Sunday, October 31, 2010

October in Review

Blogging- Goal is 5 times a week or 20 a month. I am staying steady in this area, I have blogged a total of 17 times this month, one less than September. We are finally achieving the balance that allows me time to do things I enjoy.

Reading my Bible- Holding stead in this area as well. I am reading a devotion at least 3 times a week. The goal is for me to have a devotional time 5-6 times a week. One of the things that we are trying to add is a couple devotional time. We had done so twice this week but I would hope this becomes at least 3 times a week.

Preschool with Lily and Kendall- This continues to be an area of excellence in our house. I am spending about 2 hours a week getting everything set up. I also get to "teach" usually one day a week. A school readiness person started coming to the house 2x a month to work with all 3 little ones. Matt really enjoyed this time and learned alot from Mrs. Melissa. Lily is work on numbers to 100, she is also learning about money, so far she has learned pennies and nickels. I checked her on the Kindergarten sight word list this past week. Lily recognizes/ reads 7 of the 30 words. Matt continues to work on reading with her in the evenings as well. Kendall is learning by leaps and bounds now. She recognizes a circle and counts to 10. She has started to memorize the ABC song.

Budget-Overall we did well on budget this month. Groceries still remain a huge challenge for us but after looking at it realistically we will be increase the monthly grocery budget to 800 or 26 a person per week. During October I spent around 550 so that is below the budgeted 600 even. We are continuing to eat out of the pantry until at least we leave for MI.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween... Lily style

Lily and Kendall both LOVE to dress up! The can spend hours at a time changing and playing dress up. Thanks to a wonderful couple at church, we have probably close to 15 outfits not counting various shoes and accessories.

Lily is have a blast this year because she was given 3 chance to dress up and "go out in public." Wednesday night, the kids club had a Princess and Pirate party. Lily chose to go as "Sleeping Beauty." Tonight the initial plan was to go with our friends to a Halloween carnival and then to several "Trunk or treats" but both Zach and Kendall were sick. We decide with the cooler weather it would be best to keep them at home tonight so that we could possible enjoy the church event. But our friends took Haley and Lily with them. Lily was a Barbie cheerleader tonight and return with a bucket of candy.

I have personally never been a fan of Halloween and until the past couple of years just avoid the whole thing. But Matt enjoys making costumes as well as apply just the right make up so he likes to have several people to work on. Lily and Kendall both like nothing better so Halloween is now a fun time just because we get to all dress up. This year our church is have a "family" costume contest and we are going as The Wizard of OZ. Amanda is Dorthy, Kendall is Toto, Zach is the Tin Man, Haley is the Scarecrow, Lily is the "cotton candy" good witch Glenda, Matt is the "wizard behind the curtain' and I am the yellow brick road. I hope to get a couple of awesome pictures to post.

Friday, October 29, 2010


Yeap, I know that is not grammatically correct and sounds strange to boot but that is what today was officially known as at least that Haley's High School. I am very proud of her today and wanted to share just how awesome she is.

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month. No one in our immediate family has been affected by this disease but Haley has several friends who have been. She was upset to learn that her school had no intention of doing anything to acknowledge this month so she decided to do something about it. She went to the principal and talked about it. This was the first of several meeting with the principal, followed by meeting with student government. Haley was able to not only convince her principal to acknowledge this day but she even worked out that anyone who was wearing pink today in support got an extra break. Haley is still amazed that she is given 100% of the credit for this event and she was excited to take part it in today.

Congratulations Haley, I know that once you can about something you are not ashamed to stand up and be recognized!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

It Pays to Eat Pasta

This is something I have never done before but you know a year worth of free groceries or for us 6 months of free groceries are worth it. Click the link below and I get an extra chance to win. Please and thank you


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Last year was the first and only year that I have dressed up for Trick or Treating with the kids so I thought it was worth a post

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Random Thoughts Tuesday

Boy do I have alot of these....

We are going to enter the family costume contest at the church on Sunday night. I can't give away too much but all seven of us are going and we have a theme. I promise pictures next week for sure.

I am working ALOT this week. When I say alot I mean that I am schedule for both the hospital and the nursing home every day this week. This will not last long as of next week I am down to 2 days a week at the nursing home until December. With the change of rehab directors I am unsure how much of the schedule will last but at least for this week I can complain of being tired.

Matt and I are starting a couple's devotional time. We hope this will help deepen our faith and keep our marriage strong.

I have already started a list of things that need to get done before our trip and it appears that it just may be a smooth transition because of the busy week is the one just prior to our trip so I have to get as much done ahead of time as possible.

Potty training with Kendall is frustrating. We think she is starting to get the idea then then she pees in her panties 3 times in an hour. GRRRRR I was so hoping to have her trained prior to the trip but I seriously wonder if this is possible.

Kendall and Zach are now in the same room. We are only using the room for sleeping so it is not a big deal. Nap times are a nightmare. But after falling asleep they both slept at least 8 hour straight last night which is better than average prior to moving them in the same room.

I have decided that we are all are affected by the dreary weather because the mood around here tonight is YUCKY!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Grocery Budget...the good...bad and ugly

I have been really trying to get us on a strict budget this year. One of the areas that I seem to continual struggle in is grocery shopping. As you know, Matt and I decided to clean out our cupboard/freezer starting exactly a month ago. I have been sticking to shopping only for things we are out of and of course CVS. Unfortunately on Thursday we were in town with Costco and went to pick up the items on the list. I can say that we stuck very closely to the list and only add things after discussion. The one exception was "gluten free" crackers we found and bought but Zach because they are delicious and he loves to have crunch foods. We bought drinks for Haley and I at lunch, cleaning wipes, swiffers, milk, eggs, bread, bananas and bacon. Our total was $120 that pushes the total for the month to $420 and with the $40 Matt just took to Walmart for Formula and creamer and diet coke. We are pushing $500 for the month. At this point we are starting to consider if the budget of $600 a month is realistic or should be increase that to $800. At $800 that is approximately $125 a person or $29 a week per person. Looking at the number $800 sounds like a lot but when you take that down to $30 a person a week that seems reasonable, especially when you include diapers for 2, formula and Gluten free foods for Zach and household cleaning products. So I am pretty convinced that I will again increase the budget to set it at $800 a month. But since finding 5 lbs of Hamburger and getting Angel Food in this week. we are also both convinced that we will continue to eat out of the freezers/cupboard until we leave for our trip at Thanksgiving. I am planning on having the first Monday off after arriving home and we most like will make a HUGE trip to Costco at that time unless we realize that we have enough food to go another week. :) Any thoughts or suggestions?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Eye Appointment

Today, both Lily and Kendall had an eye appointment with the specialist in Greensboro. Both the girls were awesome and for the most part well behaved. Kendall is so young that basically they look at her eyes and nothing has changed with her. We are to return in 9 months, when she can hopefully read the charts and we can get a better idea of what she is seeing. On the down side, she managed to break a pair of glasses in half on the way home.

Lily is a different story. It has been a year since her vision has been checked. At that point she was 3 and they were uncertain if she was reading the chart right. Today, we were asked if she knew all her letters. She does and is accurate all the time if she is seeing correctly. Matt and I both were concerned when at 60 she could not read the chart with her right eye in glasses. After doing some testing with her, the doctor determined that her vision has gotten worse. Personally, I am unsure if it has gotten worse or they were wrong the first time with her. Both eyes have changed by +2.70. Her prescription is now a +8.5 and +9. This is only increasing her prescription by +1.5. The doctor also wants us to patch Lily's good(left) eye for 4 hours a day. We were given a princess patch to use today. I asked several questions but still am not sure of the answers I got. Basically, I know that she is far sighted, according to this doctor this is going to worsen. The patching is to strengthen her bad eye and should be short in duration. Far sightedness does not correspond to 20/20 or 20/40. We should only be concerned if her corrected vision is not 20/40. After talking with my mother tonight, Matt and I are in agreement that we are going to seek a second opinion just to make us feel better. We should get this arranged in the next week or so.

One of the problems we have is that the doctor asked us to remove Kendall and Zach because he did not want to talk over them. We don't have a problem with that but he was rude in the way he asked/ told us he would not continue until they were gone. He also was offended that I asked at what point does Lily have a visual impairment.

The other problem is my personal thought about patching. I don't like the idea of limiting her sight. I don't think she should be punished because she is not seeing. I understand the principle but don't agree with it. So hopefully another doctor will be more helpful. Or at least I can say that this is definitely the way things need to be done.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wordless Wednesday-the new bed

So here is the air mattress we have been sleeping on for 6 months.

Here are pictures of the new bed..It is awesome but we are saving the air mattress "in case of a water landing." per Matt

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Randon Thoughts Tuesday

I am so glad I get to post this tonight. I have ALOT of Random thoughts right now.

Square Foot Gardening is over. Tonight we ended up going and pulling up the remaining watermelon plants as parts were dead. We left the pepper plants as they still have blooms on them and some small peppers. I also left the basil it is starting to flower but it smells so good that I will just go out and smell it. We definitely learned alot and hopefully next year will expand to 3 boxes and actually grow enough to enjoy several times. The key things for us to remember is water water water and we need to start the new plants inside in January.

Zach is so proud of himself for two reasons today. First he has learned to climb. He can climb in the small rocking chair, on Kendall's bed and of course on top of the toys. He also has discovered he can drive out of Kendall's cup. We are very careful that it has only water or juice but he is so happy just to get it.

Our eat out of the pantry challenge may end a week sooner than we originally hoped for and 4 weeks then my dream. The reason is that we are starting to run out of food such as bacon and juice. Haley also needs more Fruit2Os for school. I know that we will probably end up going to Costco on Thursday while we are in Greensboro. If we can buy only the items we are out of then I will be very very excited and happy. Maybe if we make a small trip then continue with the plan it will work out.

I have decided that I really really really dislike working at the Nursing home. I feel like I go in and really just loose track of time and never seem to get out at a decent time. I have already scheduled myself through the end of the year. I am hoping that I can at that point stop doing it on a regular basis but that will me a lot more work at the hospital. It is just so hard to juggle to two jobs. I have been scheduled to work every day at the nursing home next week so hopefuls that will keep me motivated to get our budget down.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

CVS Game

I shop at CVS differently then most of what I have been reading lately. There are several reason for this first with 2 in diapers, I have to be able to supply these and still try to stay on a budget. I also enjoy the challenge of finding good deals. I rarely save ECBs. My thought is why keep free money, I am also afraid of losing or letting it expire. I probably made my best trip to CVS yesterday...looked at in isolation there is no way you can't be impressed. I spent $0.80, saved 95% or $15.47 and earned an ECB as well. But this is just one of 3 trips this week.

Last Sunday, I made my weekly trip, I discovered a monthly deal on AZO anti-itch wipes and lotion over at Couponing to Disney. It is a monthly long deal. Original price was $6.99, coupon for $2 off making the product 4.99 plus you receive 5 ECB back with each purchase. This deal can be completed 3 times. I bought 2 of these items last Sunday and got a rain check for an additional 5 because the store was out. I returned on Wednesday to the store and they were still out so I decided to go to Thomasville. On Thursday, I went purchased the other 3 for my monthly limit as well as 3 bags of candy and a bag of candy corn, with coupons I spent 16.87 and received 15 ECB back. I used these on Saturday at CVS to purchase the Formula, Zach needed. So as you can see this is a game. Currently, I can repeat this deal using Amanda's card prior to the end of the month and also until my coupons run out in December I can do another 5 on my card with the rain check I received. These items will get used around here but they would not be something I would normally buy. In reality I earn one cent for each time I buy so I buy use and then purchase what we really need with ECB. Are you playing the CVS game? Share how you play!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Saturday Catch UP

This week has been busy as usual. I was trying to decide what made it so busy that I have not been able to post...the only thing I can come up with is that I worked on quizzing every night to prepare for our monthly meet today. At least I have part of the morning before heading that way. So here is the long and short of the week.

Eat out of the pantry/No grocery shopping for the month of October. So far so good, we have had to buy Diet Cokes, cream, milk, formula and eggs. The one exception is that we bought cake mix and icing for Amanda's cake. But we returned a battery cores so this technically no money was spent on this. I am not sure if I said this upfront but I am continuing to shop at CVS as usual. I do count this in our grocery budget but I usually only buy sale items that we use in the stock pile and diapers. So far for the month we have spent 200 this includes our Angel Food so that is about 1/3 of what I usually budget and 1/4 of what we have been spending. The next 3-5 weeks depending on how long we can actually go will be challenging simply because the food we have left requires thought and preparation. Matt has been using the crock pot several days this week.

Kendall is doing really well with potty training. She has been staying day most days with only 1 accident per day.

CVS has an awesome monthly long deal on AZO products so I have made several trips this week but next week looks lame. I am saving over 80% on all the trips.

The other big news this week is that we finally bought a bed for Matt and I. I will be posting before and after pictures for Wordless Wednesday.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Happy Birthday to my Firstborn

Happy 19th birthday to Amanda..the first born...the sissy. Yesterday, Sunday we went to Olive Garden with some friends to celebrate Amanda's birthday. It was actually a fun time for all of us to be together and talk and laugh. I always get nervous when we attempt to go out to eat because it can turn very ugly if the little are not exactly right. Last night, Kendall managed to dump a bowl of salad on the floor but that was the majority of the mess.

Lily decided this morning to ask Amanda if she wanted a "store cake" or a "Lily cake" of course Amanda decided on the Lily cake. So Matt and Lily made the cake while I was at work. I got home in time to frost the cake and then Lily decorated the cake. It was awesome.

This has been a long hard year on Amanda and I am praying that brighter days are ahead as she grows into the Woman I have been praying for all these years! Happy Birthday AMANDA and remember we all LOVE YOU!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

I am tired...wish I was here...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

More Good Deals at CVS

I will have to admit at first when I checked out the ad for CVS this week, I was unimpressed. In fact, I even told Matt that I didn't think I would go to the store at all this week. So of course things change around here. I was checking out my stash and realized that we had about 8 rolls of toilet paper left. I remembered that P &G had an ECB deal this week. So I went back and re-looked at the sale. I am so glad I did. I have ended up going to CVS once on Sunday and back again on Monday. I am not sure you can repeat these transactions again for two reason. First I used Amanda's card for a deal on Monday that included a free candle. Secondly, quarterly ECB bucks printed this week, I earned 7 and Amanda's card 1.50. Third, I used several rain checks to purchase the Diet cokes and water, because we needed them at home. Finally, there is a glitch at the store so that I have been able to claim the P&G ECB twice. But I still wanted to share because it is COOL!

- 6 separate transactions
Total spent= 19.30
Total saved = 121.98 or 86%

Here is what I was able to purchase 2 scented candles,3 20 roll packs of toilet paper, 2 9 volt batteries, 1 Deodorant, 7 bags of candy, 2 bottles of nail polish, 2 boxes of panty shields,1 razor, 24 pack of water and 6 two liters of Diet Coke.

I enjoyed shopping this week!

Monday, October 4, 2010

20 Years.....

20 Years... man at most points in my life that sounds like A LOT of time. Especially when thinking of my kids.

20 years... from now I will have an empty house or at least they all will be old enough to take care of themselves and I can pretend the house is empty.

20 years... Amanda still has another full year before reaching this point. I barely remember a time in my life when she was not around.

20 years....ago I was in high school. Wait it can not have been that long, maybe some one miscounted when they schedule our reunion. Even today, I still think that 20 years should feel longer.

So I did attend 2 parts of our 3 part 20 year reunion this weekend. I was able to catch up with most of the people I care to talk to between the Homecoming football game on Friday night and the family style picnic at the Park on Saturday. Some people were hard to recognize, some were much more enjoyable now than 20 years ago. But the thing that amazed me the most was that my 2 best friends from high school even as different as our lives have been we were together and it was a blast. Just a few difference neither Julie or Sherry are married nor have any kids. Both moved away from Lexington for extended periods of time. Julie still is in another state. But we are still us and we still laughed and enjoyed out time. I hope it doesn't take another ....20 years before we can spend time together again.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

News of the week...

First Kendall is doing excellent with potty training! We went and bought "big girl" panties on Friday. She wore for exactly 20 minutes and pooped. But today she did much better. She was in a pull up because of my fears for most of the day. She was dry from this morning though the flu shot and my class reunion at the park. So after nap we put on Elmo and she stayed dry all afternoon. I was so excited and pleased. I am debating about church tomorrow will probably do a pull up but on Monday I am thinking all day in panties.

Next we have installed both a ceiling fan and a shade for more privacy in our new bedroom. Except for furniture and some caulking it is now how we planned. Next weekend we are going to change out Haley's room floor. Hopefully this will do away with some of the awful smell :)>

Finally, we have not been grocery shopping at all this week. We did eat out on Friday at lunch but that has been it. We have only eaten 3 meals off our master list but Matt has enjoyed making several meals that were not on the list but he used items that were still here. I was even able to take a large bowl of slaw and baked beans from the freezer to my class reunion today with no extra cost! I am planning a post about that for Sunday!