Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Happy Birthday to ME!!


I was blessed to spend my 26th birthday with some of my closest friends whom i call family! We ate a yummy dinner at my favorite restaurant Blue Goose. You know your old when you have to have 2 cakes to hold your candles... LOL ;-P

Friday, April 24, 2009

Assistant Chef

I have tried to engage little man in "assisting" me in more and more things lately. He has never ceased to amaze me in his abilities for his age and more so his willingness to help. Tonight, we were making dinner and he kept saying, "mama, up!" I went and grabbed his stool and let him help me put the veggies in the pan (not turned on of course!) We have tried to buy the veggies when they went on big sales and eat them right away, cut the rest, and put in baggies ready to cook for a meal down the road. This has saved us so much money and makes cooking dinner in a pinch do-able!

First he would grab the squash i just cut...

....separate them in individual pieces...

...inspect for quality control...

... then place neatly in the baggie- ALL by himself.

(of course, not all survived)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Little Gym

Friends of ours, "a" and little "h," have been going to little gym for quite a while now and have always invited us along to try it out. Well, today it worked out and we got to tag along!

The skill of the day was climbing and the boys did great!

During "explore play" we practiced the balance beam

The boys during the group exercise
We had a blast and are currently looking into getting little man into a group gym program for the summer!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Dancing with the Tots

Little man and his playmate "little J" hang out for several hours on Mondays. This is one of the most active and entertaining days in my week! It amazes me to see what their young minds come up with and their imaginations run to! Today, they danced to this free parents mag. CD i got with one of little man's toys. I look over and they are holding hands, jumping, and laughing hysterically! What fun it is to live with a 2yr old!!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

My niece is ONE!

My sweet niece turned one today!! WOW, time flies!!

*~*happy birthday to you...*~*


Present time! This is the dress i made her!!

The Grandmas and their little ones

Brother, sister and our babies!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Wordless Wednesday~ Just like daddy

My husband was panting a picture for my mom's kitchen and little man wanted to help (LOL!) so we set up his easel right next to daddy's! He kept looking at Daddy's painting and looking back at his like they were doing the same thing. He wants to be just like daddy when he grows up 8o)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Save $$ on Groceries

$100 a week on groceries- can it be done?

Yes, it can. Thanks to parents magazine and a little of my own ideas, i will walk you through how!

First you have to get a game plan-
Be prepared to go to a few different stores to save the most money, but factor in gas and time to be most efficient. Scan the sales fliers and get your weeks worth of meals mapped out using that vs. a cookbook. Find the "loss leaders" (the items priced too low to pass up that the retailer hopes you will come buy and purchase others while you are there) and base your meals off of those.
Once you have your list, review it carefully. You don't want to go in for these items and come out with a cart full of groceries, or get discouraged by missing ingredients and default to ordering takeout. Now, cut those coupons! The average coupon cutting family saves almost $400 a year on groceries. The best ones still come in Sunday's paper, but you can find countless online as well just by searching for items on your list.

Choose shortcuts wisely-
Food in it's simplest and purest form is usually cheaper, but they call convenience food that for a reason. A bag of brown rice is cheaper than the instant, but know it takes an hour to cook. Dried beans are cheaper than canned, but will you remember to soak them overnight? Still, i would suggest do-it-yourself route when at all possible, as it is much healthier. Buy a large yogurt instead of the small single-serve containers. Buy a pound of green beans, rather than the ready to go bags.

Store brands are just as good-
The nutritional content is nearly identical and you can save several dollars by making the switch. You will find your family happily eating the no-name brand, and probably not knowing a difference.

Some splurges are worth it-
Whole wheat/organic items can be more expensive, but because of their content actually fill you up quicker. Some things, such as meat, you can spend more to get the leanest, best cut and just spread it out over more meals.

Make the most of what you have-
There will be times during the week when you will want something you didn't purchase. Instead of racing to the super market, stick to your plan. You will quickly realize how much food you had been throwing out because of this. (the average American waists a pound of food a day!)

Extreme Bargain Hunting-
*time is money- take time to clip those coupons. it pays off!
*forgo the convenience foods completely and save even more
*Nix the single serve/ prepackaged anything and just do it yourself
*Track costs- make a list of 20 non perishables that you buy often. When they go on sale, stock up!
*Scour bargain racks- marked down meats are great if eaten/frozen same day. Get good deals on baked goods at wholesale outlets. Buy soaps and paper goods at discount/dollar stores.
*Hunt high and low- companies pay extra to have their items at eye level. To find the best deals, look at the top and bottom shelves.
*Watch for shrinkage- just because it is cheaper doesn't mean you are getting a deal. Sometimes an item will be cheaper, but have less.
*Be brand-flexible
*Beware of overcharges- watch the cashier as they are ringing you up. Also, go over receipt for any mistakes and call service desk if you find any!
*Produce can be cut and frozen! When it is on sale stock up, cut it up, package it in meal size portions and freeze!

Websites for you frugal shoppers:

What are your ideas? Please leave a comment and share!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Made new...

This Easter was one of the most important days of my life. After my marriage and birth of my son this would have to be next in line. I died. I not only died, but i am now finally alive.

I have been attending church since i was in 6th grade. I have lived a life characterized by morality and would pride myself on my "good deeds" and lack of "bad deeds." It really was the last 3ish- 4ish years (basically when i started attending our church here) that i have really felt a stirring with in me. Christ has made me aware of how big my sin was and how much bigger the Cross is. I never really understood 2 Corinthians 5:17 when it said, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" I was young and didn't really have a "drug addict to Christian" story and felt "good" but maybe didn't understand the "new" part. After hearing a sermon preached by pastor mark last year, i questioned weather or not i should be baptised again (i was baptised when i was 12). I let pride win and honestly thought, "how would that look? what would that say about my 1st baptism? What about my 'i was saved at the early age of 11' story?" So, i didn't get baptised. Mark preached this sermon on baptism that i strongly recommend everyone listen to. I knew with in 5 minutes of the sermon i needed to be baptised. My convictions were that i have lived a life defined by morality and i was my god in charge and the one running the show. Baptism is a death to one's self and a life therefore characterized by Christ and Christ alone. imagine your pastor handing a Bible to your neighbors and asking them to read the Gospels- all they could read about Jesus in 2 weeks. When your pastor returns he asks your neighbors to write down all the characteristics of Jesus they could. Then he asks if they could provide evidence to without a shadow of a doubt convict you for being a Christian in a court of law... would they be able to? I want people to look at me and see Jesus. I died today and now truly live!

My husband sharing it with me was the icing on the cake. What a beautiful day for our family!

Happy Easter!

Having a child made us really look at how we celebrate Christian Holiday's under a large microscope. We want our children growing up really understanding that Christmas has nothing to do with Santa and Easter has nothing to do with silly bunnies. Christ should be on the forefront of our minds every day and especially during these holidays with such special meaning. We did put together something super small for my little man and niece ($3 but this may or may not continue with age/understanding. We will hit that when we come! Easter was spent with our amazing church family and then we had a lunch and relaxed with my family!

little man and my niece enjoying there goodies

this is how the boys spend every get

little man wanted to hug grammy and mimi while eating... cute cuddly kid!

Picture of our sweet family

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Day at the Arboretum

Wordless Wednesday~ Perfect Playgroup Picture

Juice.... $2
Healthy Snacks....$7
See & Say book... $5
Three 2-year-old's sharing one book..... PRICELESS!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Little "D's" Mocktail Birthday Party

MENU: Shrimp cocktail, Edamame, Goat Cheese Chicken Pizza, Cake and Mocktails

Little "d" and her mini-me sweet "J." The looked so cute in their matching cocktail dresses!

GUESTS OF HONOR! Momma "A," Little "D," and I in our dress-up-because-there-are-no-kiddos-tonight outfits!!!


Monday, April 6, 2009

Beep, Beep!!

Sweet J and little man playing "traffic!"