Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Girls' Shopping Trip

Like usual, Ive gotten behind again!!!

Friday evening I went out shopping with Lauryn!!! Ive said it a million times before.. but.. YAY for Girls' Nights! We met at China Garden Buffet for dinner. Brooke absolutely loves that place, so I felt guilty going without her.. I didnt tell her about it.. shhh!! Then we went over to Party City to look around at party stuff. I got a few things for Brooke's graduation party the next day and I was hoping to find big packs for lollipops for something im wanting to do for Rachels party, but didnt find any. I did find huge packs of cups that matched her party colors though.. so thats one more thing marked off the list!!

Then we went over to Kohls. It is just not a trip out with Abby and Lauryn unless you go to Kohls (same with Target usually). I was looking for a skirt to go with Rachels owl shirt for her party.. but they were all out of her size. Meanwhile.. i DID find the cutest dress for Rachel.. that I bought on impulse. I had saw it, loved it, and put it back on the rack.. but then when Lauryn saw it and loved it too it was like I had to get it.. Bad, bad Lauryn.. youre a bad influence!! ;) I also picked up Arnold a water bottle.. so romantic right? But if you knew youd understand.. he has started going back to the gym on a regular basis.. and he didnt have one so he has been taking my big orangey-colored water bottle with flowers on in and says LIFE IS GOOD across the side. Poor thing.. even got made fun of by his dad ;) So.. I am throwing that in with his fathers day present.. hope he will appreciate that ;)

Next we went to Target. How many times Ive been there this past month.. Ill never tell! I wasnt really looking for anything in particular in there, just browsing. But I dont think ive EVER come out of there without buying SOMETHING. True for that night too! They had a lot of stuff on clearance, and I ended up buying a 2-pack bottles of Windex. So random, right?! Well I needed some... and it was cheap... so... And Lauryn ended up buying some multi packs of shampoo, AND she had a coupon on top of that! (Did i mention she had her coupon binder with her that night?? Yeah we know how to have fun on a Friday night ;) While she was browing for diaper deals I went to the CD section and they had the latest Brad Paisley cd out, and it was on sale, so I threw that in the cart for part of Arnold's Fday present, too. Sheesh... I go out to shop and buy buy buy for him and the kids, but not much for me.. but I guess i like it that way ;) Cant beat the other deal they had going on.. Free $5 Target GC if you bought the cd.. so in a way it was good for me too ;) AND when we stopped to browse through the kid/baby section, I found a bright pink skirt that will match perfectly with Rachels owl shirt. SOOO.. Id say that Target trip was a success!!

After we left Target we were trying to figure out what to do.. There is this place called Ritas, that serves italian ice, and ive only been once, but i LOVED it.. and have been wanting to go back ever since. Its pretty far out of the way of where I usually go, so I havent found an excuse to go. But Lauryn wanted to go too.. so we went and had a "date" :) One of the night's featured flavors was PINA COLADA!!!! so I was in heaven.. it was sooo good. Some of you may know, that back in my party days, that was one of my "drinks." I have since given up alcohol consumption.. partly because of the meds I am on, and partly because of my own personal convictions about alcohol now.. But anyway, it was a nice fruity treat for a hot night ;) On the way back to the can I nearly slipped and fell.. but caught myself just in time. That would have been embarassing! I am a walking clutz.. seriously. I have bruises all over my legs at any given time.. just like a kid might who plays outside a lot, and trips and falls. oh well, its all good! Arnold and my friends love me even despite all my "quirks" :)

The last stop of the night was to CVS. (once again.. I say.. we are WILD!!!) We browsed through the card section looking for Fathers Day cards. I also found a graduation card for Brooke's "boyfriend" that says "HAPPY GRADUATION, TO ONE OF MY FAVORITE PEEPS" and has a chick on the front with a graduation cap on it!!! Loved it, and had to get it! Then we went on search for the CHEAP DETERGENT!!! What is that you might ask? Well CVS had their Purex bottles marked down to $1.98 this past week, and they made you limit 4 a day, but you could keep going back.. so.. LOL. But of course they were out!!! But we made sure to get "rainchecks" where you can go back and get them when they are in stock, for the sale price from before. And before we left, we saw lots of clearanced batteries on an endcap. They were Energizers and nothing wrong with them at all.. marked down to $2 a pack. I didnt even think we needed batteries at home currently, but for that price I scooped a few packs up. Brooke is always going through batteries on her Leapster. And wouldnt you know it?? Lauryn had a coupon.. so... she got them even cheaper!! (Half of this Im joking around, half im really excited about :P

I had such a good time. So to sum up.. I had wanted to go out birthday shopping for Rachel. I spent 4 hours out, and only ended up buying: CUPS. everything else I guess was "impulse buys." But i had a lot of fun, and it was so relaxing after another crazy week with the kids! Thanks for the company Lauryn! Love ya! :)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Lauryn's Birthday Dinner

I hate I didnt get around to posting this earlier in the week, but it has been one of those weeks, so let me just say HAPPY BIRTHDAY LAURYN!!!!

Lauryns bday was on Tuesday, and she had a birthday dinner for friends at El Paso that night. I went by and picked up Jenn and she rode with me. I love mexican food, but it has been bothering me lately, as it did that night, so Lauryn-- you better be glad you are worth it!!! haha, just picking. I had a taco salad, and it was really good.. thats actually what I got last time, too.. I guess I should try something new next time! Afterwards we ate some birthday cake, and then Lauryn sent the rest home with me "for the kids." But Arnold actually ended up eating it first. I took it home and he was like hmm, Im hungry, I think I'll eat this! So I guess he needs to thank Lauryn for sending it home ;)

It was a really fun evening, and great to get out and spend some time with the girls, and get a break.. and to celebrate a very good friend's birthday!!! :) The only thing that would have made it better is if we had had a nicer waiter! ;)

A group shot

Jenn and I.

Yummm, Birthday cake!! ;)

Gallbladder Surgery & Some Explanation

Just a quick update for anyone wondering what Ive been talking about on FB lately.

I have been getting sick and having pains since last Nov. and after several dr appts and tests they say its my gallbladder. I didnt show any stones or sludge, but they said where my pain is, and how long it has lasted.. its almost certainly that. I also am a woman whos had several children, and they say this is a big risk-factor for problems.

Sooo, after several months of suffering, and lots of praying, I decided to go ahead and schedule the surgery to get it out (which they were suggesting I do all along) And it has been scheduled for June 23rd, at 7:30 am. I have a pre-op appt the day before, to go over everything, pick up a special soap to shower with the night before, and see what they are going to do to keep me safe during and afterwards, since I am high-risk for surgery now (chance of recurring bloodclots). I have decided to do it at a local hospital, which I didnt want to do before, since I have the horrible memories from around here back in 2009, but I realied that is the DR that matters, not the hospital, and I was lucky enough to find a dr in the area that I really like and trust, so I am going with him.

Thankfully my mom has an extra vacation day, and she is going to be available to watch the kids on Thursday while Arnold takes me in for the surgery. Then I have the whole weekend to recover while I have help from her, and Arnold, since they will be off of work. I also have a few great friends who have offered to do whatever to help, I feel very blessed!!

I know a lot of people wonder why Ive been so nervous over this surgery since its so routine and soo many are done these days and its "nothing." The reason I am so worried is because of my past. Most of you know just what I went through back in 2009 and what I went through physically and mentally, and to be back on an operating table again I know will bring up some issues for me. Plus, I have never been "put under" before, so I dont know how Ill react to that.. I hear some people dont react well to the meds. But I know I cant suffer anymore, I need to be there for my kids and husband, so its about time I get it done. Some days Ive gotten so sick I was in bed most of the day. The dr did tell me he cant promise that this surgery will magically take away my problems, but if its like everyone else has told me, I will be relieved and wonder why I didnt have it done already.

So i am just trusting in God right now, that he will get me through this. I am not so much worried about the pain of recovering, but the risk of bloodclots again, and how Ill react to being in a hospital again, and waking up after the surgery, etc. Ever since my anxiety has flared up lately, I dont know how Ill react, but like Arnold pointed out.. they will have plenty of drugs at hand if I do happen to have a panic attack. And let me take a moment to say to everyone who has never dealt with anxiety or other mental issues before-- this stuff is an illness just like anything else. It is not "imagined" or "done for attention" and I am not a "hypochondriac" or "overly-dramatic" like some might think.. I seriously just cant put a hault on my emotions sometimes, and its too overwhelming for me.

So THANK YOU for being patient for me lately.. I havent tried to be whiny and negative on facebook, and hopefully soon my negative statuses will subside. Thank you to all the family and friends who have been by my side to listen (they sure have gotten an earful lately!) and supported me through this. I love you all! And prayers for an un-eventful surgery, peace of mind, and a quick recovery are greatly appreciated!!!

23 Months!!

Rachel is now 23 months old (as of the other day)!! That means we are seriously on the countdown now, for her 2nd birthday! I have been waiting for this.. but also sort-of dreading it since she is my last baby. In other news, I HAVE booked her party venue, for sure now. Its going to be at the family life center at my parents' church. I am excited, and having a blast planning it, and finding all the owl details. we are expecting A LOT of people, and I hope it doesnt get crazy, but I am ready for the challenge!!

And now for a few things about Rachel at this point---

*She is still working on getting rid of the baby mullet! ;)
*She is in 3t clothes already, and size 6 shoes. (she can wear 4t in Carters tops!)
*Not sure of exact weight, but last time I checked she was 29 lbs.
*She is saying lots of new words every day. Her latest word is: "strawberry"
*She loves to give kisses and hugs now
*She will says I LOVE YOU (Comes out I WUV YOU) to us, sometimes without prompting! That just melts my heart every time!
*She still screams "SHUT UP" when she is frustrated, so we are working on that (haha)
*She is such a big girl and stays in nursery every week, without even a fuss!
*She is very into books, dolls, and Max & Ruby
*She loves to dance, and it cracks me up to watch her!
*She carries around a stuffed monkey.. it is her current "lovey"
*Her fave foods are mac & cheese and strawberries
*She asks for a "cookie" just about every single day
*No update on potty training.. she screams when I even put her on the potty!

Her custom Owl shirt someone made for her, for her birthday party! I love how it turned out! There is also a matching bow!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Insanely busy Weekend!!

This weekend was soo jam-packed it was ridiculous!

Saturday morning I got up real early, went to pick up a friend, and we went yardsaling. We went to this HUGE yardsale at a local park, and I didnt know just how big it was going to be. When we got there, there were hundreds of people, and we had to park waay back in the grass, and then walk through a field of grass and part of the park before I got to it. It was so crowded I didnt look at everything, just a few things that caught my eye. I found a LOT of stuff for Rachel, I have already started buying fall clothes for her as I see them.. I found the cutest halloween dress, I wish I would have remembered to take a picture of it! I stopped by and saw Lauryn before I left, she was selling some things. Grayson was sitting out playing on a blanket beside the van.. my kids would not have done that well!! After that sale we went to a few more in town, and I found a few more things. Wasnt my best of days, but Id say it was worth it.

Then after the yardsales I ran home real quick, changed into a dressier outfit, and headed back out again. I had a babyshower to go to, for a good friend of mine from highschool. I hadnt eaten lunch yet and was going to be late, so I just ran by the drive through. I didnt want to eat some junky fast food b/c I had eaten too much junk lately, so I got a salad. Know how hard it is to eat a salad and drive?! Yeah.. but I was doing it! A few times I was afraid I was either going to crash into a car, or spill salad dressing all over my dress! I also had a 2-liter of sundrop in the car to take my anxiety pill which was almost due, and all my yardsale stuff in the back, along with the baby gift, which I hadnt yet put into the gift BAG yet. I seriously felt like I was living out of the car that day ;) I drove Arnold's car around all day because it is waay better on gas mileage! I am starting to love that.. I might just take it over every weekend ;)

I met up with another friend of mine at the babyshower.. Jess. She is due in just a few weeks, too! We went into the babyshower together. It was at a local coffee house.. I dont drink coffee so I just got some sweet tea. They played a few cute games, like match the baby animal with the mama animal (She stole that game from me when I threw Jess' shower, haha!) and guess how much toilet paper to go around the mama's pregnant belly. I was THIS close to getting it dead on, but was just a teeny bit short. I stayed as long as I could but I had to leave early, because after that I was going to a WEDDING. Yes, I know i am insane for going to so much in one day, but they were all friends of mine and I didnt want to miss anything. :)

So i met Arnold over at my parents' house.. Mom watched the kids for awhile while we went to the wedding. Thankfully it was just down the road at the church I grew up in! My friend Jessica's brother was getting married.. I have gotten to know his new wife over the past couple of months. Anyway, the wedding was BEAUTIFUL and Denise looked stunning! Was sweet to go back to that same church Arnold and I got married in, and watch another one. I love weddings.. always have. I love all the excitement that everyone is feeling and all the happy energy :) Everything went very smoothly except their photographer was late!!! Yes, seriously. If that would have happened to me, I would have flipped! The preacher came out and said the wedding would be delayed about 15 mins, and everyone stared buzzing about what was going on.. it was like something youd see on tv, ha ha! But at least it wasnt the bride or groom that were missing! Thankfully they had some family members there with really nice cameras, that stood up for them in their time of need! I wished we could have gone to the reception afterwards, but we had to go pick up the kids.

On the way home, we decided kind of last-minute to go to dinner at Dos Amigos.. we all love Mexican. We got there early so there was no rush.. I have a weird thing about eating before 5, but by the time we got the food, it was technically 5, so it was ok ;) I knew going in there that I might regret it later (gallbladder) and it did act up some. Ill be glad when I can eat again without pain!!

Sunday we got up and went to church. I thought we were going to be late, but it turns out that was a good thing, because we found a front row parking spot! The message was really good that morning.. we are on a series called "God Whispers", and its about how God speaks to people and tries to lead them in life, all to better their lives. It was a great message for me to hear, because Ive been dealing with some issues lately, and having a hard time making decisions.

That afternoon I went to a friend's baby shower. Her baby (Micah) has actually already been born, and so he was the guest of honor! everyone was passing him around and I eventually got to hold him, after being very patient! He was soo tiny, he was only 5-something pounds when he was born. I am not used to that tiny of a baby! All mine were 7-9+lbs. So i got my baby fix for awhile!

Danielle and baby Micah!

The girls in their matching dresses, ready for church. Rachel later ruined hers when she ate spaghetti :( Anyone know how to get out spaghetti sauce?!

Caleb made quite the mess too. Arnold called this his "5 oclock shadow" :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

One of those Days!

So the first thing I noticed wrong yesterday morning was that I found Brooke's library books on her dresser.. which were supposed to be in her bookbag returned to school that day. Tuesday is library day for their class. This is not the first time Ive forgotten to return the books on the right day.. I get friendly reminders in her planner from her teachers, but I know they think Ive lost my mind. Hey i can blame it on having 3 young kids, right?!

I know I should have locked in the venue for Rachel's party a long time ago, but I am a procrastinator and I thought a certain park near our house would be perfect for it, and I didnt think much more of it, but then I found out they are having a soccer tournament that day!! So then I picked another park in the area, but Arnold pointed out that that park is the most crowded of them all, and no one would even be able to find our party, as big of a place it is. So then he got me all set on an indoor party, which he said would be way better, because of the heat. So my mom was calling their church seeing if I could rent out their big family life center. I was excited.. even thinking in my head how id decorate.. Then she calls back that they are booked that day. I call another place, and they said they dont even book parties there anymore. Yes.. I know I brought this all on myself.. and I should have booked somewhere ages ago.. summer is a busy time! So right now I am trying a few more places, hoping they are available. My last resort would be moving her party up a week.. but we will see. So anyone I was bugging with possible party changes.. that is why!

Ok so.. you guys can laugh at me or make fun of me.. whatever. But yesterday I was getting ready to run some water in a pot to make the kids lunch, and there was no water. Absolutely no water. When I thought about it awhile and then checked our bank account history online, I realized that I had forgotten.to.pay.the.water.bill!! For some reason I had thought that Arnold had paid it this time around, but I guess not. You always seeing stuff like that on tv shows and its funny, but not so funny in real life! Im just surprised it hasnt happened to me before since being married, with my horrible memory! We even had the big neon green sign taped to our mailbox that said "Sorry, we cut your water off!" Yeah.. im really sure they were sorry. I packed the kids up in the van and went to the water tower to pay the bill.. and wouldnt you know they were closed for lunch?! So i took the kids to get some lunch, and filled up the van with gas, and then went back. It was raining at that point, so the kids were getting wet as we were running in. Then they charged us a re-connection fee, so $128 later I was leaving.. with a promise that my water would be turned back on by the end of the day!! Meanwhile at home, I got creative with things, and realized how much I really DO rely on water. Thank goodness for hand sanitizer when we had to wash our hands ;) I have to give them credit.. it WAS turned back on pretty quickly. Poor Caleb... in the past week he has seen our power (not our fault!) and the water go out.. he must think we never pay our bills!!! ;) Hey, it can happen to anyone, right?? Just makes you more careful!

Yesterday evening Lauryn and I went to visit my sister-in-law who had surgery last week. Lauryn, out of the kindess of her heart, made them a meal. She made spaghetti pie, garlic bread, and an apple pie. Why couldnt she have made me some, too?! (LOL just picking Lauryn ;) I of course did NOT take a meal to Jenn. She had already suffered enough w/ the surgery.. she shouldnt have to eat my cooking too ;) I took a get well card that Brooke had made though. :) Jenn is doing a lot better and healing nicely, and I know she appreciates all the prayers!!!

Last night after the kids were in bed, Arnold made us some grilled cheese sandwiches as a snack. To be fair, we had had a light dinner, so I was hungry! And right after I ate, I had another gallbladder attack. They are very common and frequent for me now.. I am one step closer to getting the surgery, but I will write about that later.

Surprisingly I didnt let yesterday get me down too bad! Yeah it was dreary and chilly outside, I had quite a few incidents come up, a little pain, a little embarassment, and out some $$$ but I realize that it could have been worse!!!

Sunday & Monday

Saturday night I had a lot of gallbladder issues and stayed in bed most of the evening.. it was a rough night. So Sunday morning I still wasnt feeling too well and took an 800mg Ibprofen, and they sometimes make me sleepy, so I passed out on the recliner and slept late... so we didnt end up making it to church that day. I felt really bad, but I think I needed the sleep.

A little later I was feeling somewhat better and so we packed the kids up and went to lunch at Ocharleys. We were able to beat the lunch rush, so It wasnt too bad. I love their Sunday brunch, and got some pancakes. After that Arnold took the kids in Target to pick up some babywipes, and I went into Old Navy real quick because I had found a 50% off One Item coupon for that weekend, and wanted to get something. I found a really cute top for me that had a heart American flag and Hello Kitty on it.. that will be good for Memorial Day and 4th of July ;) Then I met back up with Arnold and the kids.. Arnold had gone by the cafe and gotten them icecream bars and it was alll over their faces. Then when going through the checkout line, Rachel dropped her's.. of course. I knew that was a mistake when I saw it! And cried the whole way out of the store b/c she had lost her icecream :(

Monday was my usual "Big cleaning day" of the week, so we stayed in and got some things gone around here. That afternoon when Arnold got home from work he took the kids with him to the gym while I went grocery shopping. It was the first time I took a bunch of coupons with me. We live right at a Food Lion, so thats where we always go. Unfortunately, they never double or triple coupons, or anything special like that.. so I can only get so much savings. I am not used to it so I found my head spinning after awhile but I did use a few of them. I think I saved $18 overall, which isnt bad. I got some good things... including a $1 off 2 boxes of cereal, and they were already buy one, get one free.. so I got each box for $1.50 I think. And I got to try the new Cinnamon cheerios that I had been wanting to try for awhile now.. they are thumbs up.. even the kids think so :)

A little later I went out to Target to use some more coupons. Found a few more deals.. although most were just small savings. I did find 2-pack Oldspice products on clearane for $3.40 and then used a $1 off 2 products and got the 2 pack for $2.40 which is really good for that brand, so I was excited. I think i saved $12 w/ just coupons, and I didnt buy that much at all. Any money saving is good to me.. I dont do the "extreme" stuff.. I just dont have the energy or patience!! While i was out I also got 3 baby gifts.. I swear something is in the water!!! I have 2 baby showers THIS weekend to go to, and another 2 girls I know are having babies too, all within the month. Its craziness.. makes me have baby fever bad but of course nothing will ever come of that.. so I guess Ill just have to cuddle their sweet babies! :) Anyway... On the way home I got one of those Pina Colada freeze drinks from Taco Bell.. they are soo good. I discovered them when pregnant with Rachel.. and then they didnt come back the next summer and I was sad.. but for some reason they decided to bring them back this year and boy am I glad!!! ;)

Brooke and Caleb have grown soo much. I cant get over how big they are! Brooke is wearing one of the Kmart deals I wrote about before.. the hat ;) She loves that hat.

And here is my newly made up coupon binder!! Thanks again to my sister-in-law for getting me the stuff! Yes I am one of THOSE people. Although I dont drag that whole binder with me everywhere, it embarasses me. I know it shouldnt.. but like i said, Im not at "that point" yet where I really take it seriously. I do however like all the coupons organized, so I can see quickly which ones i DO want to grab. I have them organized by category b/c thats easier for me. Notice how a few of them are upside down.. haha. not the best organization, but pretty good for me!

I cant get over that Brooke had to wear long sleeves to school on Monday!! In may?! It shouldnt be like that!! What is up with this weather lately?? I guess it beats 90-100 degree weather, but its still strange. This outfit is actually one she was changed into that day, they told me she spilled grape juice allll over her clothes at breakfast that morning...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Ok so! Planning for Rachel's party next month is in full swing! I am having a LOT of fun planning it, and I plan to do lots of fun things because this is the last "baby" party I will have and I fully intend on enjoying it!!!

Most of you already know, it is an OWL theme. Not the most common to find stuff for, but I was surprised how much I DID find online, and ideas from other people. So let me share some ideas I have for her party with you.. and PLEASE let me know if you have any other ideas for me!! I know a lot of people that are very creative and could probably give me some more good ideas, so feel free to share ;)

I got these stickers to go on the actual birthday invitations...

This is the theme we are going with, found it on oriental Trading. Love the colors! I think it will be easy to find stuff to go with it as I go along...

Lauryn told me about someone on FB who makes customized shirts for birthday and other occasions so I asked her to make me a shirt with a owl, and Rachels name on it! This is obviously not it, but I am using this pic as a reference. I cant wait to see it when shes done!! Now i cant decide if I want to pair it with a tutu or a simple skirt, but Im pretty sure its going to be pink!

How cute are these?! Im sure these would be easy to make, if I could just find some solid colored laterns. Id leave the face-making to Arnold, he is pretty artistic ;)

I LOVED this! Carved out of a watermelon! that took some skill! How hard do you think that would be? Would make a cute decoration, and could technically be eaten too.. but I dont think I could!

These cupcakes look really easy to make! Im probably going to do cupcakes AND a cake this year.. because we are having a lot of people... I notice the beaks are made out of nuts though.. that might be a problem w/ little kids and allergies.. I will have to think on this one a little...

Now to decide on a bakery cake or a Sams cake? I know bakery is soo much better but a lot more expensive. Arnold isnt too keen on the idea, so we'll see ;) If so, Id want a layered cake, like this one. Probably not with the bow though.. any other topper ideas??

If it is a Sams cake it will be a flat sheet cake, which would still be cute. Their cakes taste pretty good, too! I would have to find a pic for them to use though, because they dont have "owl cakes" on their list of things to do ;)

This is the pinata I have.. the actual one.. for the kids to do at the end of the party. I found it a few months ago at a consignment sale, for $5 brand new!! It is online for $18, so what a bargain! Its in Rachels closet now, just waiting. Its so adorable..

I found owl craft kits online and bought them. For some reason it wouldnt let me copy the actual picture.. so this is just a guide.. but these look pretty easy to make and cute, too! I am going to have a craft/coloring table set up for the kids, too! Looking for other ideas for activities....

Im getting this lollipop mold off Amazon and going to make Owl suckers as part of my favors. I hope they will turn out cute. I have done lollipops in the past for baby showers and stuff.. So i halfway know what Im doing ;)

Kinda hoping they will look like this when I get done... but we'll see. These are cute!!

Not sure what Im going to put the kids' favors in.. but these bags are a cute idea I found...

So there ya go! My ideas so far! Thoughts? This was going to be outside, but I ran into some issues w/ parks this time of year, so I am now trying to rent out the Family Life Center at my parents' church as a place to have the party. If anything.. COOLER indoors, and easier to decorate :)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

My Deals this Week

Saturday morning we all got up and decided to go to a few yardsales. On the way out, it started to drizzle, so I was really worried that the morning was shot and we'd need to go home. But it was a light rain, so we went out anyway. There was this really big neighborhood sale where one of my friends' lives, so we went there first. We went by her house and let me just tell you.. it was the GOLD MINE for anyone having a girl!! her daughter has so many (and so many CUTE) clothes. Too bad they were all too little for Rachel or I could have gone crazy! Rachel did find a few toys there though ;) We went to a few more, and at the last on we went to, Caleb found a big transformer truck/robot for 50cents (once again w/ the good finds on toys for him!!) and 2 movies for the kids for 75 cents each (Princess movie, and The Magic Schoolbus-- anyone remember that?!) And Rachel picked up a "Boots" toy from the Dora the Explorer show, so we let her get that, too.

The rain was picking up a bit by then, so we decided just to go to Kmart to pass some time until we had to be at Arnold's work thing. When we got there we saw my dad walking in.. or at least we thought it was him (him and mom live really close, and he refuses to go to Walmart ;) Anyway, we walked around for awhile and then ran into him.. so the kids were just thrilled to get to see their Pop Pop! I saw a big clearance section they had recently put out, and they said that for that day only, they were doing an additional 40% off the stuff. So I started looking through.. I found a bathrug, a huge Star Wars coloring set, 2 hats for Brooke, some easter candy, a few kid dishes, a few kid shirts, a shirt for me, and a Toy Story lunchbox, that I figured I could save for Caleb for next year when he goes to school.

Now.. I am new at the couponing thing, where I take a big pile and go to the grocery store and come out with a huge savings.. I am still learning, and frankly I dont know If Ill EVER get that good.. Im not even stressing about it.. as long as I save SOME money. But let me tell you.. sometimes I just am in the right place at the right time and score some awesome deals anyway, and that was yesterday at Kmart. So after the savings, heres what I got everything for:

2 hats for Brooke- $1.70 each
2 bags of hershey kisses- $87 cents each
Star Wars Big Coloring set- $2.40
Shirt for me- $2.99
Shirts for kids- $2.99
Kids' Plates- $.90cents each
Bathroom Rug- $2.40

And the Toy Story lunch box rang up 1 cent! Yes, 1 cent. The register told the girl she couldnt sell it for that, and she asked someone and they said just put in $1. So.. I got a brand new Toy Story lunch box for Caleb, for $1!! Cant beat that. I may not be good at the Grocery Store deals yet, but I was pretty proud of myself ;) Arnold laughs at me rumaging through clearance sections, but it was worth it this time around!! :)

I am still working on learning the whole coupon thing. As a matter of fact, Ive gotten the coupons from the last 3 newspapers, and have started organizing and have them laid out to put in my big binder. Thanks again to my awesome Sister-in-law for getting me the binder w/ the clear organizers inside!!! :)

Arnold's Work's Family Day

Saturday Arnold's work had a "Family Day." They have moved into a new building this year, and wanted all the families of the people who work there to be able to come out and tour the facility if they wanted, and have some fun things for the kids to do, and of course, some good food! With it raining that morning I was getting really nervous about it being cancelled, but they had a very surprising turnout actually, and the rain went away and the sky cleared!!

They had food catered from some BBQ place, and it was very yummy! They also had a big cake, made into the shape of a "Connector" (the company works with Fiber Optics) Yeah they are a bunch of nerds, but they cake was yummy too! ;) Anyway, after we ate we went to all the kid activities. Brooke went to get her face painted, and got Blues Clues. Caleb got his hand done instead, and got a spider. And Rachel got blues clues on her hand.. but it was pretty much smeared off within 2 minutes ;) Then they waited in line for the balloon lady, and Brooke and her cousin Bekah got butterflies, and Caleb got a Spiderman. The balloon lady is local, and i have seen her a few times.. might even consider having her at one of the kids' bday parties in the future. Then the kids played some games, and went down the huge bounce house they had set up. Thankfully the sun had dried it out some before my kids got to it, because I saw some kids walking by with soaked clothes!

All the while this was going on, they had a dunking booth set up, and different people who worked there had volunteered to set in there for 10 minute intervals. Arnold especially enjoyed watching his boss get dunked several times. I personally saw WAY too much of his backside.. but I digress (I know he is not online or else I would have never written that ;) Not like it was a BAD thing.. I am just stating that I would never do that! The clothes really cling to you and you dont know what people may see!!!! Haha.

We didnt go on the tour.. I actually have seen the building several times, since I take the kids once a week to go have lunch with Arnold. But all in all it was a great time, and it was nice to put the faces with the names.. because Arnold talks about these people all the time, but I dont always know who they are.. I know SOME.. but he works with a lot of people!!

Enjoying lunch

Calebs Spider

Cousins with their Butterflies

The Week in Review

Monday- It was my major cleaning day of the week (this place gets trashed during the weekend, with everyone home) So we just stayed around the house and didnt do much. I did have a rough day though.. the kids have really been testing me lately. That night Arnold made me some cookies (peel and bake but still!) and brought them to me in bed.. he is such a sweet husband :) He also ran out and got us some of those new Strawberry Lemonade freeze drinks from Mcdonalds, which were good, but sooo sweet. They gave me serious indegestion later.

Tuesday- That evening we took the kids to Rita's for some treats, to help support a Mom's group Im in. From 4-7 that night, a certain percentage of the proceeds went to them. I had never been there before. We all got some of the italian ice. I got lemonade, and it was soo good! I love icy things to begin with. Brooke got cherry, Caleb got watermelon, and I honestly cant remember what Arnold got! I tasted a little of Caleb's.. his was LOADED with sugar. And you could tell.. before we even left he was bouncing off the walls. At one point I actually saw him slapping himself on his face, for fun.. so yeah.. LOL. After that, me being the nice wife I am, agreed to going to dinner at Village Inn, since it was right across the street (Arnold's absolute favorite restaurant!!)

Wednesday- Many of you know that my Sister-in-law Jenn, went to Charlotte to have surgery on her thyroid. So all day of course I was thinking of her! Right around lunchtime our power went out. Just went right out.. just like that, it wasnt storming or anything, but it had the night before. After awhile it got HOT in the house. We tried going outside but it was just as hot. So we called Arnold's mom and asked her if we could come over for awhile, till Arnold got off work. So we hung out over there.. the kids got to see their cousin, Bekah too. That evening we were packing up bags, ready to go to my parents' to spend the night, when the power came back on!! We were so relieved. They had said not to expect it back on till the next day, so we were surprised. But happy to sleep in our own beds!!

Thursday- That morning I met a few friends at the mall early, to let the kids play. I like to try to do that once a week so we are able to get out and the kids had some social interaction (not to mention the moms!!) Caleb got to play with Camryn again.. they are so cute ;) And i got to have some snuggle time w/ Baby Ben! He loves his Aunt Abby ;) I stopped by Childrens Place and they had some great sales going on, including an extra 25% off their already marked-down stuff, so I found Brooke 2 of the cutest hoodies for this fall, for school. They were only $4.50 each! And I also got her another cute top.. just trying to decide what kind of pants to pair it with. Before we left we stopped by Subway to pick up lunch. I got bacon, egg & cheese sub and Caleb asked "mommy, why are you getting that AGAIN?!" I just had to laugh.. i really do get a lot of those, but they are so good! Then we went to see Arnold at work. The kids were being loud so we took them outside and ate lunch on the pavement.. we called it a picnic ;) Although I would have preferred to eat inside!

Friday- I spent the morning cleaning again. Since i had already cleaned out the closet, I decided to keep working on our room until it looked really good. I was very pleased after I was done. Then Caleb, Rachel and I met my mom over at Brooke's school and we had lunch with her. I cant believe that may have been the last time we eat lunch with her this school year! She doesnt have much longer at all.. and next year she will be in Kindgergarten *sob* But I am so proud of her. This entire year she has gotten a star every single day.. (they earn stars for good behavior) Why doesnt she act that way at home, is what I wanna know?! ;)

Dinner at Village Inn

They are being sweet to one another, had to capture the moment!

Rachel discovered that playing in a box is pretty fun! Even when she has lots of toys to play with. Proof that it doesnt take much to entertain a toddler ;)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mother's Day 2011

Sunday morning Arnold let me sleep in. I slept till 9:30!!! It was heavenly. Sometime in there he brought me breakfast in bed.. I ate it, sat the plate down and went right back to sleep. Dont you wish all days could be like that?! ;) When i got up I helped get the kids ready.. he had put the kids in outfits already and bless him, they just werent appropriate. Brooke had on a fall/winter dress, and Caleb had on an outfit that didnt match at all. So I dressed the girls in some smocked dresses for church.. I cant tell you how much I love them! Somehow we ended up running late and didnt get time to take pictures outside before we left.. which made me sad.. but we were able to get some later!

We got to church and dropped the kids off. The place was packed that morning!! it was a great service as usual, and I enjoyed the music selections that day. Thinking about everything we've gone through in the past few years, along with it being mothers day and me thinking about my mom, and me being the mom of 3 wonderful kids.. I got teary eyed on several occasions. I love the morning I am really moved in church, and I didnt have that before, in older churches. I am so thankful for our new church home, and for God's unending love! But point made-- PMS and Mothers Day apparently dont mix-- I was a weepy fool all day long ;)

After church we went to my parents' house for lunch. Another thing I am thankful for-- a dad who can COOK! He cooked just as much as my mom growing up, and he is a good cook. He cooked mom and I (and everyone, but we were the special ones ;) a big lunch. We had ham, roasted asparagus, mac & cheese with bits of lobster added, deviled eggs, fruit, rolls, and tea. I am spoiled!!!! Most of you saw on FB how I was looking for recipes for a cake to make for lunch that day. My dad always picks on me and asks me to bring a cake to lunch (since he knows I hate cooking) and this year I said fine!! i will do it.. and I did. I chose a recipe called "Butterfinger cake" which was basically yellow cake, caramel poured all over it, and crushed butterfingers on top. Yes, it was rich, and too sweet for me, IMO. But i was proud of how good it turned out, and it DID taste good! My parents liked it, and my brother and Arnold even went back for seconds ;) Dad said now I will be the designated cake-maker for family events.. yeah.. i just dont see that happening!

After lunch we gave mom her gifts. Arnold and I had gotten her a Barnes & Noble giftcard (the love of reading was passed down to me from both parents) and I found a cute Mom wall hanging that was so funny, I wish I had written down the saying so I could post it here.. but it was great.. even dad laughed. The kids gave her a "Grandma" gift book and we did photo cards, with their pics on it. I think it turned out really cute! Then we all played outside for awhile. The kids uncle Alex played tag with them.. it was soo cute to watch them run around the yard squealing with delight.. they love him so much! We played a few games, too.. and Caleb and Rachel "tortured" the poor cat.. they are always following her around and Rachel tries to pull her tail. We are working on "GENTLE" with her ;) Mom and I sat on the front steps and talked for awhile. It was a good afternoon, and I couldnt have asked for more beautiful weather!!

That afternoon when we got home, the kids took naps and I went out to a local consignment store. For mothers day they had sent out emails with 25% off coupons, to be used on Mothers Day only. Not like the kids need anymore clothes, but the coupon justified me buying more I guess.. I have a strange addiction to kids' clothes!! On the way up there I was feeling pretty nervous and having some anxiety.. I have no idea why. I called Arnold back at home and he actually talked to me until I got there.. having someone to distract me can usually help me fight off a panic attack. Thankfully I felt better when I got home and took my meds. Like i have said before, I have good days and bad days. More days are GOOD than bad recently though, so I cant complain!!

That night we ate dinner here at home, then went over to the inlaw's house. My inlaws gave me a beautiful hanging plant for outside, and a card. We gave MIL her gift.. which was a beautiful elephant teapot I had found.. MIL loves elephants so I thought it was a good gift. I was almost tempted to keep it for myself, it was cute! ;) And we did the same "grandma" gifts for her that we had my mom. My MIL loves a good deal, and had gone to CVS earlier that day and picked up a lot of clearanced Easter candy, which included some HUGE swirly suckers. So the kids all feasted on suckers while we were there, along with strawberries. Thank goodness they had already had their dinner!!

So.. Mothers Day 2011 was a wonderful one!! I had a girls' night, time with family, my new rainbows from Arnold, Brooke was able to write her name in my card for the first time this year!!! I love my family, and cant wait till next year ;)

She is so beyond obsessed with princess stuff these days!

Photo cards we made for the Grandmas this year--cute!!

Mom and I :)

Me, Mom, Alex, and Caleb

The famous butterfinger cake! ;) So here is proof it actually got eaten.

Girls' Night Out!!

Like i had mentioned before, I told Arnold one of the things Id like for mothers day was to get out for the night and spend time with some of my friends. So we planned to go to the movies and dinner. There were 5 of us: me, Erika, Kathryn, Tiffany and Danielle.

When Arnold got home from work Friday afternoon he said he wanted to go to the gym so he would just take the kids with him to the kid watch and of course I didnt complain! I actually went into my bedroom, blasted the radio, and started getting ready. Was fun! ;) Then i left the house a little while later, and on my way down the road, before I even got on the interstate, a lady started pulling off the exit ramp and just didnt see me at ALL or something, and got about a few INCHES from hitting me! I was about to be t-boned, bigtime. I laid down on my horn, and that caught her attention. Everyone around us was looking, there was a lot of traffic. I looked to my right and saw another lady with her mouth and eyes wide open lol.. I could tell she was thinking the same thing I was. Luckily I was able to slam on my brakes and sort of swerve over, so she didnt hit me. After that I was just all shook up, and when I got to Target I just walked around aimlessly and didnt have much fun shopping.. that NEVER happens at Target! Thankfully as I was leaving, I happened to run into Erika shopping too, and so we were able to hang out the rest of the time before the movies. Who says things dont happen for a reason? I really need a friend right about then!

We met the other girls at the movies a little while after that. We went to see "Something Borrowed." There is also a book, which I read a few years ago. So when I saw the previews I knew I wanted to see it. When we got inside I was so tempted to get some popcorn.. I know its way over-priced and bad for you, but it was calling to me! I almost didnt get any but Erika suggested we share the small size, so it wasnt that bad ;) The movie was pretty good, funny at times, serious at times, and even downright awkward at times. I would probably give it 3 out of 5 stars. Since it was a few years since id read the book, I dont remember how well it followed the book, but thats just as well, because usually the movie disappoints after reading a good book! The ending looked like they would do a sequel, which is good, because there were more books in the series. The movie theater was packed with women, and a few men. I knew Arnold was glad he didnt have to be dragged along to a chick flick. Although he had admitted that he wouldnt mind seeing "Bridesmaids" sometime! That movie looks hilarious. That would have been my top pick for GNO but it didnt come out yet.

After the movies we headed to Applebees for dinner. Kathryn had to go home early, to take care of her son.. so we missed her. We didnt get there till nearly 1opm and its so dang pitiful that I felt strange being out so "late".. especially with friends and not my family. We all sat around talking, and everyone else there was drinking or just laughing and having a good time, and we all seemed pretty tired. haha! Oh what my life has become! ;) The popcorn hadnt done anything to my appetite at all, I ordered a chicken fajita rollup and fries.. I felt like such a pig that night!!! But it was so good. We didnt eat till nearly 10:30, that was wild. Arnold is so used to eating early, so he never would have gone for that. But i didnt mind ;)

I had a GREAT time. It was so fun to get out for awhile and relax. I always instantly feel happy when in the company of good friends! :)

This is the only pic we got!! Can you believe it? Dummy me forgot to take any at the theaters. Wish I would have.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Friday & Saturday

So i am way behind on updating from the weekend, so I am already blanking a lot on what happened, but I will try!

Friday morning I woke up with no motivation, I could have seriously sat on the couch all day and watched tv. While the kids were playing I decided to tackle our bedroom closet. It was an extreme mess, there was all sorts of stuff in there that didnt need to be in there. I got bags out and started throwing things out. As it started to look better and better I wanted to do more. I even made a big empty space to the right of the closet, where i stacked up boxes of presents/bday party supplies that I have bought ahead of time. They used to be stacked up on one of our dressers, and that was pretty tacky, so I am glad I solved that problem, at least. I also did an organization system (if you can even call it that) for my purses. Never done that before. They are all hanging on the right side now. I love it, I can now see where everything is! I am NOT an organized person by nature.. but I am starting to see why people like it so much ;)

That evening my sweet, sweet husband watched the kids for me so I could go on a GIRLS NIGHT to movies and dinner. I told him all I really wanted was a night out.. so I got it! It was great, but I write about that in another blog.

Saturday morning we all got up and went out yardsaling. I usually go with friends but I wanted to spend time as a family since I had gone out the night before. Arnold was really great about it, seeing as how he hates to take the kids a lot of places, especially riding around where they get bored and whiny! Well actually I take that back, they have come to enjoy it when we go, because sometimes they can rack up on nice toys.. especially Caleb. We have found some of the greatest deals for him. So we drove around forever and didnt so much of anything. At one yardsale Brooke really wanted to buy a doll, but I said no (because it was one of those dressed very inappropriate) and she threw a FIT. It was so embarassing. I havent seen her do that in a long time... she usually is very "mature." But things got better.. we eventually found one, they had some pretty nice clothes, and they happened to have a lot of things in girls' 4t, so I got some things for Rachel for later this year or next year. They actually let me fill up a whole bag for $2, so cant beat that! Caleb found a moving bulldozer with sounds, and I found Rachel one of those electronic singing books too, they were both 75cents. Let me just say, I didnt use to care too much about yardsale, but since having kids, depending on where you go, you can find a goldmine of stuff!! Seriously. Then we went to another, where Caleb found a nerf gun (what did i say about him and all the toys, lol) and I found some magazines.. I am a magazine junkie and this lady sold me a pile for 25cents. A few I actually found out I had read before, but alot of them were Family Fun mags, and i got a lot of good ideas from them.

Anyway, after we were done we went to Sonic for lunch. that has become a tradition, WHOEVER i yardsale with. Love the tots, and the ice they have (yes im weird) I always regret eating there after though, because the food can be so greasy.. but its soo good. That afternoon the kids took a nap while Arnold and I just hung around the house. We ordered out for dinner. Then after dinner we all took a walk around the block.. this is something we have started doing regularly, and I love it! we all get lots of exercise, and its fun being together.

I had a great Mothers Day weekend! And that stuff was all BEFORE the actual day!! :)

Doesnt look that wonderful, but believe me.. it is a HUGE improvement! and i can finally see where everything is!!!

The teapot I found my MIL, for her gift. She loves elephants. Isnt it cute???

Monday, May 9, 2011

Friday, May 6, 2011

Early Mothers' Day Gift!!

Yesterday Arnold came home from work and he was holding a giftbag, and smiling. I almost instantly realized that he had gone to get me a mothers day gift after work and he seemed proud that I had had no clue :P He made me go into another room while he wrote in the cards, and then when I came out he gave me the bag right away. We are the worst when it comes to keeping surprises from each other, or waiting on things. We almost always give the gifts early. I even told him to wait.. but he insisted.

I told him he shouldnt have done that, hes already done so much for me, including watching the kids while I go have a Girls' night tonight w/ a bunch of friends. That more than enough for me! But he said it was from the kids ;) They gave me the bag and were begging me to open it. They even started ripping into my cards.. but Im used to stuff like that by now! The bag was even green, my favorite color.. how thoughtful :)

Anyway.. he got me my first pair of Rainbows!!! Yes, I know, I am WAY behind the times!! everyone I knew wore them back in highschool.. I guess I just never cared that much. Ive thought about getting a pair a few times, but I am pretty cheap when it comes to buying myself things, so i never bought some. Thats why Arnold said he got them.. is because it was something "id never buy for myself!" They are tan, and I like that because they can go with just about anything! The guy at the store told him that they only went up to 9 1/2 in women's sizes. and a lot of women actually get men's sizes because of shoe size or that they are too narrow, etc. I tried them on and they seemed ok.. even though I wear a size 10 normally. I wore them out last night, and it did take some getting used to them, but I really think I will like them. He even got me the double-layer kind which is supposed to hold up better and be better on your feet. We will see-- I am usually HARD on shoes!!!

Good job Honey!!! (i mean Kids!!) Love you all!!!! :)

The kids look excited.. Rachel looks like she has to pee :P

The kids got me a cute card, and Brooke even signed it

The rainbows!!!

They ARE a little narrow, but I think it will be ok. :)

Cinco de Mayo!!

So yesterday was Cinco de Mayo, and in tradition, we decided to go out to eat Mexican that night. I LOVE mexican food.. all of it. Especially chicken fajitas.. Lauryn got me hooked on those ;)

We drove out to a few of our favorite mexican restaurants, but they were all JAM PACKED.. I shouldnt have been surprised. So we drove to Taco Bell, and thats where we ate, haha. The kids have come to like Mexican food, too.. I am lucky that they arent that picky at all!!

After that we went to Walmart to pick up some dogfood and hairspray. I also wanted to get something for the last day of Teacher Appreciation week, but I had already done alot, so I decided not to. I may just send the teachers flowers at the end of the year, as another thank you.

At Taco Bell

Such a big burrito for such a little girl :) She didnt finish it.. but Arnold did :)

Wearing the sombrero I got in Cancun back when I went right after graduation highschool.

Just being silly.. when am I not?!