Tuesday, October 11, 2011

For almost free...

We recently took a cruise to Mexico - ports of Cozumel and Calica.  This is the line all the vendors tried to use on us in Playa del Carmen (short drive from Calica, which has nothing but sand).  Come see...it's almost free... And boy, were they serious about their wares!!  I'll post more on this later....

I just wanted to share a GREAT deal I just got from Pottery Barn for Lulu.  We're giving her a kitchen and all the accessories for Christmas and I've been scrounging thrift shops and goodwill and practically anywhere for all the dishes and food - in addition to all the felt food I've been making over the past year.
My hubby (after a Bed, Bath and Beyond towel fiasco) got us Pottery Barn towels.  We liked them, so he went and bought a full set - of course, adding a new credit card to our repitoire. Which, initially, I wasn't so happy about the card, but...  you got a free $25 for every $250 you spent on the card, and we got that on our first statement.  Then, we got this great little save $25 on any $50 order with your card coupon in the mail several weeks later.  I saved both.  I don't think you're supposed to be able to use both at the same time, but I tried it right before our cruise, just to test it.  Online, both went through in the same transaction.  Well, I did not order at that time.  I wanted to keep looking.  So, today (is the last day to use one of the coupons) I finally placed my order.  This is what it looked like.
Wooden Veggie Set
This is the veggie set - all wood with velcro connections so the kiddos can "cut" it apart with the knife (included).  It includes: 'a Watermelon, Tomato, Bread Loaf Slices, Cucumber, Carrot, Pepper, Avocado, Knife, Cutting Board and Crate.'  It retails at $24.00.

I also got this set:

Wooden Fruit Set
Again, all wood with velcro attachments. This set includes:
a Strawberry, Orange, Lemon, Cantaloupe, Pear, Banana, Kiwi, Knife and Crate.

It retails at $24.00.

So the subtotal was $48, then add $3.96 tax. Shipping was free for these items.  The "trick" to this "treat" is the credits go on your next statement, so we will carry the $51.96 on the card for a month, and probably pay a couple of dollars in interest.  However, after our $50 savings, we only owe $1.96 for BOTH sets!!  And if we have to pay the couple of bucks for the interest, then it's about $4 for both sets - still a STEAL!!  Merry Christmas Lulu!! 
Thank you Pottery Barn for the "almost free" goodies!!  They will be arriving at my house in 5-7 business days - and will likely beat me there, as I am keeping my neice, Lola, for the next couple of weeks.  I love when Christmas gifts come together BEFORE December!  WOOHOO!

What great deals have you come across lately?


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

What we've been up to

First of all, let me apologize for any mis-spellings that spell check did not catch, or any grammatically incorrect statements, or (my personal favorite) run on sentences.  Oh, heck, I take it back about the run ons...I like those and I'm so good at them!  :)  Well, it's been a while, so a quick recap, shall we?
After 10 weeks on Weight Watchers, I lost a grand total of 12 pounds! YAY!  and I continued to lose for a couple of weeks afterwards. So, 14 pounds down total.  However, right after that, I had to quit Weight Watchers, 'cuz.....WE'RE PREGNANT!  WooHooo!  In fact, right now we are 16 weeks.  This go-round has NOT been so much fun!  Nausea galore!  NOT NICE!  Nausea and naps, naps and nausea... and naps and nausea and nausea and naps....Which one did I have more of? Who knows! They're running neck and neck!  And still going strong...although nausea has ease a little, but today it's back. Boo!  This week's Sesame Street is brought to you by the letter N!
In pregnancy land, everything is going well, weight gain is slow and steady - which makes me happy. I would hate to just turn right around and put that weight right back on. I know, I know....I'm gonna gain, but I only gained 16 pounds total with little Lulu.  Little peanut's heart rate is nice and strong with every ultrasound. I am with a new obgyn.  We moved to our little town and we are about an hour and 15 minutes away from my old obgyn.  With little Lulu, I started out seeing my ob every two weeks, then halfway through, I went to every week.  Typically, you start out every month, then maybe the last trimester or so, you go to every two weeks (if you do at all) and then the last month, you go every week.  Sooooo....I really wasn't interested in spending 3 hours a week JUST DRIVING to unload Lulu and all our stuff for a 30 minute appointment - no thanks.  And, with that, I decided to choose a new obgyn.  We do not have one in our little town, but after asking around to a few girlfriends, I found one (covered under our insurance, too, no doubt, which was no small feat, considering we changed from humana to anthem bc/bs at the beginning of august) in the next town over, and so far, I'm lovin' her!
We also recently found out our renters in Arkansas will be leaving in November.  Which initially made me PUCK-ER!  But, turns out they did not pay the security deposit, so they'll be making half in November and half in December - so that means we only have to come up with half the mortgage - which is good.  We've put the house up for sale again, and according to our realtor, there are only a couple of houses in the area up for sale right now, and she says her phone is constantly ringing about people inquiring about renting, so those could be in our favor too.  We're gonna leave it up for sale at least until December, then start looking for renters.  Please pray with us that God's will is done in this and that we're taken care of one way or the other!
Also, it's kinda been on my heart lately to start doing tot school with Lulu.  She's picking up so much right now and has always been so smart! I've been researching it and reading about it and envying others online (hey, it's the truth here...:) ) I found these GREAT websites that gave me inspiration :
confessions of a homeschooler
homeschool creations
Several of these ladies have posted their tot school and preschool paperwork for you to print and use for FREE!!  And hey, that I can afford!!
 So, I have been pushing the idea around as we'll be starting school after we get back from this trip, or after this event, or..... So I decided (um, on Sunday), that we would start this week!  I've been looking and hunting and wishing...and just decided to take the plunge! I knew I wouldn't have everything ready, but if I waited until I did, I'd NEVER get it done!  SO, here we go!!
I started yesterday and I think she did really well!  Here are some pictures:

                     We started with Leap Frog's letters - A and a
                     We listened to the sounds that A makes.
Then, we added this Aa sheet in a sheet protector and practiced writing the letters - I helped the first time and she did really well, then when she was on her own, she just colored them - which is fine. Eventually, she'll learn to draw the lines herself. :)

Next, we talked about and colored things that start with A - alligator, astronaut, ant and apple.

Then we practiced drawing lines connecting a capital A with a lowercase a. So, we drew lines
from the big apple A to the big apple a, then to the basket Aa's and the apple with the leaves Aa's.  I helped with the first time, then she did a great job drawing the lines all by herself!  

This next page, I called out the shapes and she colored them when she found them.  Each shape has a picture of an apple or apple themed picture.  

We then played "find the fruit" - we'll have to work on this one!  Some of these were hard!  They were whole fruit - we have some pictures in our first words books, but most of those have the fruit and then a picture of the slice.  So, we need practice!!!  We can repeat it again later this week. 

We then colored an apple.  RED is also the focus color this week - that's why in almost all pictures we're coloring with red. Can you tell she likes circles - that go "round and round and round"? :)
Then, Mama made up this sorting game.  I bought a sleeve of colored pom poms to use for sorting and magnets about a month ago at Wal-Mart for $1 on clearance.  I poured about half of these in an empty sour cream container I kept to recycle.  I grabbed an empty frosting container left over from my cake pops from this weekend's Chicks N Chocolates  The top just happened to be RED, so I told her to put all the RED pom poms on the top and all the other colors in the container.  She did pretty well - without my help!  She missed a couple, when we got in a hurry and tried to do them a handful at a time. But, overall, she made Mama proud!!   

See....so proud of herself! After we got all the RED pom poms out, we counted them. EIGHT!

Then, we lined all the pom poms up!

Then we put all the pom poms up and put the top on the container and of course, we had to SHAKE IT!

I made this counting toy today. I'm planning to use it later this week.  I stole, er, um, borrowed the idea from a blog I've been stalking, but can't place it right now.  If I find it, I'll add a link. I want to give credit where credit is due!

 I found this water bottle ice cube tray at goodwill.  I paid 99 cents for two - and didn't even know it was two until I got home and started to wash it a day later. Surprise!  These used to be able to be found at the dollar store, but I haven't seen one in several months, since I found the idea online, so when I found it, I grabbed it up quick and in a hurry!  I was able to share the second tray with a girlfriend - who actually wanted it for ice! We already had the labels and the Qtips, so this counting craft cost a whopping 50 cents!!

I forgot to do our memory verse yesterday during "school", so we added it later.  We went to church with Daddy to fix some stuff (guy terminology).  We practiced our verse then - for about 10 minutes.  We reviewed it at supper and again when we got home before bed.  We picked this verse:
ASK AND YOU WILL GET.  This was adapted from: Matthew 7:6-8 "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you shall find; knock and the door will be opened to you."

This morning, as soon we woke up I asked her, and she was able to repeat the verse! And not only her part, but she prompted me with the rest of the verse! YAY for memory verses!

We did tot school again today- she actually asked for the As!  As soon as I cleaned her up from breakfast, she asked!  So, we repeated some activities and added new ones.
On this apple, I asked her to color the A's red and the a's blue. She did it almost all by herself.  She did "forget" 3 lowercase ones, but when I prompted her, she colored them all on her own.
And this was our finished product - sorry for the flash - it is in a sheet protector so we can do it again later this week.  Look how well she did!! 
 We also stamped capital As and lowercase As with RED ink and these tiny little alphabet stamps I have for scrapbooking. We'll have to continue to work on this - she doesn't stamp the whole letter - usually just part of it.  It will come!

 And here's our craft for today - just whipped this completely out of left field!  Macaroni art!!  To cut down on some of the frustration (and mess) I only put glue on part of the A at one time.  We did this in about 3 "tries".

I really think she enjoyed it!!  She is so particular too - she can only do one at a time.  If she picked up more than one macaroni noodle from the bowl, she had to stop and put all but one back!  Then she acted like she was pushing it into hot glue - she had to hold it in place.  I kept telling her, "it's okay, you don't have to hold it down.  Just push it in the glue one time and get another macaroni."  Then she kept getting glue on her finger and little princess expected me to wipe her finger down every time!  It was hilarious!!  So prissy! I love it!

I looked up apple picking last week, hoping to do that when we started the letter A week.  Unfortunately, Texas apparently has NO place to pick apples! Darnit!  But....we are going with Daddy on a work trip this week to Harrison, Arkansas.  And guess what I found online - an orchard about 16 miles away!!  So, I'm hoping that we can pick some apples - you know, since "a is for apple"!

I'm planning on making this apple craft 
later this week - but it will probably be on paper instead of a bag!  I think it will be fun!

We ( and by we I mean me) are also going to make this cute apple - complete with worm!

The Picky Apple ButtonI borrowed this from Cara at the pickyapple blog.  We may do this, in addition to gluing strips of paper in the shape of the letter A.

Well, goodnight blogland!


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

To exercise or to exercise? That is MY question!

I recently joined Weight Watchers- like a month and a half ago. I had decided enough is enough!! I need to lose weight and I need to start yesterday, er um, now! So I joined for free-savings of about $30. I now pay $39.99 a month so I can have online access (which you can do alone and save more money) AND I get to go to the weekly meetings. I know, I'm a dork! I don't know anyone there and few are younger than my mom, but there's just something to be said about being accountable to those people! I mean even Lulu gets on the scale!
 I used to go to the meetings in the town we just moved from, but it us now an hour and 15 minute drive-one way! We have had to cut back on that- even though I went and stayed up that way all day (sewing at Shenandoah), but whew!! That took lots of money and we just don't have it here lately. Know what I mean, jelly bean?!? So, Lulu and I went to our first meeting in the next town over- they have a SUPER Wal-Mart (I'm not bitter, I'm not bitter) and a Home Depot and a Lowe's, but alas after driving around in a circle a couple of times (thanks to my 2010 garmin) NO Wendy's-boo!! {{side note: Lulu and I have come to really like Wendy's and we can eat well (not to mention cheap-hello!) on weight watchers,even. Yum yum!}}  Oh well, we're getting a new travel center exxon in our little town and it is supposed to come with a 'major food chain' restaurant so we're praying it'll be Wendy's (agree with us, would ya?!?).
Well, since I have been on WW, I have lost a total of 8 pounds in 5 short weeks - and one of those weeks the hubs took me to Cheesecake Factory for our 5th anniversary! (and I didn't even use all my points for the week!!)  
This week, I started a new program with some women at the church I go to called C25K-the program, not the church! It stands for "couch potato to 5K". It trains you to be able to jog/run a 5K (3.1 miles) in 9 weeks-3 days a week. To check it out, go here.  Come on, get off the couch and train with me!!
Yesterday was fine!  I jogged and walked with not much problem.  I woke up today and was great except a little soreness when I moved or stretched a certain way.  Today was difficult - especially the running/jogging part.  Now, I'm SORE all over, but that just means it's working...right?!?  So, ibuprofen tonight for me!!  But, I will not stop, oh, no, not me!  I'm doing this!!!
A big shout out to my pastor's wife, Mrs Diane, for keeping Lulu (along with her 2 yr old grandson too) so Tiah (Leo's mama) and I could walk with the "big people" - I mean that by maturity, not age or weight!!  And a big shout out to Luc (Leo's daddy) for keeping the kiddos tonight.  Starting next week, we're all gonna be one big happy family out there walking and running!!!  woo hoo!
I'll keep ya posted!!  Nite y'all!!

PS-Oh, pray for my friend Tiah, she needs some heavy healing in her family.  Also, a coworker of the hubs, Tony, asked for prayer for an unspoken.  And for us, as we're trying our best to give Lulu a little brother or sister! :)


Monday, May 23, 2011

Free (to me) Craft

Hey y'all!
I am going to start posting my crafts and ideas and web links...hope you're inspired!

This craft requires:
rocks - flat preferable, any size you wish
spray on shellac or polyurethane
your imagination or a picture you'd like to steal (like me!)

I saw these great flag rocks on a friend's facebook picture:

So, I decided I had to have one of my own!  I'm proud to live in the great state of TEXAS!

So, I walked around and found the rocks (craft supply AND exercise - gotta work it in when you can!) I wanted to use and brought them in and washed them.  They looked like this:
I know - they don't make rocks like this where you are, huh?  HAHAHA!!  Anyhoo... I let them dry and got out my paints and brushes.  I made this one:
and then this one for Lulu's room:

and then finally this one for our porch (too):
When I got thru painting, I let it dry for a couple of days and sprayed a couple of coats of shellac on them!
So easy, and FREE (to me)!!


Thursday, May 19, 2011

4 months? REALLY??

Ok, has it seriously been four months since I've actually blogged? Seems like I'm in blogland WAY more often than that.  However, I have cut way back on the time I spend on the internet.  It's sooo easy to lose like 3 hours if you're not careful... I'm not the only one, right?  Oh dear, tell me I don't have a hump on my back too....  haha!  So, I've been really busy - making lists, first-of-all.  Of course, to those who know me, know I am QUEEN OF LIST MAKING!!  (Only coming in second to the QUEEN MOTHER!! haha - love you, Mama!)  I mean, I make lists of lists, for heaven's sake!  I've actually found myself many nights here lately thinking to myself while looking around my house....what did I do today??  I mean, I know I played with the "baby" (who is 19 months now, holycow!), but geez....  So, I decided that I would search out others like me and see if I could find some self-help out there in blogland.  Actually, my Mama and I helped a blog friend, Kelly, out editing a LIFE notebook.  {You should check her out - She has some super cool paper products}
I've also found several other sites with cool ideas: [I know I'm an OCD dork, but what's your point?]

* Stephanie @ Full of Great Ideas made a reusable freezer inventory:

* Jessica @ Love From Texas wrote a 2011 goal list and her 101 goals in 1001 days list.

* Jenni @ Simply Savvy made a summer schedule list.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Happy New Year, Y'all!

Man, it's been a long time since I've posted anything here.  I've been a little busy!!  One of the biggest changes lately is that little Lulu started running like a lightening bolt walking!!  So, most of my day is busy chasing after her and of course, if she catches me actually chasing her, she just giggles and goes even faster!  I have been busy doing some "arps and craps" as my niece, Lola says.  I'll be posting pictures of those!!  It's been fun!  I also got a few new toys since my last post and I'll have to share those too!
Let's see - a week into the new year already and suffice it to say the diet that is supposed to be in swing has been pushed to the wayside, as I am still on "vacation" and just got through topping off gooey pizza with a sugar cookie - the second of the day!  Oh, well, you only live once, right? And besides, I'll correct that when I drink my diet coke this afternoon, right?!?!  You see my logic??  Makes sense to me!  We are in Alabama right now - visiting hubby's fam.  We already visited my fam in Georgia.  Thankfully, my Meme is better and will be getting out the hospital for the third time in about a month-month and a half.  It was very sad - she was in CVICU - ICU for hearts - the whole time we were there, which sucked on a whole other level, because Lulu wasn't allowed to visit her.  So, she did what we refer to as the "flower tour" - over and over.  She loved it!!  She would find a favorable adult shaped sucker and go up to said sucker and look all pitiful and whine and finally be picked up and then she'd point and grunt - which meant "let's go!"  So, said sucker would take her out of the waiting room and down the hall and back into the other side of the waiting room looking at all the pictures of the flowers on the walls. And DON'T think you (if you were the sucker in question) could skip even one picture - even if it wasn't on your direct path - because she'd let you know you went the wrong way and you'd better go back or there was a fit in the brewing!  Seriously, it was hilarious - the biggest, longest acting sucker was my cousin's hub, Chris.  Little Lulu and I have been learning sign language and by the time she and Chris almost made the first complete circle, he asked, "Are you done or do you want more?".  And of course, she starts signing "more".  So, from then on, once she saw the last picture (in the waiting room), she started signing "more, more, more".  I think she probably did that a couple of hours, if you add up all the times she went every day we were there!!  She LOVED it!!
See....MORE< MORE>MORE!!!!

So, um, have you been stalking blogs? I have (head down).  Just kidding - I really have been and will soon be adding a feature to my blog to link to these I stalk on a regular basis.

Well, I'm off to watch 'How to Train Your Dragon' with the fam.  I'll post more on my craftiness later!!