Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Scissors Are For Paper!

I can't tell you the amount of times I have repeated this simple phrase. 1 child seems to hear it more than any of the others. It would be that artistic, creative, inquisitive, "middle child". Well, yesterday, we had the talk again.

This time, she decided to see what scissors + eyebrows would =. In case you can't imagine, her eyebrow now has a very bald spot right in the middle. I told her that I was going to have to think about what her consequence would be. But, I think she may have a natural consequence this time. She is actually very embarrassed now and is trying to loop her hair down far enough to cover up her eyebrows. She actually asked me to cut her bangs to cover it up.

Sometimes, the punishment really does fit the crime.

I have heard that this inquisitive/creative personality will be such a great thing as she gets older. Right now, I am just avoiding buying anything worth anything. There is no telling what she might destroy (or create) next :)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Wheel of Fortune - Part II

Well, I went yesterday for the call back. They start off having everyone say their name and then you play a quick version of the game with a room full of 100 people. They call names randomly to play and they are looking for you to call the right letters and be loud. That part went great! I even solved a puzzle.
Then, they hand out a written test. Here, you have to solve as many as you can (out of 20 puzzles) in 5 minutes. Most of the puzzles only have 3 or 4 letters already written down. You have to get atleast 50% of the puzzles correct in order to go through.
Well, after playing the game and taking the test, they cut the group from 100 to 15 people. I was one of the 85 :(
My mom and sister-in-law went back to audition the same day I had call backs. My friends, Brandi and Michelle, went with them too. My mom and Michelle's name got picked and they had a call back for today. Brandi somehow got herself picked without having her name called and went to a call back with her sister this morning.
Well, my mom and Michelle got cut at the same point I did. However, Brandi and Brittani were put through to the final audition. Now, they just have to wait and see if they get a letter in the mail asking them to be contestants. Congratulations girls!! I would love to have someone I know be on the show so I could be in the audience cheering them on.
My Wheel of Fortune auditioning days are not over though! If they ever come around here again, you better believe I will be at the auditions.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

WHEEL OF FORTUNE!!

Wheel of Fortune is going to be taping in Orlando this December.  Well, the auditions were yesterday, today and next weekend.  Once I got word of this incredible opportunity, I told my family that we had to go.  The auditions were being held at Sea World from 2-6 p.m.  Since we have annual passes, Cory and I and the kids headed there in the morning to spend some time at the park.  Cory stayed with the kids the rest of the afternoon and I went to give my best shot at making my mark on national t.v.
They called 5 contestants at a time for 4 hours.  We think there were probably over 300 people there auditioning and they made it through close to 100 names.  So, not terrible chances.  But, not great either.
We were all packed in a pavilion that was not air conditioned.  It was covered though.  But, with that many people screaming and packed together, we were burning up.  We also had to stand up almost the whole time.  So, by the end, our feet were killing us.
Don't you worry, though, it was all WORTH IT!!!!
I was lucky enough to have my name called (at random, by the way) and I played a 5 minute version of the show with 4 other contestants.  The deal was, if you show enough personality, you get a call back.  Well, I am happy to say that I am going back today at 11:00 a.m. for a call back!  I am so excited!  I know there are still 2 more weeding down processes to go through, but I am staying positive.
Here are some pictures of the time... In case you can't tell, these pictures were all taken with a camera phone.  What was I thinking?  I must not be that good of a blogger.
these are the "traveling hosts" (Pat and Vanna look-a-like's)
Pat and Vanna on the wheelmobile
Vanna and me keeping it real :)
My short introduction (I gave out my blog address too)
Playing the game
So, crossing my fingers and praying.  I'll let you know how it goes.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Best Husband in the World!

I just feel the need to brag on my hubby a little. Sometimes, I am sure that I take him for granted. It's not until I talk to other wives before I realize what a great catch he is. Don't worry, I don't think he is perfect. But, I think I am really good about talking about all his faults. So, talking about 1 area that I truly appreciate is a good thing.
So, here we go. My husband was pretty sure that we were not going to have more than 2 children. The first 3 were all "surprises". So, that plan was blown out of the water. Well, after being away on a Women's Retreat and leaving him with all 3 girls (ages 3,2,1), he decided HE wanted to have another one. I was in a state of shock. He didn't think he would be able to handle 4 kids or find time to spend one on one. I am proud to say that he has turned out to be such a great daddy! And, now that he is a father of 4, he is very adept at handling the chaos.
In fact, he is so good that he often is in charge of his 4 and a handful more. He has always been great about letting me have time away from the house to hang out with the girls when I need to. He doesn't complain. He doesn't give me a curfew or call me to come home. He can handle it. Well, sometimes, I want to go out with a girlfriend who's husband is working and the only way I can hang is if he watches their kid(s) too. Guess what? He does it with no complaint. I know, he is amazing!
This week, he let me have 4 other women come to our house for a girl's movie night and sleep over. In order to make this work great, he agreed to put our 4 kids, my sister-in-law's 2 kids and my friend's 1 kid all to bed at my parents house. He had a little help from my family, but he really was the one in charge of all 7. In this case, the ages range from 1-9. And, they are all girls except our little boy. He did it and did a fabulous job! Then he came home later and went upstairs to go to sleep. As I thought about it, I realized that not many husbands would do all that.
I know that words of encouragement is not really his love language, but it is mine. So, I love you baby! Thank you for being such a great dad and husband!! I guess I really am lucky :)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Bring Something in Jell-O

For those of who don't know (I can't imagine not knowing), The Office premiere was tonight. We celebrated by having a party at my parents and watching the together with family. There was 1 rule by my dad. You had to bring something in Jell-O (you have to be a fan to understand). So, here is what had:
Isn't Jaime creative? Here are her cute "Office" brownies
My dad's jell-0 (a post-it note with show time written on it)
Everyone's jell-o
Jaime again (used the keys from a keyboard to spell out party)
We had a lot of fun and the first show was hilarious. Amazingly, all 9 children went to sleep and let us watch the show uninterrupted. THAT is amazing!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Publix Grocery Store Deals and Coupons 9/25-10/1

I just love weeks like this. Lots of great deals to choose from.

Don't forget to pick up some $2/gallon milk (it may be up to $3.20/gallon this week - still a GREAT deal on milk)

Campbell's Select Soup (bogo @ $2.45/2)
Use $.50/2 from 8/17 ss
Makes them $.97 a can

Dole Fruit 4 pks (bogo @ $2.51/2)
Use $.75/2 from 8/10 ss
Makes them $.88 a 4 pk

Fresh Express Salad (bogo @ $3.99/2)
Use 2 $.75/1 from recent insert (I'm not sure which one)
Makes them $1.25 a bag

Green Giant Boxed Veggies (10/$10)
Use $.50/2 from 9/7 GM
Makes them $.75 a box

Hamburger Helper (bogo @ $1.99/2)
Use $.75/3 from 8/10 or 9/7 GM
Makes them $.75 a box (when you buy 6)

Quaker Cereal (bogo @ $4.61/2)
Use $1/2 or $.50/1 from 9/7 RP
Makes them $1.80 a box

Pillsbury Cake Mix (bogo @ $1.69/2)
Use 2 $.40/1 from 9/7 RP
Makes them $.45 a box

GM Cereal (bogo @ $3.58/2 - includes Fiber One, Oatmeal Crisp, Total, Basic 4, Wheaties, Honey Nut Clusters, Raisin Bran)
Use $1/3 from 9/7 GM or 2 $.75/1 printable
Makes them $1.04 - $1.44 a box

GM Cereal (bogo @ $5.13/2 - includes Honey Nut Cheerios, Resse's Puffs, Cookie Crisp, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Total Raisin Bran)
Use $1/3 from 9/7 or 2 $.75/1 printable
Makes them $1.83 - /$2.23 a box

Quaker Instant Grits (bogo @ $2.57/2)
Use $.50/1 from 9/7 RP
Makes them $.77 a box

Quaker Instant Oatmeal (bogo @ $3.89/2)
Use $.50/1 from 9/7 RP
Makes them $1.44 a box

Ken's Steak House Dressing (bogo @ $3.29/2)
Use $1/2 from 8/3 SS
Makes them $1.15 a bottle

Lay's Potato Chips (bogo @ $3.79/2)
Use 2 $1/1 Target Printable
Makes them $.90 a bag

Ritz Toasted Chips (bogo @ $3.29/2)
Use $1/2 from in-store dispenser
Makes them $1.15 a bag

GM Chex Mix (bogo @ $2.73/2)
Use 2 $.50/1 from 9/7 GM
Makes them $.86 a bag

Ocean Spray Juice (bogo @ $3.79/2)
Use $1/2 from in-store coupon book
Makes them $1.40 a bottle

Dannon Yogurt (20/$10)
Use $.50/6 from 8/17 SS AND combine with $1/4 in-store coupon
Makes them $.17 a cup

Voila! Meals (bogo @ $5.17/2)
Use 2 $1.25/1 from in-store dispenser
Makes them $1.33 a bag

Toaster Strudel (bogo @ $2.61/2)
Use $.75/2 or 2 $.35/1 from 8/10 and 9/7 GM
Makes them $.95 a box

Earth's Best Organic Baby Food (bogo @ $1.09/2)
Use $1/10 printable
Makes them $.45 a jar

Cheerios ($1.99)
Use $1/1 printable
Makes them $.99 a box

More BOGO Deals with NO Coupons:
Menora Candle ($1.09/2)
Streit's Matzo Ball Mix ($2.59/2)
Bantry Bay Mussels ($4.99/2)
Publix Baby Carrots (bogo)
Kraft Mac 'n Cheese ($2.53/2)
Bagels 4 ct. ($1.65/2)
Ritz Crackers ($3.79/2)
Krusteaz Muffin Mix ($2.69/2)
White-House Apple Juice ($2.49/2)
Taco Bell Dinner Kits ($2.59/2)
A.1. Steak Sauce ($4.09/2)
Mt. Olive Pickles ($2.79/2)
Ben & Jerry's ($4.11/2)
Publix Microwave Popcorn ($3.79/2)
Pictsweet Steam'ables Complete Meals ($2.69/2)
Kraft Mayo ($5.07/2)
Ronzoni Pasta ($1.79/2)
Stouffer's French Bread Pizza ($3.19/2)
Cheez-It Crackers ($4.59/2 - use FREE can of soup w/purchase of Cheez-It Crackers in-store dispenser coupon to get 2 cans of soup for free)

Winn-Dixie Store Sale Ad and Coupons for 9/24-9/30

Again, not much great deals here. If you have multiple Green Giant coupons though, you can stock up on some FREE frozen veggies!!

Chef Boyardee (10/$10)
Use $.35/3 from 8/3 ss
Makes them $.85 a can

Hunt's Pasta Sauce (10/$10)
Use $.40/2 from 9/21 ss
Makes them $.80 a can

Dole White Mushrooms (10/$10 )
usually $1.99 each

Roma Tomatoes (10 lbs./$10)
usually $1.99/lb.

Peaches (10 lbs./$10)
usually $2.99/lb.

Green Giant Steamers (10/$10)
Use $1/1 from 9/7 GM or printable
Makes them FREE!!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Cruising on a Budget

Well, after our week away, I am here to share a few tips of how to keep from going broke and still enjoy a little paradise away from home.
Going on a cruise can range from manageable all the way to a year's salary worth of debt. Either way, it involves some saving up and research. I am going to base the prices below on a 4 night cruise (this seemed the perfect amount of time to me, by the way) because that is the cruise we went on. These will also be based on double occupancy. Also, some tips are particular to the Bahamas and these are all based on the Royal Caribbean cruise line. There are lots of other lines out there, this one seemed to fit what we were looking for the best.

1) Book in the OFF-season. A cruise that would cost $299/person during the busy season, you can book for $129/person during the off season. That is a savings of $170 per person! Now, before you think that $260 is great and head off to book your cruise, there is always port fees, taxes and a fuel surcharge.
So, that $129/person cruise, would come to $407.30 total. Still, for 4 nights, that is only $100/night. This includes all your food and is about the price you would pay for a decent hotel. But, that is not it. There are still lots of hidden costs to cruising...

2) Don't eat every dinner in the dining room. You have the choice to eat in the formal dining room, the cafeteria (buffet style) or other restaurants on board. When you choose to eat in the dining room, all your food is still free. But, there is a catch. You still have to leave a hefty tip. For 2 people, you are recommended to leave $12.50 tip every time you eat in the dining room. After comparing the food on board, the dining room was just not worth that extra money to us. We did eat there on the formal night. You can't get all dressed up and head to the cafeteria, but that was it for us. Our ship also had a Johnny Rockets on board. You had to pay a $4 cover charge per person. But, after that, you had all you can eat Johnny Rockets food. It was our favorite meal on board and we were lucky enough to be handed a "free cover charge" coupon from another guest on the ship.

3) Drink the included beverages. Soda and alcohol cost extra. You can have water, tea, lemonade, juice or coffee for free. If you are a big soda drinker, you can buy an unlimited soda cup for $24. The cost of 1 soda is $2. So, if you drink 3 or more sodas a day, it would be worth it. We only ordered 3 the whole week, so it wasn't worth it to us. Also, it was amazing to watch how much money is spent on alcohol while on board. We figured out that a lot of people probably paid more in alcohol than they did for their cruise. If you are looking for some cheap alcohol, wait until the boat is in port and buy some at a local shop. Cory got a couple things for about 1/2 the price as in the states. They will hold it for you on board until the last night of your cruise though.

4) Get cash ahead of time. This is one I meant to do and forgot. After we boarded, I realized we had never stopped at the bank on the way there. Well, here is one more tip for you. If you need cash while at sea, get it from the casino, NOT the ATM. The casino charges a 3% charge. So, if you need $100, you are charged for $103. This is way better than paying the $3.50 ATM fee from the ship AND your bank. Obviously, if you getting out more than $250, the ATM is the way to go.

5) Bring your own snorkel gear. When we went to Coco Cay, the charge is $30/person to rent snorkel gear. If you have your own, they only charge $6 for a life vest. We bought some from a discount sports store for $30. So, it was the same charge, but we left with the equipment to use again one day (or sell on ebay).

6) Barter, barter, barter. If you plan on buying anything at the local straw market, bring your best bartering skills. This is where my husband checked out. I loved it. You just have to know that EVERYONE is having a sale today and that you NEVER pay the asking price. There are also about 200 vendors and you most of them are selling the exact same thing. So, if you widdle down a price at one, check out another and see if you can get it any better there. You can usually get the price down to 50-60% of what the asking price is (especially if you start to walk away). If you make friends and buy in bulk, you can do even better.

7) Check out the frommers guide. I read several great tips here. They also had a typed up walking tour that you normally pay someone to show you.

8) Wait until the last night to buy anything on board. If you do plan to buy any jewelry, clothes, etc..., wait until the last night. They bring everything up to the top deck and give good deals. They are trying to get rid of stuff, so they cut the cost by 50% or offer free bracelet with necklace purchase (that's what I got).

9) If you can, book at the last minute. Sometimes, you can wait until a couple days before a cruise leaves and find those cheap prices for better rooms and better ships. If you have the flexibility, this is the way to do it.

Other hidden costs to remember...
If you drive yourself to the cruise and have to park you car in their garage, it is $12/day. So, there is another $60. If you can find a nice friend or family member to drive you, even better.
You are supposed to tip your stateroom attendant $3.50/day per person. That's a total of $28.
If you get any help with your luggage when you unload and load your car, you should tip about $1/suitcase.

So, there you have it. If you want, it is possible to get a 4 night cruise for 2 people for around $550 (all tips and parking included). This includes all your food and people waiting on you hand and foot. For what it was, it was worth the money to us. I am sure we will do this again in the future sometime. If you have any other great tips, I would love to hear them.

Friday, September 19, 2008

We're Baaaaaack!

What a wonderful 4 days of paradise! We enjoyed every minute, from the time we walked aboard, to the time our color was called for departure.

I am going to write a "how to cruise cheap" post soon. But, for now, I am just going to give you a run down on our fabulous trip.

Day 1 - We boarded the ship early. We had lunch and checked into our room. We spent most of the afternoon exploring the ship and getting to know where everything was.

Day 2 - The boat anchored at Coco Cay (a Royal Caribbean private island) for the day. We spent about 6 hours snorkeling. This is the first time either of us had done that and it was incredible! Now, I was a little freaked out at first. I don't ever go in the water at any of the Florida beaches. The difference here is that I could see all the way to the bottom and I knew what was touching me. Still, it took me a little while to get comfortable. Once I did, I loved it! We bought an under water camera (with CVS bucks) and took some fun pictures of that.
Cory picked it up quick and learned how to dive down and see those fish up close. I never got that good. But, look, I actually got close to those fish.After snorkeling all day, we took a few minutes and relaxed on 1 of the 50 hammocks they had set up on the island. The weather was perfect and we laid there and spent a few minutes thanking the Lord for his beautiful creation and the time he gave us together.
That evening was the formal dinner on the ship. I had a fun time getting all dressed up. I even convinced Cory to slow dance with me in the middle of the ship when no one else was! If you know Cory at all, you know what a big deal that is.

Day 3 - The boat docked at Nassau. We spent the first half of the day exploring the island on foot. We found some cool landmarks and did a little shopping at the straw market. The straw market is an adventure all on it's own. You barter for everything. I loved it. This is where we got all the souvenirs and gifts for the kids. I also got some sweet deals on a cute straw hat, earrings and sunglasses. Cory got some "Cuban" cigars too. We'll see how those turn out.
After that, we headed back to the boat for a quick lunch and then back out to the island. We headed over to Paradise Island to take a look at Atlantis hotel. You could spend all day there if you had the time. But, we headed back to Nassau for some authentic Bahamian dinner. It was very good and not cheap.

Day 4 - At Sea all day. By the time we got to this day, I realized that it was the last official day and I still didn't have any sun to speak of. So, I planned to spend some time at the pool and get a tan (o.k., I guess a burn). We really only stayed out by the pool for about 1 hour. Well, that did it. That's o.k. I would rather come back with a little burn than no sun at all.
They also had a rock climbing wall on the top deck. Cory climbed to the top twice and I barely made it up one time.We also ditched the dining room this night and went to the onboard Johnny Rockets. You pay a $4 cover charge and get all-you-can-eat off the menu. This was our favorite meal on board. It was fun and we took home 4 souvenirs from here. Yes, those are Johnny Rocket cups. Let me just say that when I ordered the burger, I was expecting the size of a double cheeseburger like the Johnny Rockets in Orlando. Apparantly, the burgers on the ship are 1/3 pound per patty. Do you see the size of that thing?! No, I didn't eat it all. I did dance with the servers though. Sorry, no pictures of that.

Day 5 - Departure. We left the boat at about 9 a.m. Vacation over. Welcome home real world. No more unlimited food at my disposal 24 hours a day. No more people waiting on me hand and foot. No more fun towel animals (I really liked those).

I think we are definitely sold as future cruisers. You just can't beat the value for your money.
Thank you for a great trip, baby! BTW, for those of you hoping that we came back with baby #5, you can stop crossing your fingers. I already started :)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Cruise Baby!!


We are leaving today for our 5 day cruise!! I am so excited! I may or may not be updating as we are gone. Woo-Hoo, here we come Bahamas!!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

"SPEAK!", The Musical... Starring Morgan

This weekend at church, the kids performed their very first musical. They have been practicing for months and it turned out really great! Morgan was one of the lead parts for the performances on Wednesday night and Sunday morning (first service). She did so great and I was so impressed by her acting skills.
Her sisters and cousin were in the choir also and they all did fabulous. They had so much fun and I could hardly keep from crying as I watched them all up there singing their hearts out about Jesus.
Unfortunately, we couldn't find our video camera this morning. I say unfortunately, but this morning, I was on the verge of tears. I was so disappointed that we missed the opportunity to record this. I did get a couple of short videos on my still camera and I will be hounding some other parents for copies of their video.

The basic storyline to the musical is that Emily (Morgan) just found out her parents are getting a divorce and is really upset. Her friend Hannah (Tori) tries to comfort her and share Jesus with her. In the end, Emily becomes a Christian and sings how Jesus is her King and Best Friend.
Here are some pictures to enjoy.

Morgan (left) and Tori (right)


Group shot
My Sydney girl
My Girls
Morgan's solo

video

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Happy Birthday Morgan!!

My oldest daughter turns 9 today!! I can hardly believe it. She only has 1 more year in the single digits. Before I know it, she will be asking for the keys to the car!!! Oh, that is a scary thought.

Morgan,

9 years ago today, I was screaming my head off!! :0) I was determined to go drug free, but after 30 long hours of labor, I caved. Another 10 hours and you were finally there in my arms. I have to remind that story every year. If I didn't, I just wouldn't be a mom. Sometimes it feels like that was yesterday. Other times, I can hardly remember those days. You have grown to be a little girl with a heart for Jesus. I thoroughly enjoy hearing you learn and grow more every day. One of my favorite pictures of you is sitting on your bed with your Bible and journal in hand. What a sweet habit to start so early.
You love to have 1 on 1 conversations with any adult that will engage you and I'm pretty sure you think you are 14. Your outtake on life is that there is mom, dad, you and... the kids.
You are a born mother and homemaker. You love any opportunity to be "in charge" of other kids (especially babies). Sometimes, you handle this challenge with grace, other times you can be bossy just for the sake of being bossy. You also take great pleasure in cleaning, but only when you are in the mood.
You are very much like your mama. Unfortunately for you, that means I know all your tricks.
This year is going to be a lot of growing up for you. You continue to take on more and more responsibility around the house and you are forming more opinions of your own.
I pray that this year, you will get to know Jesus more intimately. I pray that you seek Him above everything else in your life. He is seeking you. I pray that you choose your friends wisely. I pray that you are shining example to others of Christ.

Happy Birthday baby girl!! I love you!

Mom

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Getting Ready for the Cruise

Well, we leave in only 4 days to go on our cruise to the Bahamas and celebrate 10 years of marriage. I am getting very excited. I spent a good part of the day yesterday researching what to do and where to go when we get there.
I am trying to stay away from the major touristy stuff and find some true island relaxation. So, I think we have a pretty good head start. If you have ever been there and have some tips of what to do and don't do, I would love to hear it.
You will all be so pleased to learn that Royal Caribbean has free Wi-Fi on board the ship. So, I should be able to keep you updated on how the trip is going. That is, if we ever make it out of the room :) You know, it has been a long time since we've had no kids to interfere. I know that may be more info that you would like to know, but too bad!! I wrote it just to make you cringe.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Publix Grocery Store Deals and Coupons for 9/11-9/17

As terrible as the Winn-Dixie deals have been lately, I am so glad to say that I heart Publix!! They are consistently giving out deals that match up with lots of coupons. My trip last week, I used $44 in coupons and the cashier watched in amazement. I sure do love shopping the deals!

Goldfish Crackers (bogo @ $2.19/2)
Sign up here for $1/2 coupon to be e-mailed to you
Makes them $.60 a bag

Lipton Family Size Tea Bags (bogo @ $2.39/2)
Use $.75/2 from rp 8/17
Makes them $.83 a box

Northland Juice Blends (bogo @ $3.89/2)
Sign up here and print a $1/2 coupon
Makes them $1.45 a bottle

Newman's Own Pasta Sauce (bogo @ $2.77/2)
Use $1/3 from rp 8/24
Makes them $1.05 a jar

Kraft or Seven Seas Dressing (bogo @ $3.29/2)
Use FREE produce up to $1.00 when you buy 2 Kraft Dressings recent peelie

Lipton Tea Bags (bogo @ $3.29/2)
Use $.75/2 from rp 8/17
Makes them $1.27 a box

Kellogg's Cereal (bogo @ $4.09/2)
Use $1/2 from kl 8/17
Combine with $1/2 Target store coupon
Makes them $1.04 a box

Aunt Jemima Syrup (bogo @ $3.59/2)
Use $1/2 from rp 9/7
Makes them $1.30 a bottle

Zatarains New Orleans Style Mix (bogo @ $1.85/2)
Use $.75/2 from rp 9/7
Makes them $.56 a box

Dannon Danimals Drinkable Yogurt (bogo @ $3.49/2)
Use 2 $1/1 from magazine at front of store
Makes them $.75 an 8 pk.

Dannon DanActive or Activia Yogurt (3 4 pks./$6)
Use 3 $1/1 from ss 6/22 or 3 $.50/1 from ss 7/20 or 8/10
Makes them $1 - $1.50 a pack

Organic Valley Milk (2/$7)
Use 2 $1/1 printable
Makes them $2.50 for a half gallon

Cheerios ($1.99)
Use $1/1 from cheerios challenge
Makes them $.99 a box

Kozy Shack Pudding ($3.19/2)
Use 2 $1/1 printable
Makes them $.60 a bowl

Bird's Eye Frozen Veggies (50% off)
Use $1/3 printable and $1/2 store coupon from magazine at front of store
Makes them $5/6 bags!!

Ground Chuck is still $1.97/lb.!

Don't forget some $2/gallon Milk!!

Fresh Express Salad Blend ($3.99/2)
Planters Trail Mix ($2.99/2)
Mueller's Pasta ($1.39/2)
Fatboy Ice Cream Sandwiches (bogo @ $4.49/2)
Publix Sour Cream Dip ($1.59/2)

Winn-Dixie Store Sale Ad and Coupons for 9/10-9/16


Oh My! This has to be one of the worst weeks yet. I did not find ANY bogo deals with matching coupons. What a bummer.

Ocean Spray Juice ($3.19/2)
Arnold Wide Pan Bread ($3.69/2)
Post Cereal ($4.59/2 - includes Shredded Wheat, Selects, Shredded Wheat Big Biscuit, Honey Bunches of Oats, Crunch Trail Mix, Fruity Pebbles, Honeycomb, Grape Nuts
Hunt's Canned Tomatoes ($1.69/2)
Nilla Wafers ($3.99/2)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Innovation

Sometimes, Jordan gets bored when I am doing school with the older 3 and his little innovative mind starts searching for something to do. This is the latest creation. I'm not exactly sure what the purpose is other than being a ramp. I especially like the tennis shoe landing pad.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Portable School

I woke up this morning and got on the computer to check my e-mail. As I was sitting here, I remembered that I was supposed to have a yearly appt. either today or Wednesday but I couldn't remember which and what time. So, I checked my voice mail and realized that the appt. was for today at 8:00 a.m. This was at 7:35 a.m. I hadn't showered. I hadn't filled out my medical forms. I didn't even have child care.
So, I frantically called my mom (who lives around the corner) and asked if she could come quickly to watch the kids while I went to the doctor. I know... I am spoiled. She came. I left my house at 7:55 and it takes at least 15 minutes to get there. Also, this is my first appt. at this office. What a great first impression I am making.
So, I made it there and they didn't even give me any dirty looks. Whew! Next, I came home and had about 1 hour before I needed to start making lunch so that I could leave in time to make it to my hair appt. We squezzed 1 hour of school in this morning and then I had the opportunity for my brother to watch them while I went to get my hair done. In case you are wondering, I don't normally "get my hair done" by professionals. I normally use those free hair dye boxes from CVS and do it myself at home. However, I am leaving in 1 week for our cruise and I want to look as H-O-T as possible.
So, off to get my hair done in the middle of school time. When I got home, there was only about 15 minutes before I needed to be on the road again to have dinner and go to daddy's first softball game of the season. Luckily, as a homeschoolin' mom, we can have school anywhere. We have a 30 minute drive to dinner and I packed up the rest of what needed to be accomplished today. It actually worked very well. I like that they didn't even have the option of standing up, getting out of their chairs and walking around the room for no apparent reason. Not that it ever happens that way at home, but, you know.
As my middle child was eating dinner, she finished up the last of her papers and we were done. We headed to the softball game, went to get ice cream and headed home for showers and bed. It was one packed day.
I have a feeling there are going to be more of those this week as we prepare for our week away. I can hardly believe it is almost here. I am so excited!!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Teaching - Week 2

We survived another week.  Things seemed to go much smoother yesterday than last week.  The scheduling flowed and the kids are getting used to the dynamics of the classroom.

Alas, I do have one funny story to share.  We were playing "Director Says" ("Simon Says" for Drama class) outside.  We have a courtyard directly behind our classroom that is surrounded with grass and trees.  It is a nice little area for us to have outside play, but there is one problem... ANTS!!  There are more than a few large ant piles right at the edge of the courtyard.  One in particular is a constant source of problems.  Every time we head outside, at least one of the kids manages to step right through it.  
Well, this was the case yesterday and I was explaining to the 5 kids close to me that they needed to stay away from the ant pile.  One of the little boys asked me why (apparently, he didn't hear me explain this answer the first 10 times).  Anyway, I explained again that if they got close to the ant pile, they could get all bitten up.  Well, this same little boy looks at me with great concern and says.. "Mrs. L!  Why do you have ant bites all over your face?!!"  He had so astutely noticed the teenage like acne covering my face right now.  My team teacher and friend thought this was the funniest thing she ever heard and added, "Yes, Mrs. L, you must have been attacked!!"  
I was told that I should take a picture of my face and add it to this post, but I decided to refrain and just let your imagination fill in the blanks.
Don't you just love the honesty and bluntness of children (and some friends, I guess).

Thursday, September 4, 2008

My Dog Really DID Eat My Homework


This is what happens when my dog finds a good book. The strange thing is that if he has a bone to chew on, he rarely chews on anything else. But, if it is just him and a book in a room, that book better beware. He has yet to destroy a library book or Bible. You won't want to see a picture of what I do when that day comes. We have lost a couple covers to some text books though.

So, I guess my kids might actually be able to use that age old excuse :)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Publix Grocery Store Deals and Coupons for 9/4-9/10

Plochman's Premium Mustard (bogo @ $1.39/2)
Sign up here for coupons sent to your e-mail box

Honey Bunches of Oats Cereal (bogo @ $3.99/2)
Use $1/1 or $1/2 from ss 7/27 or $2/1 printable (if you haven't already printed these)
Makes them $0-$1.50 a box

Post Cereal (bogo @ $4.09/2 - includes Selects, Grape-Nuts, Grape-Nuts Flakes, LiveActive)
Use $1/1 from recent in-store coupon or $1/2 from ss 7/27
Makes them $1.04-$1.54 a box

Quaker Oatmeal (bogo @ $2.57/2)
Use 2 $1/1 printable
Makes them $.27 a box

Old El Paso Kit (bogo @ $2.67/2)
Use $1/2 printable or GM 8/10
Makes them $.83 a box

Entenmann's Little Bites (bogo @ $4.29/2)
Use 2 $.55/1 printable
Makes them $1.59 a box

Nabisco Honey Maid Grahams (bogo @ $4.09/2)
Use $.75/2 from ss 7/27
Makes them $1.67 a box

Eggland's Best Eggs (2/$4)
Use 2 $.35/1 from ss 4/13
Makes them $1.65 a dozen

Gorton's Shrimp Temptations (bogo @ $7.53/2)
Use $.75/2 printable
Makes them $3.39 a box

Green Giant Valley Fresh Steamers (50% off)
Use $1/1 printable
Not sure final price, but it should be a great deal

Cheerios ($1.99)
Use $1/1 from Cheerios Challenge
Makes them $.99 a box

Old El Paso Salsa (bogo @ $2.49/2)
Use $1/2 printable or $1/2 from GM 8/10
Makes them $.74 a jar

Hamburger Helper (bogo @ $1.99/2)
Use $.75/3 from GM 8/10
Makes them .87 a box

Don't forget about the $2/gallon MILK!!

Bogo Deals W/NO Coupons:
Nature's Own Bread (2/$3.39)
Klondike Bars (2/$4.43)
Tyson Chicken Meal Kits (2/$6.59)
Tyson BBQ Pork Mini Ribs (2/$8.99)
Figs (bogo)
Pasta or Rice A Roni (2/$1.69)
McCormick Grill Mates (2/$1.99)
Prego Pasta Sauce (2/$3.39)
Doritos (2/$3.79)
Hershey's Chocolate (2/$4.99)
Azteca Tortillas (2/$1.29)
Hungry-Man Dinner (2/$3.49)
Aunt Jemima Pancakes (2/$2.57)
Pepperidge Farm 3 Layer Cake (2/$3.79)

Winn-Dixie Store Sale Ad and Coupons for 9/3-9/9


Nabisco Cookie or Cracker Multi-packs (bogo @ $5.99/2)
Use $.75/2 from ss 7/27
Makes them $2.67 a box

Cheerios ($1.98 a box)
Use $1/1 from Cheerios Challenge
Makes them $.98 a box

Kellogg's Cereal (bogo @ $4.29/2 - includes Rice Krispies, Froot Loops, Honey Smacks or Cocoa Krispies)
Use $1/2 from Kellogg's insert 8/03
Makes them $1.64 a box

Ken's Salad Dressing (bogo @ $2.99/2)
Use $1/2 from ss 8/03
Makes them $1 a bottle

Betty Crocker Fruit Snacks (bogo @ $2.89/2)
Use $.50/2 from GM 8/10
Makes them $1.19 a box

Bogo Items w/ no coupons:
Mueller's Pasta (2/$1.50)
Hormel Canned Chicken (2/$3.29)
Dole Salad Blend (2/$4.49)
Edy's IceCream (2/$5.89)
Nature's Own Bread (2/$4.29)
Doritos (2/$3.79)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

How Can Anyone ENJOY Running?!!


I just don't get it. I have started running again the last couple weeks. The difference between me and "a runner" is that the ONLY reason I am doing this is for the sole purpose of losing those last 15 pounds that are haunting me.
Yet, I talk to runners who tell me how much they love running. That seems like an oxymoron to me. I do NOT get a high, I do NOT enjoy the heat, I do NOT feel more energized! All I feel is complete exhaustion and sweat!! I have to completely psych myself up for a run and remember what a fat butt I have in order to motivate myself out the front door.
So, for all you runners out there, YOU MAKE ME SICK :)