Sunday, November 30, 2008

Caleb praying at dinnertime:

"...Thank you for the children you have blessed us with..."

Piper: "That's me!"

"...Please help us to raise our children up in the fear of thy Name..."

Piper: "That's me!"


Piper: "AMEN, Daddy!!"

How amazing and wonderful when they start to be able to understand the prayers that you are saying!


Saturday, November 29, 2008

These are the cutest pics I think I have ever taken of Natallie. Look at those little folded hands and that sweet look on her face. I was doing her hair one morning and happened to notice this look. I just had to take a pic. So, so cute!

Doesn't she just look so sad here? I promise she was happy when I was doing her hair. I didn't even pull it or anything. :) In fact, 2 seconds before I decided to take pics, she had this big grin on her face and said, "Oh my mom will love these black pony's in my hair! " So adorable.

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

I cut Piper's hair for the first time in...well, a very long time. It was getting so long, but so scraggly on the ends. Her hair is so thin that I just wanted it to be nice and long. But her hair on the ends was getting to the point where about 5 hairs were 3 inches longer than everything else. :)
So I set her up on the counter in the bathroom and got to work snipping away. I didn't cut off very much hair and it probably took me only a quarter as long as it takes me to cut Ambry's. If even that long! I actually ended up cutting off a good 3-4 inches off the ends!

So much better! Nice and straight. Look at their smiley reflections in the mirror.
See what I mean by such a small amount of hair? This was all I cut off, but some of those pieces were so long.

You can kind of see the difference here. She still has her cute little layers in the back. I just trimmed those up a little bit.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I had a sort of mini cooking day on Monday. I made banana bread, in mini loafs and muffins, and chocolate pumpkin bread, also in mini loafs and muffins. I highly recommend the chocolate pumpkin bread. Sooo yummy!

Here are the recipes that I used:
Banana Bread

  1. 6 TBS butter or margarine softened

  2. 2/3 cup sugar

  3. 2 eggs

  4. 3 ripe bananas, mashed

  5. 1 tsp vanilla

  6. 1 2/3 cup flour

  7. 2 tsp baking powder

  8. 1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 325. Lightly spray pan with veg. spray. I usually rub with butter and that works just fine. Cream butter and sugar in large bowl with mixer. Add eggs, bananas, and vanilla. Mix well. Add flour, salt, and baking powder. Do not overmix. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 50-60 minutes. I like to sprinkle the tops with brown sugar before I bake. Adds that little bit of extra sweet to it. Not that I need it, of course. :) This made 2 mini loafs and 9 muffins.

Chocolate Pumpkin Bread

  1. 3/4 cup white sugar

  2. 1/4 cup veg. oil

  3. 2 eggs

  4. 3/4 cup canned pumpkin

  5. 1/4 cup water

  6. 1 1/2 cups flour

  7. 3/4 tsp baking powder

  8. 1/2 tsp baking soda

  9. 1 tsp ground cinnamon

  10. 1/4 tsp salt

  11. 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

  12. 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

  13. 1/4 tsp ground cloves (I did not have on hand and this was great without it)

Preheat oven to 375. Grease muffin pan or use paper liners. Again, I used butter, and they came out just fine. Mix sugar, oil, and eggs. Add pumkin and water. I planned on doubling this recipe so I used half of a 15 oz can of pumpkin. Mix in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt. Add chocolate chips. I used a large dark chocolate Hershey bar for this and just cut it up real fine. I like it better like this. It mixes in so well with the mixture. Bake then for 20 minutes. I seriously loved this recipe! I got 4 mini loafs of bread and 18 muffins from 2 batches.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Here is my list of deals at CVS that I am getting along with the coupons that I will be using. I can not wait to go! Read to the end to find out. And for those who don't normally make the trip to CVS I highly recommend going on Thursday. Yes, that is right. I said Thursday. The deals start Thursday at 8:00 am!!!
  1. 2 Colgate toothpate, $2.99 each, use 2 $1.50 coupons here, get back $5.98 in ECB's=profit of $3.00
  2. 2 Aussie products, $2.99 each, use 2 $1.00 coupons from P & G, get back $5.98 in ECB's=profit of $2.00
  3. 1 Johnson's Soft Lotion, $5.69, use 1 $1.00 coupon here, get back $5.69 ECB=profit of $1.00
  4. 3 Gatorade, $1.49 each, use $1.00 off 2 from CVS Reinventing Beauty magazine (this can be found by the register), $4.47 ECB back=profit of $1.00
  5. 2 Hershey King Size bars, $1.00 each, use B1G1 cpn from recent insert, $2.00 ECB back=profit of $1.00
  6. 2 Bic Soleil razors, $5.99 each, use 2 $3.00 coupons from recent insert, $11.98 ECB back=profit of $6.00!!!
  7. 1 Garnier Nutritioniste towlettes, $5.99, use 1 $1.00 coupon from paper, $5.99 ECB back=profit of $1.00
  8. 2 Phillips universal remote(or Phillips ipod headphones) $6.99 each, $13.98 ECB back=FREE
  9. 2 L'Oreal sheer lipgloss, $6.99 each, use 2 $1.00 coupons here, get back $13.98 ECB=possible profit of $2.00 if they use both coupons, otherwise FREE
  10. 2 Sally Hansen nail colors, $3.79 each, use $3.00 off 2 from CVS Reinventing Beauty(found by register) and try to use $2.00 off 2 from recent paper, $3.79 ECB back=possible profit of $1.21
  11. 1 Covergirl smoothers liquid makeup, $7.99, $7.99 ECB back=FREE
  12. 1 Covergirl liquid smothers powder makeup, $5.99, $5.99 ECB back=FREE
  13. 1 Playtex tampons 16-18 ct.,$3.99, use 1 $1.00 coupon from paper, $3.00 ECB back=FREE
  14. 1 Schick Quattro razor, $7.99, use $2.00 coupon here, $6.00 ECB back=profit of $.01 :)
  15. 1 Clairol Hydrience hair color, $8.49, use $2.00 coupon from paper, I also have a $2.00 off any hair color CVS crt coupon, $5.00 ECB back=$.51 profit

Possible other bonus coupons to use: $1.00 Colgate toothpaste CVS crt, save $3.00 off $15.00 cosmetics purchase CVS crt, save $10.00 off $50.00 CVS crt. These will definitely help sweeten the deals even more. Don't forget to scan your card when you go there also. You never know what bonus coupons you might find.

Bonus deal at CVS this week to consider: Buy 3 American Express gift cards with values of $25.00 each. Pay $3.95 activation per card. Get back $10.00 ECB for buying 3 cards. Send in for $15.00 gas card MIR. This will be a profit of $13.15! Something to consider if you have lots of extra ECB's or if you have the cash to do this deal. Not too bad! :)

If you notice any other deals, feel free to send them my way. I did not do every single one, just picked the ones that I would buy. If you notice any coupons missing, let me know! Maybe I will see some of you Thursday!

Here are some quickie transactions if you don't have a whole lot of ECB's to work with. Say you start with $20.00 ECB's. Here is what you can do:

Transaction 1
2 Colgate, 2 Aussie, 1 Johnson's soft lotion, 3 Gatorade
Total equals $22.12 +tax($1.33)-cpn(5.00 2 $1.50 Colgate, 2 $1.00 aussie)=$18.45 Use your $20.00 ECB's to pay. Get back $22.12 in ECB's. Now have $23.67 ECB's.

Transaction 2
2 Hershey king size bars, 2 Bic Soleil razors, 1 Garnier towlettes
Total =$19.97 +tax($1.20)-cpns ($8.00 B1G1 hershey, 2 $3.00 Bic, $1.00 Garnier)=$13.47. Use ECB's from previous transaction. Get back $19.97 in ECB's. Now have $30.47 ECB's.

Transaction 3
2 Phillips remote, 2 L'Oreal lipgloss, 1 Playtex tampons
Total=$31.95 +tax($1.92)-cpns ($3.00 2 $1.00 L'Oreal, 1 $1.00 Playtex)=$30.87. Use ECB's from previous transaction. Get back $30.96 in ECB's. Now have $30.56 in ECB's.

Transaction 4
2 Sally Hansen, 1 Covergirl, 1 covergirl, 1 Squick Quattro, 1 Clairol Hydrience
Total=$38.54+tax($2.31)-cpns($7.00 $3.00 Sally, $2.00 Schick, $2.00 Clairol. Possibly use $2.00 Sally Hansen from paper and $2.00 CVS crt for hair color)=$33.85. Use ECB's from previous transaction. Pay OOP $3.29 (unless other coupons are able to be used.) Get back $38.54 in ECB's.

Grand total is $3.29 OOP and a profit of $18.54 in ECB's in you started with $20.00! Woohoo!

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Monday, November 24, 2008

We had our first big snow of the year today and, apparently, it was great sticking snow. Here is the snowman that Caleb and the girls built today.

Check out the stylin' cowboy hat! We didn't have any snow hats big enough. :) Can you see what Caleb used for arms?
Look at the size of that snowman! It is taller than Caleb! The snow was awesome for packing!

Sweet little Piper.

She tried to help with the snowman but everytime I looked outside, she was eating snow. :) Yeah! I finally found a way to get this child to "drink" water!


Thursday, November 20, 2008

My Grandpa M. passed away last night sometime around 11:00 our time. Please pray for my grandma. Please pray for my mom and all the rest of the family.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Just a couple of pics of my Grandpa M. It is so sad to me how fast time goes by. This first pic was taken in March 2005 when Caleb, Ambry, and I visited CA. I can not believe it has been almost 4 years already. Time goes by way too fast. Definitely makes you rethink things through and wish so hard that you could be given more time.
This pic was taken around the same time, but in MI. I can't remember for sure when, but it was probably about six months before the one above.

Please continue to keep my Grandpa in your prayers. I have not been able to get a hold of my mom yet to find out just what is going on. It is this waiting that makes it so very hard.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Seriously, get out the tissues. I know this video has been out for a while, but I happened to run across it and was reminded once again, how I take for granted my children's health. This has reminded me to thank God for such healthy children!


Please keep my Grandpa M. in your prayers. He is in the hospital and is not doing too well. My mom left this morning to fly out there to be with him and with her mom--my grandma. Please pray for God to give them peace in this difficult time and to be with my grandpa. If it is the Lord's Will to take him at this time, blessed be the Lord.

Monday, November 17, 2008

**EDITED**for some reason I can't get a pic to load, so I will try again later...sorry...I think visuals are so much better than just words. Oh well. :(

CVS deals for the week...I did these in 3 separate transactions...
  1. 1 L'Oreal age perfect serum $15.99
  2. 2 Hershey Dark Chocolate bars $1.00 each, use 2 $1.00 cpns from recent insert

$17.99 worth of stuff, use CVS $3.00 off $15.00 cpn (emailed to me), use $11.98 ECB's, pay $1.07 cash, and ggot back $15.99 ECB's.

Second transaction:

  1. 1 Hershey Dark Chocolate bar $1.00, use 1 $1.00 cpn
  2. 2 Glade glass scents $2.50, use 1 B1G1 cpn
  3. 2 Glade scented oil plug-ins, use B1G1 cpn
  4. 1 Crest pro health toothpaste $3.49, use $1.00 cpn

$17.47 worth of stuff, use $3.00 off $15.00 CVS cpn, use $5.00 ECB's, pay $1.40 in cash, and get back $8.49 in ECB's.

Third transaction. I could have split this in two but the cashier was giving me funny looks about my $3.00 off $15.00 cpn, even though it didn't say a limit of 1 use on it. So I didn't want to push my luck and not have her use it if I tried 4 transactions. :)

  1. 3 AAA Duracell batteries $5.99, use 3 $1.00 cpns
  2. 1 AA Duracell battery $5.99, use 1 $1.00 cpn
  3. 1 Hershey dark chocolate bar, $1.00, use 1 $1.00 cpn
  4. 1 Crest pro health toothpaste $3.49, use 1 $1.00 cpn
  5. 1 candy for Ambry $.99 (yes, I know I bought the dark chocolate bars, but she did really good just standing and being patient, so she was allowed to pick out a treat.)

$29.44 stuff, use $3.00 off $15.00 CVS cpn, use $19.65 ECB's, pay $1.08 cash, and get back $18.49 in ECB's.

Grant totals:

$64.90 worth of product

$36.63 ECB's used

$3.55 cash paid out

$42.97 ECB's back

Check out Money Saving Mom for more great deals!


Friday, November 14, 2008

Here is Piper's idea of what naptime should be like. Frosted Mini-Wheats, 2 cups of juice, and her bunny. :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Just a couple quick things. Goody ouchless products are 25% off at Meijer. Use this coupon here for $2.00 off and you can pay as little as $.12 for some hair ties or cute little rubberbands!

Also, go here to enter to win a $50.00 Walmart gift card! I don't usually shop here, but I have started to pay attention to the deals they have there and have just started shopping there to pick them up.

As always, Happy Deal Hunting!


Here we go...yet another post on deals. I'm sorry! I just can't resist. I LOVE getting stuff for pennies on the dollar. Or even better yet, making money. So much fun!

Here are my Walgreens deals:

  1. 4 Coffee-Mate creamers $2.49 each, use in ad B1G1 cpn ($4.98 off)and 2 $1.00 off from Coffee-Mate website, 1$1.50 off 2
  2. 4 Carnation evap. milk $1.50, use in ad $.99 each cpn, then 2 $1.00 off 2 from Nestle website
  3. 4 Libby's pumpkin mix $1.79 each, use in ad $.99 each cpn, then 2 $1.00 off 2 from Nestle website
  4. 2 Reach dental floss, use in ad $.99 each cpn, 2 $1.00 cpn from last week's paper
  5. Domino sugar 5 lb $3.49, use in ad $1.50 cpn, $.50 cpn from paper

My total was $6.99. I used my gift to pay for everything. That was a savings of $21.82 just by using coupons. Yeah!

Here is what I got at CVS:

  1. 5 Listerine mouth wash $3.99 each with $3.00 ECB back on each. Use 5 $1.00 Listerine cpns from here or from last week's insert.
  2. 5 Palmolive dish soap $1.49 each with $1.00 ECB back on each. Use 5 $.25 cpn from paper
  3. 4 St. Ives body wash $3.99 each with $3.00 ECB back on each. I had 1 $1.00 cpn from the paper(not sure from what insert) and 2 $2.00 cpns from here. (VALID ONLY SUNDAY OR MONDAY!)
  4. 1 Garnier hair gel $2.99 with $2.00 ECB back. Use $1.00 cpn from paper.
  5. 1 Electrasol dish tabs on sale $2.99, used $2.25 cpn
  6. 1 SmartWater $1.59 with $1.59 ECB
  7. 1 gallon of milk $2.99
  8. 1 L'Oreal serum $11.99, used 1 CVS $1.00 cpn and $1.00 L'Oreal printable from here. (VALID ONLY SUNDAY AND MONDAY!)
  9. 1 box of Oreo cakesters--bought separate and forgot to put in pic. They are on sale for $2.50. I used 1 CVS $2.00 cpn. Maybe someone else has gotten these too?

Total of $68.41 worth of stuff. I used $39.94 worth of ECB's, 1 $5.00 off $25.00 CVS cpn and 1 $2.00 off $10.00 (printed in store), and paid $3.02. Got back $47.58 in ECB's! Yeah!

Good deal hunting this week! If anyone else finds any other great deals, let me know. :)

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Friday, November 07, 2008

I am huge on organizing things. Especially when it comes to the kid's things, their toys specifically. If it was up to Caleb, we would get rid of all of them except for a select few. If it was up to me, I would buy hundreds of the things! So in order to compromise, we have toys, and quite a few if I do say so myself. So what to do with all of these toys? Make sure they each go in a specific spot to keep Caleb happy and also to make it easier on the kids. I make use of bins to baskets to shelves in order to make sure that the kids know that each toy has a specific spot. It also keeps me happy because when I help pick up, I also know that each thing is in it's own tidy little spot.

Here is a pic of some bookcases I just picked up for $10.00 a piece. These 2 pieces are so very nice to have. It is very easy for the kids to reach and also the toys are now out in the open and make it easier for them to see and select something to play with and then put it back in it's own spot.

On those shelves are also some very inexpensive bins that I picked up from Lowe's. They were on clearance 4 for $1.00! We use them, for example, one for balls, another for the car mat and cars, and yet another for music toys. This makes everything so much simpler for the kids to find and play with them and then when they are done, they know where each one goes.

This is one of our favorite learning games that we own. It is basically a piece of finished wood with a bunch of nails pounded into it. Yes, I know, quite dangerous. But if played with properly, very fun. The kids use rubberbands to stretch over the heads of the nails to make all different kinds of designs.

Here is a pic of it close up. So very easy to make yourself and a very inexpensive toy. If you get the newspaper, start collecting rubberbands. You will have plenty in no time. The nails and wood can be bought for very cheap at your hardware store. Lots of fun for a very small dollar amount. Perfect!


Monday, November 03, 2008

As evident by this photo, I am going to have to really start looking for either a bigger bed for the girls or settle on my "not so perfect" ideal for bunk beds. I just can't find any bunks that I really like. I have this picture in my head of what I want and I really need to get rid of it. Because, honestly, Pottery Barn Kids is just a LITTLE out of my price range!

Amazingly enough, neither of them has ever fallen out of bed yet. So I suppose I could make do with the twin size bed for a little longer. I just feel bad since there isn'ta whole lot of room for the both of them. Oh well, at least they look cute cuddling together like that. :)


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