2/1 doubled
= $1.99

2 Ziploc Easy Zip Bags $2.00 each
- $1.50/2 (doubled)
= $.50 each

Tide Stain Release 10 count $4.49 each
- $1/1 doubled
-$2 instant savings
= $.49 each

- $5 off $50 Kmart Coupon
Total OOP: $25.44

Transaction #2:

4x Kids Crest Toothpaste $2.29 each
- $1/1 (4x) doubled
= $.29 each

Tag Deodorant $3.99 each
+ Tag Spray $3.89 each
- B1G1 Free
= $2.00 each

2x Dove Ultra Deodorant $3.99 each
- $2/1 (2x) doubled

2x Sensodyne Child's Pronamel toothpaste $2.99 each
- $1/1 (2x) doubled
= $.99 each

3x Renuzit Air Freshener $1.00 each
- B2G1 Free doubled
= $.33 each

Tide Stain Release $4.49 each
- $1/1 doubled
- $2.00 instant savings
= $.49 each

3x Special K Blueberry $2.50 each
+ 3x Special K Chocolate $2.50 each
- $1/1 (6x) doubled
- $5.00 instant savings
= $2.00 OVERAGE

2x Wheat Thins Crackers $2.50 each
- $1/1 (2x) doubled
= $.50 each

Nestle Crunch Bag Candy $2.50
- $1/1 doubled
=$.50 each

- $5 off $50 Kmart Coupon

Total OOP: $3.34

Transaction #3:

2x Tide Stain Release $4.49 each
- $1/1 (2x) doubled
-$2 instant savings
= $1.49 each

4x Halls Refresh Candy $1.99 each
- $.75/1 (4x) doubled
= $.49 each

Clorox 2 $4.89 each
- $2/1 doubled
= $.89 each

4x Hormel Compleats $2.00 each
- $.75/1 (4x) doubled
= $.50 each

2x Pedigree+ Canned Dog Food $1.00 each
- B1G1 Free doubled

2x Ziploc Easy Zip bags $2.00 each
- $1.50/2
= $.50 each

1 Coke $1.49
1 Water $1.49

- $12 off next purchase Catalina from 1st transaction

Total OOP: $0.19

TOTAL from all 3: $28.97!
Total Saved: $128.27
Savings: 82%

I think that was a pretty successful trip! On the 3rd transaction, I was actually over $5 in the negative, so I had her add the 2nd bag of Stain Release to it. I was planning on doing that in a 4th transaction by itself. After adding that and then taking the coupon for that off, I was still $2.89 negative, so I added the 2 drinks and that made it $.019 that I owed. LOL The cashier was amazed that i only had to pay nineteen cents. LOL I was absolutely giddy!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Changing Policies

I used to be a regular shopper at a local grocery store called County Market. Their prices have always been the best around but, several months ago, I went in, shopped as usual and handed the cashier a few coupons that I had clipped from the Sunday paper and a couple that I had printed off the internet. She told me that they didn't accept internet coupons. I was a bit irritated and I went over to the office and told them that they had just lost a customer. I go back to get a few things that are on sale here and there, but the bulk of my shopping has since been at the Super Walmart. Of course, a brief look back at last month's blog posts prove that I have only recently really become immersed in couponing. So, today, I took my rather large stack of internet coupons along with my coupon binder, into County Market and asked if they took internet coupons yet. The answer was no. I asked why and got the same story as last time - too much fraud. I asked to speak to whoever would be in charge of this and Dave Knopp came to speak with me. I showed him my stack of internet coupons and told him that I wanted them to see these coupons because these were the coupons I'd be using this month alone (along with my clipped coupons). I didn't expect much and he started to explain the fraud story so I pointed out that each ogf my coupons had a bar code, company information, expiration date, etc. and that several other stores took the coupons. He asked which and I told him Giant Eagle among others. This seemed to surprise him. He asked to look at my coupons so I handed him the stack of coupons and he took them to the office manager and they looked at them. When he came back, he said that the coupons looked like regular coupons and he didn't expect that and we talked several minutes more and he announced that he would take my coupons today and that by next week, he would likely have a new policy in place. I was quite happy but I still wasn't expecting much to come from it. Sometimes, stores take a while to hem and haw over things before they actually make changes. So, I took a cart and went to grab a few items since he said he would take my coupons. I didn't want to make a big deal of things and then leave without using any coupons. Maybe 10 minutes later, I was in the cereal aisle when he came walking up and sad "Policy changed!" He had already called Giant Eagle to check on how they ran the coupons and decided on the spot to change their policy too. I was really amazed! We had another pleasant conversation and he asked if there was anything else besides the coupon thing that I thought the store could improve upon and I told him that I was pleased with the store in every other way. After that, I finished the rest of my shopping and price checking and headed to the checkout. The cashier started to tell me that she couldn't take my internet coupons, which we expected. So I told her that Dave just changed the policy and he had said to call him when I checked out. The office manager, Debbie, was nearby, so she came over and told the cashier about the change - take the coupons as long as they scanned. Sure enough, they scanned and we were all happy. I didn't go into County Market today expecting to change their coupon policy, but that's what happened. Awesome! Dave was quite friendly and told me he was impressed with my coupon knowledge. Before I left, I went back to the service desk and gave him the copy of the Giant Eagle coupon policy I had in my binder. He was thrilled with that and even said that he should hire me! LOL It was a good day for shoppers in the Grove City area!

He Finally Did It!

So far, Micah has only ever walked 2 or 3 steps unassisted, while pushing something or along something. But today, he did it! He was standing beside Laural's table getting over the fact that I had just said "no" to him about a million times because he was playing with the game tv. After he got past his tears, he stood there grinning at me for several minutes. The next thing I know, he started walking toward me. He got about 2/3 of the way to me when he got shy and closed his eyes and lost his balance. Instead of crawling the rest of the way, he got himself back on his feet - without using anything to pull up on - and walked the rest of the way to me! I was so excited for him and Laural was too. He was all bubbly and giggly as he grabbed onto my leg. He gets so excited about things when we make a big deal of it. It was so cute to see that little man walking. I am thrilled that he is finally walking. As I sat there telling him what a good boy he was, I couldn't help but flash back to 18 months ago when we weren't even sure if he was going to be with us very long and doctors were telling us they thought he might need a liver transplant. He's come a long way since those NICU days. I'm one very happy and blessed mommy.

Attention Couponers!

Hey there fellow coupon crazies! If you have large stash of coupons, you probably have a bunch that just expired. Did you know that military families stationed overseas can use coupons that are up to 6 months past the printed expiration date? I didn't either. A fellow Krazy Coupon Lady has volunteered to gather up any expired coupons that people are willing to send her and package them up to be sent to the US Air Force Base in Okinawa, Japan. If you are willing to go through your coupons and separate them into 2 categories (food and non-food) and then mail them to Andrea in Idaho, it would be a great way to support military families! Check out this link to the post on The Krazy Coupon Lady site for more information!

Overseas Coupon Program at The Krazy Coupon Lady

Thanks so much!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

October Already

It's hard to believe that in just 2 1/2 hours, it will already be October. Where has this year gone? We now have less than 3 months until Christmas. Wow. It's been another cold and miserable day here in Western PA with only a few little pockets of sunshine here and there. Tonight will be pretty cold. Weather Exchange sent me a winter weather advisory a little while ago. We are supposed to get sown to the mid to low 30's tonight. Yuck. I'm not ready for this. I'd like to have a real summer first, please. Sigh.

We had a bit of a mellow day around here. I was going to hit Kmart again to take advantage of a handful of coupons that expire today, but I just didn't feel like going outside. Laural's school was pretty mellow today too. We practiced some math and some writing and she played click start for a while. I think, tomorrow, I am going to introduce a new math activity. I got a math puzzle "game" last month that is pretty neat. You match up the pieces with the problems to the pieces with the answers. She is doing pretty good with her math. In fact, today she was practicing her addition saying the numbers in Spanish! LOL She really seems to enjoy the Hooked on Phonics and Hooked on Spanish that we do on the computer. Our science topic this week is birds and migration. We've seen a lot of birds gathering for their trip south.

Yesterday, for our story time craft, we made technicolor acorns. We took brightly colored tissue paper, wadded it up, painted them with glue and then glued them into an acorn cap. They turned out quite cute. Laural is quite pleased with her handiwork. I'll get a pic of them up in a little while.

Micah is getting ever closer to walking! Tonight, I put him on his feet with Laural's little shopping cart in front of him. He held onto it and stood there for a minute and then, he started pushing it and walking along with it. He did it several times across the room. A big part of me is quite happy because I keep wondering if he will ever actually walk. He's already 18 months old and still content to bounce around or crawl. A little bit of me is sad, though, because it means my little baby is really becoming a big boy. So bittersweet. He is much more of a cuddler than Laural was at this age. He wants to be up on my lap or sitting beside me a lot. Not all the time - he loves to be down to play - but he really seems to love his mommy time. I don't mind. He has really become quite the climber too. In recent days, I have found him standing on Laural's Little Tykes table, reaching up to the tv and standing on the arm of the couch, reaching up to play with the light switches. The boy is going to give me a heart attack! I seem to recall similar happening with his big sister! LOL How do moms ever survive this stage? LOL It really is quite the adventure!

Wordless Wednesday

September 2008
Laural & Micah having some fall fun in the leaves.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Crazy Coupon Trip!

After story time today, we made a run to Franklin for some more Kmart double coupon shopping! I had a phenomenal trip! I took pics of my goodies but I left the camera downstairs, so I will go get that in a bit and post the pics.

First up, Kmart:1x Rimmel Mascara $3.29 each
- $2/1 doubled

3x Bic 14 count Silky Shave Razors $3.49 each
- $2/1 (3x) doubled

2x Beneful Prepared Meal Dog Food $1.79 each
- B1G1 Free doubled

2x Huggies Baby Wipes $2.99 each
- $2/1 (2x) doubled

2x Tide Stain Release $4.49 each
- $2 instant savings 2x
- $1.50/1 doubled
- $2/1 doubled
= FREE (with overage of $2.02)

4x Bumblebee Tuna Pouches $1.29 each
- $1/2 (2x) doubled
= $.29 each (or $.16 each when you subtract the overage from the Tide)

2 Snickers Bars $.89 each
no coupons as these were fillers for the overage
= $.15 each

2x Bic 14 count Twin Select Razors $3.49 each
- $2/1 (2x) doubled

3x Halls Refresh Hard Candies $1.99 each
- $1/1 (3x) doubled

6x Pedigree+ canned dog food $1 each
- B1G1 Free (3x) doubled

Total Receipts: $58.19
Total OOP: $0.92! (before tax)
Savings: 98%

I actually did these in 3 different transactions because of the coupon limit of 10 and the fact that I found another Tide coupon in the car and went back in for another Stain Release deal. That is why I had to add 2 candy bars. Not a bad day at Kmart.

Next up, Giant Eagle:30x Birdseye Steamfresh Vegetables $1 each
- $.35/1 (30x) doubled
= $.30 each

4x Totinos Pizza Rolls $1 each
- $.40/2 (2x) doubled
= $.60 each

2x Whole Grain Cheez-its $2.50 each
-$.75/1 doubled (meant to use the $2/2 peelie but it got missed)
= $1.75 each

3x Little Debbie Cupcakes $3.09 each
- $.75/1 (3x) doubled
=$1.59 each

6x Friskies Natural Sensations Cat Treats $1.79 each
- Free bag Q (6x)

6x Mentos Gum $1.49 each
- $.55/1 (6x) doubled
= $.39 each

Ground Beef 2.68 lbs/$9.62
- $2/1 Store coupon
= $7.62

Total Receipt: $103.21 (before card & coupons)
Total OOP: $28.13! (before tax)
Savings: 73%

I'm not sure, but I think the cashier guy may have put 1 of my $.75/1 coupons for the Little Debbie Cupcakes through an extra time. It's hard to tell since he was doing a lot of button punching, but there seems to be an extra $1.50 off on my receipt. I think I confused him with my multiple coupons. LOL He had to turn the key and punch in some stuff to make it go through, so I'm guessing he did me a favor since I couldn't use the peelies from the cupcakes with the coupons I had. Yay for nice cashiers! The Franklin GE employees seem to be so much more friendly than the Greenville ones. I think the older lady cashier was exasperated when I handed her my stack of coupons last time I was there.

Anyhow, chalk up another great shopping trip for me!

This Week's Coupn Spreadsheet

I sat down and figured out what coupons came in each of the papers again this week. This week I included 2 other papers - The Meadville Tribune and the Youngstown Vindicator. Nether proved to be very good. There were a couple of coupons in the Vindicator that weren't in the others. The Meadville was almost the same as the Herald, but both papers had very few coupons in them. Neither came with Red Plum or Proctor & Gamble inserts, so they really aren't worth it. The only reason the Herald remains on my list is because they have the red Plums and the P&G inserts. Their Smart Source are pretty thin though. HERE is the link for this week's spreadsheet. With the P&G insert, there were a LOT of coupons!


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