Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Some of my Fav. Finds

We have these often and recently found that I was paying WAY too much for grits. This 24 oz. container of grits sells at Maceys for $2.19. Walmart sells this exact one for around $1.60. Wow, I have been wasting my money.

I was recently introduced to V-fusion by some friends and immediately was hooked. One serving contains a serving of fruit and a serving of vegetables. My fav. is the Strawberry Banana. YUM. I was disappointed that Maceys and Smiths sold it for over $4.00. However, Walmart sells it for just under $3.00. It's worth the price for me since we don't always get those needed antioxidants.

Hormel natural Choice deli meats is the sandwich meats I buy. There are no NITRATES in them. Again, it is not a cheap choice. Smiths and Maceys sells them for well over $4.00. Once in a while Smiths will mark them down. However, I find them marked down to $2.50 and less at Walmart quite OFTEN. We get turkey or chicken. There aren't a lot of choices but still worth it to me; I just can't imagine feeding my kid all those nitrates. School lunches freak me out because of that........the poor kids consume so much processed meat. It's crazy.

This is my favorite brand bread from Maceys. They also have plain white, buttermilk, honey multi grain, and plain wheat. We stock up on the multi grain and the yummy white. They use to go for under $1.00 but not anymore. However, I bought several loaves for $1.25. And if you are interested in the ingredients there they are below. Click to enlarge. Stone Ground Whole Wheat is the first ingredient....not bad at all!


I paid $5.00 plus tax for the above beverages which includes the soy milk, 2 gallons of Organic milk, and the calcium fortified juice. The soy normally goes for $3-4, the organic normally is $5.99 and the juice over $2.00. I did have to buy 7 boxes of cereal from Albertsons to get the milk at 3 boxes for $5, still not a bad deal and we needed cereal anyways. The juice was on sale for $1.00 a half gallon at Smiths.

Happy Shopping!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Happy Birthday Sweety

Here are some baby pictures of this birthday boy before I go on.

This is him with big brother when he was actually smaller. Not anymore.

Smile for mommy....yeah right. K was the only one who could get this munchkin to smile in the early days.

Inseparable then inseparable now.

Traveling. Never again.

From Winter to Spring to Winter again. Boing Boing Boing......reminds me of this little munchkin and his daddy. We bagged the sledding party due to how bad the weather was (it melted all our snow) and had a "bubbles party" instead. This was L's idea and it turned out to be so much fun. A couple of the things I love about this kid is his ability to be flexible and that he's fine with whatever.

Here he is before the big event. Sometimes I wish I could get into that mind of his and have a sneak peak. What is he thinking about?

We did some fun art. Chris through his work volunteered at a preschool and they did this cool project. The white stuff is shaving cream. Food coloring is used to make designs in it. You slap some paper on that and smear off the stuff and you have this cool design on the paper.

We played around with Bubbles. I also had some hangers and large cookie sheets filled with soap/water. It made for some huge bubbles and smiles.

Sang the song and had some cupcakes. Loved how he kept blowing out the candles one by one WHILE we sang the song. TYPICAL him.

Made Snow Cones. If we're not going to have snow for a sledding party, we might as well eat the stuff.

Here I am throwing out profanities and wondering what I've gotten myself into. Nah. I absolutely LOVE doing these parties for my kids. They're just sooooo HAPPY and content when we do. I think it's worth the headache and body aches afterward ;0).

Love the face. We made this crazy pinata the day of. We actually really liked it and felt it reminded us of the birthday boy. It stood up quite well actually. Everyone got a couple rounds of hitting it.

Watch out these girls can SWING a stick.

Little A finally joined us. He was napping.

The boys love this part of the festivities. I wonder why. They've been playing with the stuff ever since and are just happy, busy little guys.

Typical L. Can't get him to smile for me unless he doesn't know I'm snapping a picture of him while he's engaged in something fun. You wouldn't be able to tell from the picture but he was so pleased with the day. He really loves and appreciates the things we do for him. He's been so thankful for this and that. The cutest has been when he cuddles up next to me or sits on my lap and says "I like how you are sooooo warm." I'm eating it up while I can.

And this was taken today just a day after the party, right in our own backyard you know the same exact one we had the party in just yesterday. SNOW, SNOW, and more SNOW. Anyone wanna go sledding? Geesh.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I Need Snow

I've been working with this picture for L's birthday party invitation. It turned out cute and I thought about posting it here but it has a lot of info. on it so I opted not to. I just can't believe my precious kid is as old as he is. It is such a fun age but it's a sad realization that these kids grow up so quickly.

I really want him to have a special birthday. This is the second year in a row his daddy has been out of town on his special day. Drat. And he's so confused about which day is actually his birthday. Is it the day preschool celebrates his birthday? Or is it Saturday when he has his party? Or is it really the actual day? He seemed a little disappointed. And rightfully so.

He really wants a sledding party and I really want to give it to him. But it's such a toss up at this point in the year. Will we have snow?? I can't believe I will actually be hoping and praying for snow when I want it to be Spring so badly. I'm worried about giving these invitations out tomorrow not knowing if that snowstorm that is forecasted to hit will be good enough.

And here are some pictures from his recital tonight.

A picture with his amazingly talented instructor, Susan Wilcox. We learned a lot from this 8 week course and I'm very tempted to retake it, this time with my tot.

Monday, March 23, 2009

A Very Long Post

When the fish bowl starts looking a little green and murky the kids make sure to tell me (as if I don't already see it). This normally means it's time for me to clean it.

When I feed Darth 5 pellets instead of 3, like the pet store attendant advised us to do, they make sure to tell me I'm overfeeding it.

They repeatedly say, "mom, isn't the hamster so cute?" and "don't you just love Chewie?" What I really want to say is "No" but I try to be nice and say something like "uh huh." For some reason I haven't bonded with Chewie and have no desire to either.

They love to take it out and hold it. It makes me slightly irritated because it's always before we eat and even though I make them wash their hands, I can't help but think of all the little germs, dander and microbes still clinging to those little fingers that they're going to use to eat and maybe even end up licking. eew.

They build things for it and like to let it roam around on our carpet, their blankets, and sheets. I try to cut these activities short to try to avoid an accident. Hamster waste is sooooo stinky and not a pretty sight AT ALL folks. We have learned the hard way. And even though the kids know what I'm talking about, they insist on letting it explore.

When it's low on food, they bring me the teeny bowl.

When I set it's cage somewhere out of the way, it's brought back to somewhere in the way. When I put it near the back door, someone tells me it's too cold for him and moves the cage somewhere warm.

When I leave the cage outside after cleaning it out, they once again tell me it's too cold even though I remind them that the hamster is furry. I like to say, "It's not the cold you should be worried about, it's the CATS." They look at me with horror and so I bring the cage in out of guilt.

When the hamster goes missing, what do they do? They refuse to go to bed. And when we've search up and down and it is not turning up and they're forced to go to bed, they are devastated, torn, and worried. I lean more towards, "What a waste of 8 bucks," or "I hope it doesn't die in our vents and make the house stinky" or "I wish it wore a diaper." Regardless of my thoughts, it's one of the few prayers that's uttered from my mouth that they actually listen to and insist on making sure I ask God to help us.

I can't say I know what all the fuss is about. I use to be a pet person but not so much anymore. If I may just say for the sake of this post that my kids are like my pets, then the only pets I fuss over and absolutely adore are the ones I gave birth to. I do love to hold them and snuggle with them, maybe even to some degree like the way they love to hold Chewie. And do I ever FUSS over them. Yes. When I think they're in danger of being cold, I bundle them up, I wrap them up in blankets, etc. etc. I'm constantly making sure they're clean and fed, that they get attention and are allowed to explore. And when they go missing, I certainly don't go to bed, not that that has happened too many times. But when they are away, I think about them and hope they're safe and sound. And those are just a few out of the millions of times I've worried and fussed over each and every one of my boys, pets if you will.

And although I haven't ever thought to say, "Isn't the hamster so cute and don't you just love him?" you most likely have heard me say or write plenty of similar things about my kids. So I guess I can see what some of the fuss is about. Perhaps it's a reflection of how much love they've experienced and these pets are allowing them to exercise and cultivate their abilities to care for and love something/someone. And those are good things.

Come to think of it and now remembering some of my pet experiences......I cried everyday for several days when my pet bird was attacked by a cat and later died from it. Actually I was devastated and heart broken, nothing could make me happy for days, especially not a replacement. It's possible to love something that much and actually I'm kind of glad my kids are really experiencing it.

And I can't forget about the day I returned home from serving a mission in Japan only to find my dog missing. It had been 5 months and no one bothered to tell me. What did I do? I went looking for her and even tried calling for her as if it were just that morning that she disappeared. She was so darn cute and so fluffy as a puppy. And I was so excited to see her. Bummer. I hope someone good found her.

And how many times did I have my cat sleep in my bed? So many times, I had fleas in my bed, but I didn't care. And I can't forget to mention that I was allergic to it and would wake up puffy eyed and sneezing.

All right, my heart if softened. I guess I just needed to be reminded of my kid days. And now I can try to be a little more sympathetic to our pets and empathetic towards my kid's feelings.

So the next time they ask me "Don't you just love Chewie?" I can say something like "I'm so glad you love Chewie and I had pets I loved when I was your age....."

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Blue Knights Soccer Club

had the opportunity to parade on the field for RSL's open house last Saturday.

The Blue Knights train year round thanks to the dedicated coaches.

We got a chance to check out this awesome, new stadium.

The boys were pretty excited about this day. There's K and his friend to the left who went to 2 years of preschool together and kinder. This cutie happens to be the youngest son of the president of the club, Martin Villegas. K has improved drastically since being coached by Martin. It's people like this, who are so passionate and dedicated about something, that inspire me and keep me looking to see what amazing things they'll do next.


The boys had fun using pastel colors. We used a low odor thinner instead of turpentine on their projects. Little brother got robbed with the cheap paper; guess I better include the good paper on the shopping list for next time.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


This is my bro-in-law and future sis.-in-law. I took some mock engagement pictures for them. These are a couple of my favorites.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Team Hoyt......This story GIVES me goosebumps and brings tears to my Eyes. Check it Out.

I've read and heard about this inspiring father and son team and thought I'd look into them some more. I found this cool video of them as I've been wondering what inspires people to race. This is a unique situation and one that uplifts and touches my heart.

Click on their website for more information on their foundation to help the physically challenged.


This Cheapskate had some good ideas on how to save money.

1. Don't have a cell phone. Lucky Chris' work pays for his Blackberry otherwise he'd be like me: cell phone less.

2. Get rid of a car. I guess the average American household has 2 1/2 cars. This would be nearly impossible for us. We need our 2nd vehicle. Besides we don't have car payments and insurance is reasonable. Gas is another story.

3. Give up meals outside of the home. He said that "40 percent of the average American family household food budget is spent on meals prepared outside the home."
Wow!! I was wondering about this exact topic because we eat maybe once or twice a month out of the home (minus Chris' lunch but those are mostly expensed) and I've been wondering what other people do. My goal is to spend not more than $150 every two weeks on groceries but I'm averaging $180 right now. It's pretty slim pickings towards the end of the two weeks but I can be creative towards that time if I put my mind to it.

4. Don't buy new clothes. If you looked at us you'd say....they need some new clothes. We actually NEED to go do this ASAP. We don't spend anywhere near as much as this article is saying people spend. It says $1800 per family!! I'm thinking per year. Geesh, what would that be like???


5. Let your college kids live at home while they go to school. He made a good point...that these kids accrue a lot of debt and then what happens after graduation??? They move back home.

So there you have it. These aren't ideas too surprising or anything you haven't thought of before.

I would add:

1. Unplug, unplug, and unplug that is things that don't need to be plugged into outlets.

2. Turn your furnace down a setting or two. This has saved us quite a bit on our gas bill in the past. It's back up to the highest setting for us but if you can turn it down and still have enough hot water for your needs, I say leave it down.

3. Turn it off. The computer doesn't have to be on all the time, same with the lights, radio, t.v. lamps, blah, blah, blah.

What are your cheapskate idea?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Happy Birthday Babes!

May we Celebrate many, many more together. If anyone deserves a fun day and to be spoiled rotten it's You.

I wasn't in the mood for the same old, same old so I went down my phone list of friends calling around for unneeded 2 for 1 coupons to this awesome place (next to REI) and thanks to the Redd's for letting us borrow some of their gear, we saved tons of muulaa and surprised Chris with this.

Our first date was to a rock climbing gym on a group date. We had a lot of fun. For one I love getting physical and two I was with the hottest guy ever.

Loyd and Angela were good sports.

After Loyd was done he traded his harness for a teeny one and the boys all got a chance to climb.

They were a little freaked out as they got up there, understandably.

They had this section for kids to climb while we climbed our walls. It was pretty nifty. They do have a day care for anyone who cares to know.

Upon returning we had my unattractive but delicious chocolate cake.

And of course we played Cities and Knights. So here's to being resourceful, sneaky, and freaking awesome.