Sunday, July 27, 2008

Broccoli, Celery, Gotta Be... Veggie Tales!

I love the Veggie Tales. I really do. I love them for the messages that they teach my oh-so-impressionable son. Their silly songs make me laugh. Both Joe and I can sing the theme song by heart. I love them, I really do.


I love them, but I can't stand to watch them, which is why they are a CAR MOVIE. The definition of CAR MOVIE is a movie that I just can't bear to watch anymore so Camden watches it in the car so I don't have to actually watch it. I just have to listen to it... which is fine... because again, I love their songs and messages.... I just can't watch them. ANYMORE. read on.... Just two. minor. things. bother me...

First, they HOP everywhere. They hop because they don't have any freaking legs. Now this is a fine way to get from place to place, but in certain movies all that hopping makes me dizzy just watching them. I swear even bunnies don't hop that much. But I can deal with them not having legs. They hop. That's fine. What really irritates me is that they don't have any arms either! We all know that these Veggie Tale movies are "action packed" so you know they have props - and things to hold. So, since they don't have any arms, they don't actually hold on to said item, it just floats in the air in the vicinity of where their arm should be. So, watching a Veggie Tale Pirate sword fight is almost like watching David Blaine on TV. The swords are just levitating out there in mid air. Really.

Look at this tuba. He's not holding it. He's not playing it- he has no fingers! He's basically holding the whole darn thing up with his lips. Amazing! Gideon Tuba Warrior really does "love his lips" he even has a song about it.

And this one... take a closer look at the announcer. He is not holding the microphone, it's just levitating in the air. A total David Blaine phenomena.And this is a personal favorite. Good 'ole Sheerluck Holmes doesn't even have to hold his magnifying glass, it just sticks right to his eye like a super contact lens.

But really. I love the Veggie Tales. Especially for my child who picks up every bad word that he has ever heard on "other kid movies" and repeats them... especially in front of company or loved ones. (Because we don't talk like that, really, we don't. )

And I guess the Veggie Tales not only teaches our children classic Bible stories and to love Jesus and to trust God, but also, it teaches them to appreciate and accept the disabled. So, on that note, thank you, Mom, for making these Veggie Tales videos magically appear in our mailbox. Camden now thinks they grow there. He's even spoke of fertilizing our vegetable garden in the mailbox.

Friday, July 25, 2008

My Money Saving Adventures

Our grocery bill usually runs about $150-$175 a week. I cook most meals at home and we like our name-brand food! We don't generally buy the store-brand unless it's something that does not matter (like bread). After reading a few money saving tips from Money Saving Mom - and of course talking to my friend Kacy, I was able to figure out ways to save! I'm so excited to report that I spent $82.56 this week on groceries without skimping on ANYTHING... I got all of the things we like! That's three meals a day for three people for seven days. Amazing!

This probably seems so obvious to most people, but it was not to me. Before, I would just go to the store and buy groceries. I never paid attention to prices or sales or anything. Of course I'd snag the B1G1 free sales because they were staring me in the face, but I never checked the prices on meats and fruits and bought what was on sale before.

So, this is how I did it- oh, the obvious way! The first thing that I did was look at the sale papers and planned my meals based on what was on sale. I'm usually a Publix snob-- I buy everything at Publix to save me from having to go to multiple stores. However, after looking at Winn-Dixie's sales this week, I went ahead and bought some things there. I haven't always been a fan of Winn-Dixie and my mom and I both think it smells like meat in there. (Yuck.) - But it really shaved $20 off my grocery bill this week because I was able to get our name brand veggies (*Birds Eye Steam Fresh, that steams right in the microwave) for $1 a bag instead of nearly $3 a bag! I was also able to get some fresh fruits from there for $1 a pound as opposed to $3.99 a pound at Publix! The best part was I didn't have to go out of my way to find a Winn-Dixie because there is one right next door to Camden's daycare. There just happens to be a CVS right next door to that too!

So, this is what I spent:

Publix: 56.80
W/D: 21.77
CVS: 3.99 (milk) - You may not know that milk is actually $1 cheaper at CVS... so while I was in there using my coupons to get my free baby items this week, I went ahead and got milk too. I ended up getting baby wipes, baby powder and milk for the cost of the milk alone because I had coupons for the other two, which made them FREE!

Grand Total: $82.56 - ***That is over seventy dollars in savings based on what I USUALLY spend per week at the grocery store! I still am cooking the same type of meals and we have the same name-brand food, I just used coupons for some items and planned my meals based on what was on sale- which in essence made it EASIER on me because I didn't have to sit there and dream up what I was going to cook this week, it was all there for me.*****

Another thing that we did to save money this week was cut our digital cable down to a more basic cable package. We have been paying $70 a month for digital cable for the last two or three years and we really don't watch that much TV. Everything we watch comes on local channels, TBS, etc. Most of the time we spend watching whatever movie Camden wants to watch- over and over and over again, which is what sparked the conversation to change our cable plan in the first place. So I called and asked about dropping it down to something more basic. For $16 a month, we are getting ALL of the channels that we watched before and it's just not digital. We don't get all of the specialty channels anymore like the DIY network, or the FOOD network, etc. But we never really sat and watched those anyway! We kept our high speed internet because we both need that for work purposes and to keep in touch with friends and family. So our cable/internet bill will now go from $130/month to about $76 a month, which saves us about $54 a month. So between the grocery savings and the cable savings, we'll have more to save- or spend on baby #2's daycare... LOL!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

CVSing It

My wonderful friend Kacy told me about the Extra Care Program at CVS where you can earn bucks back on your purchases. I thought this was cool and wondered why I never earned more than 50 cent here or there on my card. She explained the program further and told me if you combine it with coupons that you can get so much stuff for POCKET CHANGE. I almost didn't believe her -- it sounded too good to be true... but she was right! If you play the game right you CAN! The catch is to buy the things that you will use that will earn you back Extra Care Bucks and then use them combined with coupons on items that will earn you more Extra Care Bucks. The Money Saving Mom explains it best in her CVS 101 tutorial. I seriously have been doing this and have gotten over $100 in products in the last two weeks for less than $25 bucks. This includes Joe's vitamins, Camden's pull-ups, face wash, deodorant, toothpaste, razors, body wash, baby wipes-- all things that we use on a daily basis!

I've tried to budget our groceries and things just to try and be more wise with our money. I end up spending a lot at the grocery store each week and just by watching the sale and using coupons I've cut $60 a week off our groceries. That's $120 savings in two weeks. Sounds crazy, but it works! I always thought I didn't have the patience to shop for things on sale and just always had the "if we need it we'll get it" philosophy. Then after talking to Kacy, I found out there's a better way to enjoy all of the things that you need and want without paying so much money for it! So, I've committed to doing this for a month, then checking the savings compared to the month prior. If it's enough of an amount to make a difference I will continue. It's not that difficult and it's actually kinda fun getting a good deal. I almost already know that it's making a big difference because we've seen it immediately! I'm not buying many off-brand things, other than things that don't matter like paper plates and stuff, and I'm still cooking great meals and we still have all the things that we had before, just at a lower cost.

So today I went to CVS and bought baby wipes, baby powder, baby wash, (to stock Ella up before she arrives), and two packs of gum. I paid TWELVE CENTS GUYS! TWELVE CENTS!!! I could dig that out of my couch!

This is how I did it. I DID buy the off-brand baby products this time because I had a few $2/off any CVS skincare purchase coupons. All of the CVS brand baby products just happen to be on sale for $2 each now. However, I like the purple bottle stuff that has the lavender and camomille in it and CVS brand has that same stuff... and it smells exactly the same! Also, the gum that Joe likes is B1G1 Free at CVS right now and I had a B1G1 Free coupon so two B1G1 free's = TWO FREE.

Here's the transaction:
baby powder $2.00
baby wipes $2.00
baby wash $2.00
Trident Gum $1.49
Trident Gum (Free) B1G1 store sale

-$2.00 CVS skincare coupon (print three)
-$2.00 CVS skincare coupon
-$2.00 CVS skincare coupon
-$1.49 Trident Gum B1G1 Coupon

+tax 12 cent. (not sure where they figured this from but hey I was not going to argue).

Total= 12 cent!

PLUS, I earned $1 Extra Care Buck BACK... so they basically PAID me to take these items home. I will use the Extra Care buck just like a coupon for my next visit.

Amazing, I know! :)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Hot bath and M&Ms

M&Ms 003
Originally uploaded by SunnyNole.
Right now all I want to do is take a hot bath and eat a big bag of M&Ms.

Seriously. I'm exhausted.

This is how my day went: Woke up, made coffee, got Camden's breakfast, opened the newspaper, started planning my shopping trips for the day, Joe woke up, made himself and Camden another breakfast, then they went outside to work in the yard and I went upstairs to print out some coupons... I was not upstairs for five minutes when I heard "Honey........ could you come down a second?"... I was like What the ??? and went on down stairs, to find Joe laying on the floor halfway in the sliding glass door and halfway out with his head down on the floor panting and I was like WHAT???? What happened????? He freaking sprained his ankle while doing yard work. Seriously. Was not out there but for ten minutes and sprained his ANKLE! So, I had grocery and household shopping to plan for and do, a house to clean, and so many other things to do, and now I had a 2 year old companion the whole day because someone was laid up on the couch with his foot up. He seriously cannot even walk on it. So tomorrow, I have a doctor's appointment at 11am and I suspect he will have one too if it is not better in the morning.

So that explains my hard day and why I am so exhausted now. I'm sitting in the recliner upstairs in our bedroom on my laptop and I'm about to get to work on a technology project for the school district, a project that I'm working on this summer. So, off I go to do that... I'm wrapping up projects so SOON I'll be blogging about "doing nothing but resting".


Saturday, July 19, 2008

Scenes from the Nursery

Just another view of the nursery. I love this photo. The mirror and rack are so pretty, and you can see her name on the wall reflected in the window and a small portion of the tree. The things hanging on the rack are special, too... a hat that I knitted for her, the very FIRST outfit that I bought when I found out I was pregnant (wishing for pink baby dust), some hair bands that I CAN'T WAIT to wrap around her little head, and the "keys" to the secret garden... a vintage-looking frugal find at Kirklands!

The day is getting closer. August 14th is the date that we've scheduled to deliver. 9am to be exact. Ya'll be thinking about me at that time. Please! I'm getting a little scared, and a little anxious. The surgery should go quickly and I should know what to expect since this is my 2nd time around with this, but still, I'm a little nervous. :)

I'm slowly getting things done and "wrapping up" projects. I got a hair cut (just an inch or two, but it needed it)... and I have some smaller projects to take care of before the big day. One thing I would like to learn to do is post photos to flickr and to my blog via my phone. Anyone know how to do that? My phone is equipped with internet and email so it should be easy, but I'd like to practice so I can post photos of the baby for ya'll to see. You know I'm going to be bored in that hospital for four days! So, if you know how to do that, let me know. :0)

We saw Hancock tonight-- great movie! I highly recommend it. :0) My hubby and I had a nice night out and my sister and her man graciously babysat! We are so thankful for our family.

My Camden is well. Still having troubles going to bed at night, still giving us fits every now and again being his "two year old self"... but still makes us smile! I tell him every day he is my "best boy".

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Secret Garden Nursery Completed!

The Secret Garden Nursery is complete.

Thanks to Granny Annie for all her hard work in creating the mural and for all of the other items for the baby room-- the lamp, the mirror, the rack, the angel! (It took her almost three full days to do that mural, ya'll... and It looks so lovely!) Thanks to my wonderful husband for helping and for hanging the large items on the walls just perfectly. Thanks to Uncle Dan for all of his assistance with the gifts and clothes. Thanks to Gee for making and sending the letters for above the crib and for all the beautiful clothing that was sent. Thanks Granddaddy for the furniture in the room. Thanks to Nana and Grandma Hawthorne for sending wonderful gifts of clothing and blankets already. Thanks to big brother Cammy for (daily) running upstairs to "check on" (play) with the dolls and items that we've collected on a special chair. Thanks to our loving and wonderful family, we've got an amazing nursery for our sweet baby girl. Now let's just hope that on August 14th she's still a girl. :)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Terrible Twos

Smooches for Granddaddy
Originally uploaded by SunnyNole.
A few days ago we were at the library. I had a list of books on reserve, all dealing with the "terrible twos". Cammy and I went into the library and waited in line to pick up our reserves. In line, he managed to throw two individual fits. The second fit happened as we were going up to the counter because he didn't want me to hold him. So while he was yelling and screaming I was struggling to hold him, and he then decided to take off his shirt and fling it across the room like some midget chippendale dancer. The lady behind the counter retrieved his shirt for me, and then chuckled to herself as she read the titles of the books I was checking out, again, all dealing with the "terrible twos". Who knew toddlers could be so cute and so irritating all within the same moment?

Yesterday was rough. Cammy was home with me all day and I had a list of a thousand things to do. He was in rare form. I took it all morning long with grace and patience... the fits, the crying, and carrying on.................... by one o' clock I had had it...... I swatted his little bottom and sent him to his room. He then went into a swarm of screaming fits yelling at me that he wanted his GRANDdaddy and that he was telling his GRANDdaddy on me. Then he picked up his imaginary phone in his hand and CALLED his Granddaddy-- "Hello, Granddaddy?, Hey. Mommy not being nice. She need go to time out." Later, when he wouldn't nap, I told him I was going to call his Granddaddy and tell him he was not being a good boy. Guess who took a nap!? That was powerful. Cam just spent all last weekend with Gee and Granddaddy, which is probably why he wanted to call his Granddaddy because he apparently was an angel the entire time he was gone.

And now we are getting ready for Granny Annie and Uncle Dan to come visit. Cam is excited. We have many things to do today, so Cam is at school this morning. I will pick him up after nap.