Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Past Week

Here is what we were up to around here this past week....
~I started doing my weekly grocery shopping at Target (most of it anyway) since I get the discount. I also used Target Cartwheel, and saved a total of $17 on my trip! awesome! I could have saved even more if I had coupons, but my printer is broken. I also got stuck in the section of Holiday goodies and came home with some Chex Mix "muddy buddies" and mmmm they are so delicious!
~I got to go see Arnold at lunch one day at work. I picked up some Subway to eat. It is still strange going to lunch with him and not dragging along the kids anymore!
~I don't know HOW I did it, but I lost my Toys R Us layaway sheet. I carry it with me and go pay on the bill every so often. Thankfully they were able to pull it up for me (after some trouble) and I was able to make my payment. I am also missing my "rewards" card. WHERE did I put them?!
~I broke out my Christmas cds. I now have 2 Trans-Siberian Orchestra cds, a Manheim Steamroller, and Ho Ho Hoey in my van to listen to at all times. It is driving Arnold nuts. He says I need new cds because he has listened to the same songs over and over again. But the kids are just like me and love it.. they even request certain songs now! ;)
~I worked Wed. night at Target, till closing. I like weeknights better than weekends because it usually dies down at the registers around 9pm, as people are at home getting ready for bed!
~Friday night Arnold went to the Eagles concert w/ some family. So the kids and I packed up and headed to my BFF Joanne's house. We all ate dinner together and then let the kids loose to play together. Joanne and I lounged on the couch and watched cheesy Christmas movies. It was glorious! ;)
~Brooke made an 100 on her spelling test! Go Brooke! Caleb made an 87.. he missed two but then got the bonus words right.. go figure! He usually makes 100 on his tests so I don't know what happened this time, but I'm still proud.. little guy works hard!
~Speaking of Caleb, he lost his 3rd tooth! It had been wiggling by just a teeny bit FOREVER and it came out while he was eating dinner!
~I finished the 1st in the "Windy City Neighbors" series by Neta Jackson. I LOVE her books! This particular book had a slow start but really picked up and the end left me hanging... ugh.. not one of those endings. So now I can't wait to get the next one!
~The kids, Arnold and I went out to lunch with Pop (my father in law) at Giovanni's. He called us up last minute and asked if we wanted to go. It was a cold day and we were doing nothing, so it was a nice surprise and fun to get out!
~I worked in the baby class at church. I hadn't been able to work one of my regular weeks because I was sick, so they called me in on another Sunday to help out. We had 3 little guys and one girl this week.. not too bad, and none of them cried which was awesome! ;) I also got to play with a little guy that has never been in there before.. I know his parents and I am glad they trusted me to watch him ;)
~I finally got Arnold to agree to a Christmas movie with me, and the other night we watched National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation!!!! One of the funniest Christmas movies ever!!! :D It is a tradition, you just HAVE to watch that movie every year! The kids were probably having a hard time sleeping, with me laughing so hard ;) "Clark, is your house on fire?!" "No, those are just the Christmas lights!" Priceless :) 
Brooke and her friends Emma and Zoey, at their Fall dance.

Sheldon taking a nap on top of the vent, he was trying to stay warm :)

Caleb showing off the spot where his tooth was! Number 3 is gone!

Out to lunch for yummy pizza on Saturday with Pop!

Joanne whipping up some chili for our hotdogs Friday night!

Joanne surprised me with these cute little owl candles! Isn't she the sweetest?? :)

Was taking some pics of Ben and he was hamming it up!

Rachel let me put her hair up! She never lets me! She looks so grown up!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Working Girl!

Sooo, I have not blogged in a long time! There is a reason, I have been super busy! I got a job at Target. A few months ago Rachel went to school.. and so all 3 kids are in school now, all day. I thought about getting a job somewhere part time, and put in applications at a few places. A few days later I had an email from Target, saying to come in for an interview. So I went in that day, and I knew it was going well, because I ended up talking to 3 different people. And finally, an hour later, they told me I had the job!
Technically, it is a seasonal job, and they watch their new employees for 3 months, and if they do a good job after that, they get hired on from then on. I heard as long as you are on time, don't call out, have good speed at the register, get people to open red cards, and do well on Black Friday, you will stay on. SO here's hoping!
It has gone really well so far. I went in for a 4-hour orientation the first day and we went over paperwork, watched movies, went on a tour (which of course I didn't need since I am there ALL the time anyway!) and stuff like that. They went over dress codes and we got our name tags which on mine it said ABIGAIL.. which is my first name but I never go by that! But they were sweet enough to fix it for me, and now it says "Abby." Much better ;)
I have worked 2 weeks so far and am on the register. When I interviewed I said I was willing to do sales floor, cashier, stocking, or whatever. I had prayed about it working out how it was supposed to! I am glad I got the cashier job because the stocking job has people coming in around 4 in the morning and I don't think I could have handled that! I have had lots of people help me learn the register, and it is going well. The screen tells you how many sales you have had and your speed. You need to be at 88 percent or higher and I am around 85 percent so I am getting there! The weekends are crazy busy.. one saturday night I had 143 sales total. But at least the time goes by quickly and I don't ever get bored! And everyone I've met so far is so nice! They are easy to talk to and I am making friends there already, I think! :)
So here are a few of the awesome things about this new job:
*They worked with me on hours, and never schedule me at the times I have to pick up the kids after school. AND they let me off on Thurs nights so I can keep working at the Pregnancy Care Center.
*They are pretty laid back. They let you have water bottles at the register, chew gum, keep your cellphone with you, etc.
*They give you free refills on drinks if you buy one while working, at the cafe!
* You get a discount! Which you can use on top of Cartwheel and coupons! So I have got some crazy good deals already. And am starting to buy most of my grocery items there, too.
*You can cross-train and work in other departments, if you want to. If you think you don't like where you are at, or get bored staying in one place all the tme.
*I got my first red card opened! Someone opened one on Saturday while I was working.
*They are going to have a nice meal catered in for those working on Black Friday. Something to look forward to on that crazy day, I guess, ha!
*My paychecks fall on the weeks Arnold DOESN'T get paid (we both get paid every other week) so that will help us out if things get tight!
*They will let spouses/kids use your employee discout also!!
*When people come through the line I see all sorts of new items and yummy foods to try. One night after work I left with some monster high footie pjs for Brooke and some white fudge oreos, just because I had seen them earlier that evening ;)
And a few "not so good" things. But I can live with them, I am thankful for the job!
*The weekends are VERY busy. Constantly have people coming through.
*They are strict about how fast you are on the register, and they time you.
*It is HARD to get people to open red cards! They either have one already or aren't interested.
*I have to work Black Friday, and it is an overnight shift! I heard it is going to be insane!
*I have to wear red and khaki all the time, which gets boring ;)
*While working I see tons of cute things I want to buy... which isn't good when I'm trying to SAVE my paycheck for more important things ;)
So there is your update on my new job ;) I know you were just dying to hear all that, ha! And for all my local people, come visit me anytime! ;)
And here I am ready to go to work one night! :)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Gift Ideas to get you Started

Since Christmas is NEXT MONTH, I know I'm not the only one trying to think of ideas for gifts? And while it is pretty easy to think of gifts for our kids or our spouses.. sometimes we need ideas for everyone else-- like teachers, classmates, co-workers, friends.. anyone who is special to us and we want to recognize at the holiday. But it's hard to find stuff to make or buy that doesn't cost too crazy much.

I found these-- and some of them I am going to do myself this year. A lot of these can be personalized to suit the person you are gifting.. with their fave. sayings, colors, designs, etc etc. So here are some ideas to get you started!! :)


 For the man in your life-- how about getting a pack of his favorite beer and adding googly eyes and pom pom noses and pipe cleaners to make "reindeer"? How cute and festive ;)

Maybe for the teen/hard to buy for? Get some candy bars and wrap up with some money and ribbon. Easy, and everyone likes chocolate and money!

Candy sleighs. These would be good to do for several people at once. Use a candy cane for the bottom part, layer with candies of your choosing, and wrap with ribbons and a bow.

Candy cane scrub. I bet this smells good. For the ladies in your life. There are so many different variations and colors of this online.. and the actual recipe. I was going to try this last year but never got around to it.

I am actually doing this for the kids' classmates this year. We already have the big packs of chapsticks. Then you just make the card say "Merry KISSmas and CHAPPY New Year!"

get some use out of old containers! These are pringles cans that have been washed out and they are wrapped in pretty scrapbook paper. And then filled with homemade cookies.

Grandparents would love framed picture of the kiddos. They can hold letters up to spell out a word or phrase.. options are limitless. Love, Peace, Grandma, Grandpa... whatever you want.

Personalized ornaments! They have little wooden letters at craft stores. You can paint them and even write on words, names or designs if you want to. Add a hanger and ribbon and you have yourself a cute ornament to hang on the tree!

I'm sure mailmen get overlooked at lot, but they have crazy jobs that are important.. I know I like getting my mail and packages (at least the good stuff ;) Here is an easy idea.. a big bag of M&Ms with a note attached that says "Thanks for driving MILES & MILES to bring us our mail!"

Homeade ornaments would be cute for the kids to make people. They have clear, plain ornaments at craft stores to buy. You can fill with cotton balls and make a snowman like this one. Or feathers, pom poms, sequins, glitter.. even candy. Whatever you like!

Individual packages of popcorn made to look like snowmen and topped with a pair of gloves is a cute idea. Maybe for neighbors or teachers?

Cute idea for friends or any girly girls. A package filled with nail polish, fuzzy socks, and other types of "feet" things. Include a note that says "May your MISTLETOES be merry, cozy, and bright!"

Another candy idea that is easy, just adding a note. Twizzlers with a note that says "TWIZZ the season to be jolly!"

Once again, they have big wooden letters you can buy at the store. You can cut out pretty scrapbook paper and attach it with some modpodge. (not too hard, I tried it last year!) Add some pretty ribbon to hang it and I'm sure any girl would love a cute monogram! :)

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Halloween 2013

We had a crazy busy week celebrating Halloween. Wednesday night we went to another church for their big Candy Carnival. And wouldn't you know? I left my camera at home and wasn't able to get any pictures :( We went with 2 families of good friends and everyone had a great time. The theme was in Disney, and they had games to play, and characters dressed up and you could even get their autographs. Caleb even went up to quite a few princesses for their autographs ;) The girls got their nails painted, the kids got their faces painted, and then we waited forever in line for the kids to get a balloon animal (frog for Brooke, sword for Caleb, and puppy on a leash for Rachel) Since we were some of the first in line there, the kids got passes for free cotton candy or sno cones before we left.
On Halloween morning I got up a little earlier than usual and made the kids a special breakfast. The kids all had Halloween parties at school and ended up bringing home tons of candy and treats. After school I had some surprise gifts waiting on them. I had bought a few things here and there at big toy clearances over the summer and saved them. I also got them Halloween cards that I thought were really cute but they didn't seem to really care that much about ;) That afternoon the neighbors knocked on the door and brought the kids even more goodies. I had come down with a cold or something and was feeling awful, but was determined to get out of the house to have fun that night with the kiddos.
That evening when Arnold got home we got ready and went out for the evening. Krispy Kreme was giving out free donuts to everyone in costume so we took the kids to get one. Then as it was starting to get dark we went out trick or treating. I love that this year the kids were big enough to go up to the doors on their own, and we could just stay at the ends of the driveways and watch them. We had a talk with them before and they seemed to be really polite the whole time, so I was proud. Rachel even said "Happy Halloween!" to several people :) No one could tell what Rachel was supposed to be. She got a "Raggegy Ann", a "Pippi Longstocking," and a "Goldilocks." Haha... at least she was cute!
After trick or treating till around 7:30, everyone was hungry, so we headed to dinner. We went to Ihop since they were giving out free scary face pancakes to all the kids for Halloween. After dinner we went home and got everyone ready for bed, complete in Halloween pjs of course ;) We had a LONG day, but it was fun. The next afternoon after school the big kids went to a Halloween dance. Preschoolers aren't allowed to go yet so I picked up Rachel and we hung out together and had some fun on our own :)

I made these "pumpkins" for the kids on Halloween.

We made these treats for the teachers. Test tubes found at Target, filled with M&Ms and some bows tied on. They were cute, I thought. We like to do little things for the teachers at holidays :)

Brooke made this spiderweb art at school.

Gifts set up for the kids after school. 

Anyone else have Lalaloopsy fans? We had to get this year's Halloween girl. I LOVE how they have one come out for every holiday, and can't wait to see the one for Christmas this year!

Cutest napkins I found at the store and had to have them b/c of Sheldon!

One of the houses the kids went to for candy. It is so done-up every year with lights, decorations, and music. They really get into it!

Out to dinner after trick or treat. I didn't really dress up but I did wear some black and orange for Halloween colors.. that counts, right??

Scary face pancakes the kids got at Ihop.

Wearing their halloween pjs to bed that night.

All the candy they got-- a RIDICULOUS amount!!