Sunday, February 28, 2010

Great CVS trip

I had an awesome trip to CVS today (2/28). I spent a total of $25, saved $39 and came home with 4 ECB, a total of 67%! This is my second highest percentage for a trip! I realized after getting in the van that I could have saved an additional $3 had I separated and completed 3 transaction instead of 2 but oops! One of the reasons I missed this is because I ended up using 2 store coupons that I had not plan prior to going to the store! Here is what I did:

Transaction #1
CVS Psoriasis shampoo $7.99 with a $1 store coupon
Gillette men's clinical strength deodorant $8.99 w/$3.00 off manufacturer's coupon and 2ECB earned.
1 Bottle of Colgate Kid's toothpaste $2.50 w/$.75 off manufacturer's coupon and 1 ECB
1 Tube of Colgate Toothpaste $2.50 w/$.75 off manufacturer's coupon and 1 ECB
Softsoap body wash $4.99 w/4 ECB back
Other coupons included 5 off 25 from Rite Aid and 2 ECB

Transaction #2
Box of Huggies Diapers $19.99 with $4.00 store coupon and $2.50 Manufacturer's coupon earned 4ECB
2 bags of Jelly Beans $.88 each with $1.00 off 2 store coupon
2 new Pacifers for Zach
Other coupons included 3 off 15 from Rite Aid and 8ECB

The really cool part of the second transaction is that including the jelly beans and pacifers as free,then diapers were still $.12 each!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

This week has been crazy and has also served as a reminder of why I CHOSE to stay at home. My last blog post was on Monday. On Tuesday, Lily and Kendall went to Tumble Tots and I spent the morning in Salisbury. I went to the Harris Teeter there. I am so glad I did. This store was awesome, clean and well stocked. Tuesday was the last day of Super Doubles but there were only two items I could not find. Spent 22.89 and saved $26.26 There is a rumor that a "Triples Week" is coming in the next month and if that is the case then I will be making one or more trips to that store. I also hit CVS where I purchased a container of Tide and a package of Tide Stain Release gel packs; total spent 9.84 saved 12.34. Finally I stopped at Food Lion to grab some more clearance baby food and some paper plates total spent 7.16 saved 18.22. Total saving for the morning $57 or 59 %. Zach and I met Matt for lunch and then went to Lowes to purchase tile for the bathroom. I also went online to buy the glass block. Home Depot had a deal that for spending a certain amount you received free shipping. After ordering the glass block tile I realized that I could pay 41 for shipping or I could spend $41 and get free shipping. Of course I spent :)

Yesterday I ended up working 6 hours with Lily going to Tumble Tots and then home with a friend. Zach and Kendall went to Nana Carol's. I was so tired!!

Today, Matt left at 5am for a meeting and I am trying to get the house straighten, laundry caught up and the girls prepared for Tomorrow. I will be leaving at 5:30am for a class in Raleigh. The class last from 8:30 till 5pm. It is a 2 hour drive. Matt will be at home with the kids. It will be the longest that I have been away from any of the younger kids. Even when I gave birth it was a maximum of 8 hours between times I saw the others. Lily is sick and already clinging. I am trying to prepare her I hope that helps! I am excited about the class because it is the one I need in order to become "handwriting certified." Hopefully I will learn alot!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Not so Manic Monday

Today is exactly what I needed it to be a nice, quiet, routine day at home! This weekend has been so hectic starting with Thursday night and then through yesterday. So since I want to keep this almost as a journal, I am going to try and hit the highlights of the weekend.

Thursday night I made a quick but profitable trip to CVS and Food Lion. At Food Lion, I found stage 2 baby food on closeout for 39 cent a jar. I also had several coupons for $1 off 4 and 6. I ended up buying 14 jars of food for an average cost of 13 cent each. I also picked up 64 ozs of Apple Juice for 50 cent. Diet Cokes were also on sale :)

Friday, Amanda and I went to Winston after I saw a patient at North. We hit Harris Teeter and Costco as well as the Verizon Store where Amanda is going to be getting a new phone. This phone is the 3rd one in 10 months that has broken so she got to chose a different phone to replace this one! I also went to CVS where I had a great transaction spending 32 cent and saving $22. I had a 5/25, a 4/20 facial items and 16 in ECBs. I still brought home 6ECB from my first transactions! Matt's brother Dave and his family arrived from Disney around midnight, I was asleep!

Saturday, Matt stayed at home to visit with the kids. I went to help with Angel Food distribution, came home ate lunch and then went back to church for quizzing. Matt and the babies brought Pizza Hut pizza for dinner!

Sunday was a church day as usual and I got a much needed nap!

Today, I have caught up on laundry, emptied cat litter, caught up on the internet and hopefully will get my coupons cut out from the past 3 weeks that Mom saved for me! I also need to get a new calender for March put together!

The biggest news is that Kendall used a spoon to feed herself Applesauce for lunch !

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Kendall's Appointment

We started to notice several weeks ago that Kendall's left eye was starting to cross(turn inward). The more we watched it the more often we saw it turning in. Because of Lily's extremely poor vision we decided to have her checked immediately. So yesterday we both took her to the appointment. I have to say that she was absolutely amazing! She is so cooperative with all the tests they had to do. It was really obvious to the tech that she was far-sighted. Her vision is not as bad as Lily's but she does require glasses. We are in prayer that she will not need surgery. After receiving her glasses, she returns in 3 months to make this decision. Because Zach was with us, they decided to "check" his vision as well. Because he is so young this may change but his eye "look" normal now. One of the main things we were so worried about was finding glasses to fit Kendall. Lily was a year older but around the same size and it took 3 months and multiple visits to different place to find her glasses. So we decided to go ahead and order a pair if we could find some that fit. We did find and order a pair from the doctor's office. they are pink and brown and have the "cable" /wrap around ear pieces. They are not the best but they did look cute on her so we decide to get these as well as keep looking. This office does not accept our vision insurance so this pair is full price. After coming back to Lexington, I took her to the office I use and where our insurance is accepted. I was able to find an adorable blue pair of glass that she LOVES and looks great it. So I ordered this pair as well. I was also able to order myself a new pair of glasses. I will post pictures when both pair come in!

I did make my first trip to Harris Teeter for super doubles yesterday before Kendall's appointment. I am upset with myself, first I have lost my envelope that had my extra coupons to use. These were the ones I had pulled if an item was out of I couldn't find it at the store. I had probably 16 or so coupons in this one. On top of that I lost my receipt. I know that I had over $50 in coupons but no clue how the totals actually are. I am planning a second trip tomorrow hopefully I will do better.
The playhouse arrived and only took Matt about 30 minutes to assemble. I will try and get pics of this as well.
Matt and I are going to build raised garden boxes for our square foot garden this year. I ordered the book today and he is planning on building 2 4x4 boxes for me!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


This post is difficult for me to write and is strictly to make myself accountable. I hope that if anyone reads it they can relate or even offer support.

Over the past several weeks in particular, we have been working on getting our budget and more importantly our spending under control. It seems that our checkbook is staying in the red. My first thought is that it is not really in the red because some of the money is "spent" only on paper. But in reality I know that that money has to be spent for what it says it is going too. We decided that when we got the unexpected refund from taxes, that money would go to get us back on track and if there was any extra it would go to finishing the room. We have also said that instead of putting every available penny into finishing the room we would first get the rest of our finances in order. This probably does not sound like a big deal but it would probably take a maximum of 5000 to finish and have inspected the new addition. At that point we could and will re-fiance the house with the addition and lower our overall debit and monthly payments. But with me not working, it is difficult to find even the extra 5000. So we see the end but also are at the point where several things need to be fixed, replace or simply bought for regular use!

Couponing is going a long way to stretch our budget and I really enjoy doing it but I am also trying not to "spend" money in order to save in the long run. This is difficult for me because I see several "awesome" deals and want to take advantage of them but in reality we don't have the cash to do that right now. It is difficult for me to realize this and to stick is not in the budget it can wait. I am not talking about huge expenses but little 10 bucks here and there type things! So yesterday, I read this great deal of pictures, free 75 prints with shipping only to pay. So I decided that I would only do it if I have either the cash or paypal funds to do it. But it is a struggle for me. Grrrrrrrrrr!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentine's Day

The most important event of today was Lily playing Hand bells at church this morning. The way they learn to do this is by following colors on a card. Lily does not always play the same colors so she is watching not just going off memory. In fact this morning she told me she was playing yellow bells. Today the entire group (ages 2.5 - 5th grade) played Jesus Loves Me with the bells. They also sang and recited John 3:16. Lily has been practicing on the verse for about a month. I am so proud of her for learning it in KJ with those "long" words! This group meets on Wednesday nights. The "theme" for this year is "Jesus cared for us so we care for others." They are collecting one item a month to make Samaritan purse boxes in November, and collect change to donate once a quarter. I am really excited and glad to see this group focus on others at this young age! A friend sat up front today and got some really good shots of Lily.
Isabella is Lily's favorite friend

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Love's Sweet Song

One of the reason that this week has been so busy for us is the preparation for the dinner theater presented at church last night. This is one of the two main fundraisers for the youth's trip to LIFE this summer. LIFE is a national youth conference occurring once every 3 years. It can only be attended by youth going into 9th grade to those just graduating from High School. Love's Sweet Song is the title of the play. Haley plays the main character and was on stage the entire performance. She has been working really hard to learn her lines and especially on slowing down and speaking clearly. Matt has a couple of lines but also enjoyed working on the set design and helping with make- up. Hopefully (depending on the weather) they will present this again tonight. A nursery was provided last night and Lily at the last minute decided to stay in the nursery "to play" instead of watching the play with me! Her statement was "I don't want to watch a dumb play." Below is the "time machine" designed by Matt, what you can't see is the "Bumper stickers" on the front!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Why I am still in my PJ at 3pm...

and very proud of myself today. I have accomplished alot, but I a sure from the outside looking in or even looking back, the accomplishments may be seriously doubted. But this blog will hopefully help me remember not only this day but why me being a SAHM was so important. Today I have
read 3 book(twice) feed 4 people lunch, completed 3 loads of laundry, swept the office and kitchen, tied shoes 4 times, encouraged climbing, posted to this blog three time and not one single time raised my voice!!!

Now on to the most important details. I did not spend preschool time with Lily today, she still insist that because she can see snow it is a snow day! But instead I spent 20 minutes at lunch "helping" Kendall eat her soup with a spoon. She needs minimal assistance to scoop and still spills about 50% of the food unassisted. Lily decided that she "needed" to learn to tie her shoe. I didn't think that explaining to a 4 year old that she does not have the fine motor dexterity to complete this task would be well received so instead we practiced tying several times. She has mastered steps 1-4 but needs to work on wrapping and pulling the final loops through. I would bet that in less than 3 weeks she has this skill mastered. Now on to the climbing, with Zach in his new car seat it is impossible to carry both him and Kendall and load in the car alone. This means that Kendall has to now walk to the van and climb up in her seat while I physically place Zach and belt him in! So this afternoon I opened the door and said climb up and in Kendall and she did! IT took several attempts for her to get up in the seat but man we were both so proud! We are also working on holding hands in the parking lot as well as door handles. Maybe I will be able to safely take out the three little ones alone in the future?? My final accomplishment for the day is to be in bed at 9:30.....I hope it happens!

Zach's First Ear Infection/Crazy Saturday

So this is the second in my post from the weekend. Friday night was a BAD night in terms of sleep. I don't remember all the blurry details but I do know that Zach woke up around 3:30 and it was 5ish before we (see next sentence) got him to sleep. I was so tired that I asked Matt to get up with him at around 4ish but ended up having to get up to clean his nose. So at 7ish Matt got back up with him and then brought him back to me. He felt hot so I took his temperature it was 103.4. Of course I had to take him to the walk in clinic. Matt and Haley had practice for their play at 10am. Amanda was off being Amanda. So I called and asked if Papaw and Granny would watch Lily and Kendall while I took Zach. Of course all four of them had a great time! Zach has a double ear infection. So after I got home; dropped and picked up Zach's prescriptions and both the girls. I talked with Matt and decided that I would get the girls a nap and then head to Winston. I got both the girls in the car with snacks and picked up Haley from quiz practice. The trip was a success, we purchased Zach a new carseat and about 6 new outfits in 6-9 months. We also went to Costco for our bi-monthly shopping trip. By the time we got home, had dinner, baths and made a desert it was 9:40 time for bed!

I didn't post a Friday final last week but I am official done with grocery shopping this month according to my monthly budget. I probably will make a couple of small trip to CVS and if Harris Teeter has a special coupon event then I will head there as well. Otherwise I am planning to not spend any more on groceries this month. IF I am able to do this then I will be at my monthly average for last year!

Super Bowl Sunday

I am so glad it is Monday, it was a long (insert crazy busy with no down time) weekend. Everyone is in school today and Matt left early for work. I decided to break the weekend into two separate post. I am going to work on this post first because it is the most fun!
For the past 4 or 5 years we have a fun tradition at our house for Super Bowl Sunday. I prepare and fix ALOT of junk food and allow the kids to eat it in front of the living room TV while watching the Super Bowl and/or the commercials. The reason we started this was because it was easier to have food here than trying to run one or both of the older girls to different parties to hang out with their friends. On Saturday, I thought it would be fun to invite the Pierces over to share in the fun. Haley decided not to go to the youth party since Andrea was coming and Lily and Isabella disappeared to Lily's room to play all night. I extended the "junk" food yesterday to use the 3lbs of hamburger that I had bought to make Taco Rice, Chimichangas and chili. The first two are from 30 Day Gourmet, they did not even get touched so I froze the Chimichangas and we will have the Taco Rice for dinner today with Salsa corn bread! For deserts we had Frozen Peanut Butter Bars from the same website and Haley made Chocolate Chip cookies. Chili is something everyone usually loves so I made it for either a chili, chips and cheese dinner or on hot dogs or as lunch! I fried some mozzarella cheese sticks and made Buffalo wings in 3 flavors, hot, mild and BBQ. Matt was most impressed with these because this is the first time I have made these for him! We had Taco Dip, cocktail weenies, Re-fried beans and Sausage Dip. Matt made some Pigs in a blankets and crescent rolls for the girls. Sounds like alot of food and it took most of the afternoon to fix and clean up afterwards but I am really glad to have several meals already prepared for the week. In addition both Matt and Amanda took leftovers for lunch today!
2 future post that I am going to try... first one about Saturday and Zach. IF I have time today I would also like to do a menu planning post/ look at the week ahead!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Friday end of Bad Weather Week!

Not much going on here. Haley was out of school again today, that is four days out of five this week. Matt was also home all day. He is on call this weekend so he may or may not be at home at any given time. We are hoping that he is able to get up ALOT of the backer board in the bath area. I would love for us to get it all complete but I seriously doubt that will happen with everything else going on! Our federal income taxes are suppose to arrive next Friday, with our states to arrive shortly there after hopefully! We are planning on using this money along with Matt's bonus to complete the bath area and get the room inspected. I am so ready for this to be done. I want my new master bedroom suite with a big comfortable bed, HUGE tub that I can soak in and a nice neat organized closet! Matt and I have spent several hours talking and planning the last several weeks to get our financial situation back on track. I must confess that he is doing better in this area than I am. I am just tired of being poor. But I know in the end it will be worth it! I am really hoping that once we get this room finished it will be easier to get and stay on a budget!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Almost Wordless Wednesday

9 Diet Cokes 2 liters
4 12 packs
3 packs of Diapers
1 tub of toothpaste

Total Spent $27.57 Total Saved $57.77 or 68%

I did a total of 3 transactions rolling the ECB each time and started with 10 ECBs from last week. I also got a rain check for Men's Dove body wash which as a money maker this week!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Day In the Life

I decided to do a version of this today. Not much going on in our world today but it is a perfect day of why it will appear that I accomplished nothing while I was a stay at home mom! Today is special because of the remaining snow on the ground, Haley is at home today again. So far this morning, I cooked breakfast of eggs, sausage and biscuits. I soaked several pans to try and get rid of gross curd in them and loaded the dishwasher. Haley has already emptied it. I did wake Haley up early (around 9am) because she was talking a little loud on her phone last night so I had to get up twice and tell her to be quiet! I have folded and put away 2 loads of laundry with the remaining 2 in the washer and dryer. Since we can't have home school because of the snow (ha ha) I pulled out the puzzles and both Lily and Kendall worked at the table on puzzles. Kendall is so cute she is doing a 8 piece inset puzzle and requires a lot of help but after getting the pieces back in she would clap and we all praised her. Kendall lasted with the puzzles for about 15 minutes. Lily had received a 50 piece TINY Tinkerbell puzzle that Haley and I helped her with. It took about 40 minutes to get this puzzle together. I was so impressed with Lily because she is beginning to be able to pick up pieces and place them alone! This puzzle was HARD! Zach has also been feed twice and changed and is currently asleep! Lily and Kendall are watching Seasame Street and playing tea party. I have also went to JCP and ordered new towels and washcloths for us. I spent $87 and saved $84. I am going to pay for these with the money I will get from working the past 2 weeks as well as this week and next week!
The rest of the day should include finishing the laundry, lunch naps, cleaning and straightening the Hall closet, as well as dinner!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Murphy Appears in Threes

The Murphy I am referring to in the title is in no way related to my sister in law! I am talking about Murphy's law that says things usually go wrong in set of three and always when you can't afford to fix all of them! Yesterday when Matt was checking on things under the house he discovered that our chest freezer had stopped working. After thinking back on this it was probably last Sunday when the motor actually died. This freezer is probably 25 or more years old. I had purchased it at a yard sale with Amanda and Haley's dad. I paid $20 for it 12 years ago and it was old at the time. Luckily, we only lost about $5 of meat (Angel Food popcorn chicken) but mostly it was vegetables and stews that I had frozen last summer. I was slowly using this food in anticipation that I would restock it this summer with things we grow from our first real garden. The bigger issues will be first of all emptying and physically moving the freezer to the dump, followed by replacing it. Most likely, we will keep an eye on both Matt's boards and craigslist to find an inexpensive chest or stand up freezer. I really like having the freezer but it is definitely not worth the expense of a new one! So now are you wondering what the other 2 broken things are in January? They both occurred on the same day. First the transmission in my van started acting up. Luckily, we used a transmission fix and that has solved the problem for at least the present but we are going to have to seriously ponder a decision on whether we have the transmission repair or replaced or we purchase a new vehicle for me to drive. Lastly our cable and phone connections messed up. They are currently working well :)