Thursday, December 24, 2009

Guest Photographer: Andrew

Last Friday, after picking up Andrew from Kindergarten, we went to the Gardens to see their Christmas trees from around the world. We then got the the train rooms! Andrew asked if he could take pictures.... he loved it and took something like 50 pictures. Below are a few.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Spike Sr and Spike Jrs.

Um... Daddy got a little carried away with the brush, hairdryer, and possible a little hairspray.
(That mark on the boys forehead is not a cult symbol, but merely an orange snowflake stamp they decided to place between the eyes. They thought is was hilarious.)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Cereal Score!!

I haven't posted any of my bargain shopping deals in a long time. And actually, I have been so busy lately, that I really haven't had the time to go full out coupon clipping/store hopping/deal matching too much. If we keep milk and bread in the house, lately, I call it a win.

Today, however, thanks to Meijer for a great sale with great coupons and a nice catalina coupon along with some sweet online Kelloggs & Kraft coupons, I got all you see below for......

Basically it broke down like this:

I bought:
  • Meijer had specific Kelloggs cereal on sale for $2. But if you bought 5 you got a free gallon of milk. I bought 10, therefore my 2 gallons of milk were free.
  • However on the Rice Krispies, I saw coupons on the boxes for free marshmellows when you purchase 2 boxes. I got 4, so I went back and picked up 2 free bags of marshmellows. (Andrew wanted mini and AJ wanted large).
  • I also bought 4 Kraft Cheese on sale for $1.49 each.
  • Then I bought $2.23 worth of on-sale salami.
Coupons I used:
  • $5 of $25 Meijer Grocery Coupon from their website.
  • Two $5 off 4 boxes of Kelloggs cereal internet coupons
  • $4 off any 7 boxes of cereal printed from the Meijer Catalina a few weeks ago
  • Two $1 off 2 blocks of Kraft cheese internet coupons.

My boys (Andrew especially) love Frosted Flakes for breakfast (and snack and dinner if I would let them). We also love rice krispy treats... and now we have those ingredients for a quick special treat. Plus... Cocoa Krispies are a secret treat of mine. I even had a bowl tonight as my 'dessert'. What a great deals to stock our pantry for little money, Praise God.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Oh Christmas Tree...

I did lights and garland, but the boys decorated the tree this year.
Daddy setting up the train for the first of m.a.n.y times.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

They say it's my Birthday...

... but I've been so busy, I keep forgetting.

Today is my birthday and for the most part, it just another busy day but with a few special things thrown in.

The plan for today so far is to
  1. Take Andrew to his school,
  2. Take someone else's kid to a different school (another story for another post),
  3. Go to work,
  4. Hubby bringing my free Qdoba for lunch (I love Birthday freebie clubs) at work,
  5. Picking up other kid from other school (which is pure craziness)
  6. Come home long enough to pull the house together & feed kiddos before sitter comes.
  7. Meet friends for a quick kid-less dinner out possibly ending with birthday club freebie coffee from Biggby.

I think it's going to blink by.

We already celebrated a bit. My parents came up this weekend and mom took me out Birthday/Christmas shopping. And we used another free birthday club deal and went with them to Mongolian BBQ on Sunday for lunch. Then yesterday evening, we cashed in on the sweet Old Navy Coupon I scored last week.

All in all, not a shabby way to celebrate 30-some years.

Friday, December 11, 2009


My blog friend @ The Diaper Diaries had an Old Navy contest on her site where we she gave away $50 off $100 purchase at Old Navy. And I won!! What a blessing this will be for us right at Christmas time. Thank you, Diaper Diaries.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

School Pictures

Last year in Preschool, we got quite the sticker shock when it came to school pictures.  I was completely taken aback at the cost they wanted for a single shot.  However, the pictures were so stinkin' adorable and it was his first year in "school" we caved and bought the smallest package.

This year, I was determined not to go through that again.  In fact, when school picture time came, I almost hoped Andrew's pictures weren't that great, so there would be no temptation for me to buy them.  Well, thanks to a goofy grin, my wish came true.

Now, just to be up front, his Kindergarten picture packages weren't nearly the cost of his Preschool picture packages.  But still more than I would have like to spend on picture that was just so-so.  Plus, even though AJ is not in school, I wanted a "school" picture for him as well.

Well, I had been putting off getting their pictures, when finally Andrew's tooth was so wiggly that it was going to come out any minute.  I really wanted to get his picture taken before that happened, so I made an appt one Sunday, ran out got him a haircut, and took the boys to Target. (I know, toothless pictures are adorable, and I agree... )

Anyway, my goal was simply a replacement school picture for Andrew and one for AJ.  That's it.  What I got was a complete photo shoot.  The pictures turned out great.... I'm biased, I realize, but I also know a dud picture when I see it too. 

Here are my boys' Fall 2009 pictures!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

I mentioned previously that we made the trip to Iowa for Thanksgiving this year.  It was such a nice, relaxing, much needed get-away for us.

We arrived early in the morning (2am) Wednesday morning and the boys were completely wound up.  They slept in the car and were so excited to be there, I truly did not know if we would get them back to bed. But we did and they even slept to a decent hour (meaning they didn't wake the whole house up at 6:30 am our time, 5:30 am Grandma & Grandpa time).

Wednesday, we just visited most of the day with G&G & Kristin & Josh and kiddos.  We all bundled up later and hit Bass Pro Shops where they were having a "Santa Wonderland" set-up with games and activities for the kids.  It was quite the place and we ended up spending a large chunk of time there.

After dinner, we went to G&G's gym where we walked, shot baskets, played passing games, played DDR and ping pong, etc... It was a lot of fun.  We opted to stay out of the pool due to AJ's double ear infection in addition to how to meds affected bodily functions. That night we rented Angels & Demons, but I only made it through the first half hour before calling it a night.
Thanksgiving day was a very nice, lazy, relaxing day.  Other than helping prep dinner and clean-up, there wasn't much going on and I loved it.  Of course we had the complete Thanksgiving dinner... turkey, mashed potato with gravy, sweet potato with marshmallows, green bean casserole (my job), stuffing, rolls, cranberry sauce, corn and rice, Snicker Salad (which is not really a salad despite it's name) and pie. (and I even feel like I'm forgetting something else.)  Amazing... and just as good for the next three meals as well.

We later had our "Christmas" where were blessed with gifts.  We watched The Proposal that night over popcorn.   It was a really great day.

Andrew traveling back from Sheffield

Friday, a few family members got up super early to do a bit of Black Friday shopping, but I was not one of them.  We then all packed up and headed north to spend a day with Great G&G along with an Aunt C & Uncle K in Sheffield.   We simply ordered pizza and visited for a while before heading back for the evening.  We rented the new Star Trek moving, but again, I last a whole half hour before going to bed.

The Guys

Saturday, we just hung around in the morning for a while before hitting a local park.  The boys played on a playground and we all got to walk a bit.  Then it was back to Bass Pro Shops.  They have a restaurant and bowling alley in the store.  So for the first time, the boys got to go bowling.  It was a lot of fun.  We only had the lane for an hour and it's timed, so in order to get all six of us in (us four and G&G), it was like speed bowling.  Andrew was hilarious and AJ just seemed to dance with excitement the whole hour. 

Santa + Bass Pro = ....heaven?

We then had a late lunch at the Bass Pro restaurant, then.... THEN.... the boys got to meet Santa, before heading back to pack up.  We left for MI around 6 and made it home early Sunday morning in order to have a day to unpack and regroup.   It was a very blessed trip and we truly enjoyed ourselves.

Andrew sleeping on the way back to MI

Friday, December 4, 2009

I know, I know...

I haven't given up on this site.  Things have just been... well.. crazy.  This is quite the stage of life we are in.  I've been busy working and watching kiddos, packing & traveling. Let's see what I can wrap up in some points.

  • The week before Thanksgiving was crazy/nuts.  We were trying to wrap things up for our trip, pack, I was trying to work and watch all my kiddos, AJ had a double ear infection with the appropriate dr. appts., we were (and still are) fighting with our insurance company, etc..  It was a pretty stressful week. However...
  • We took Andrew out of school that Wednesday and headed to Iowa to spend a nice amount a time with Marc's parents and family.  Let me tell you.... it was a wonderfully relaxing time.  We really enjoyed ourselves and was able to forgot about the chaos for a couple days.  I will post a separate entry highlighting the trip with pictures.  I'll even try to do it before the end of the year. (That's quiet a commitment I'm making.)
  • We got back in MI Sunday morning, lounged around, unpacked, etc...  However, Monday, Andrew woke up with swollen eye.  Not knowing the rules of school and with them being on "high alert" for illness, we kept him home again.  It ended up just being a cold built up in his eye (according to the nurse) and a warm compress several times that day helped.  
  • Andrew also lost another tooth this week.  Just in time to sing him the "All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth" song!
  • Our laptop died on us before Thanksgiving, so we took it in (adding to the pre-travel chaos) and just finally got it back yesterday.  I'm thankful we had an external hard drive and extended warranty, however there is still a.l.o.t to do to get it back where we had it. They had to totally wipe our our motherboard, so we have software to re-install, things to update, etc....  Sorta a pain, but I'm glad to have it fixed & back with  no $$ out of pocket.
  • We are back at AWANA this week.  AJ is just adorable in his cubbie vest singing his little cubbie song.  Andrew is actually having to study.  He is learning the books of the New Testament.  He's got the first 8 and needs to learn the next 19 hopefully by next Wednesday.  Anyone know an easy song to help him out?  It's harder I think because the books are completely foreign to him.  I think if he knew the books just not the order, it would be different, but "Corinthians", "Thessalonians", etc.. I don't even think he's ever heard these words before.  Definitely need a song.  Maybe I'll hit up YouTube when I'm done.
  • Marc and Andrew are also doing another basketball camp on Thursdays.  Our local gym has been so sweet to our family.  A great big shout-out to The Courthouse!
  • This morning we woke up to an early call from Andrew's school stating it was a snow day.  Hallelujah!  Today is one of my rare weekdays where I am not working and not babysitting.  So we slept in and we are having a lazy day at home.  Although I feel like Andrew has hardly been at school lately.  Oh well.  We may even attempt to put Christmas up around here.  The boys have already been outside playing in the snow and have warmed up to hot chocolate and marshmallows.
  • Tonight we are having dinner with our Original Small Group from our previous church and then.... it's.... BASKETBALL FRIDAY!  I probably haven't mentioned Basketball Friday here, but it's something Marc instituted around here several weeks ago.  Pretty much, it's family night where the boys get to stay up late and watch basketball with daddy.  There are usually 'special snacks/treats' involved as well as popcorn.  And the thing is.... as excited as the boys get about Basketball Friday, I think Marc is even more excited about it.
  • Marc has an early morning men's breakfast with church tomorrow morning and then we are having friends over for dinner tomorrow evening. Sunday is church in the morning and small group in the evening. 
 I can't believe we are into December already.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Not the same...

Note to Self - When buying that new OJ that's on sale and you have a great coupon for... double check the small print. A big brand name doesn't mean it's true OJ and not "Orange Beverage".  Blech.  Maybe I can make them into Popsicles or something.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

It's Gone!

Today was a big day for my Andrew.  He's had a really wiggly tooth (well, he has two wiggly teeth, but one was Super Wiggly) for a while now.  In fact, you could already see the big tooth coming in behind it, yet it still hung on.  He wouldn't let us pull it and it got to the point where we had to cut up his food into bites because he "couldn't" bite into it.
Last night, I had a sense that it wouldn't be long, so I quick snapped a picture before bed of his mouth will all teeth in tact.

Today, however, on the way to lunch after a fun morning at the Gardens with Grandpa, Andrew yells out excitedly, "My tooth!".  Sure enough, he was messing with it and there in his hand was his tiny little tooth.

So he is very excited because now the The Tooth Fairy should come tonight.  He is all tucked away in bed, fast asleep... with his little tooth tucked under his pillow.   Now, the fun part comes for his mom.  We are assuming that the tooth fairy for this house is female... something like Tinkerbell, I believe was how it was explained. 

Therefore, whatever the Tooth Fairy leaves, should look girly. GIRLY IS SOMETHING THAT NEVER GETS DONE IN THIS HOUSE. So... I took advantage of the opportunity to make something girly. I didn't spend load of time on it, but still.... it's not just quarters in a ziploc.

How old before they recognize handwriting?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater.

It's been too long... again.  We have been under the weather as a family.  Fortunatly, not the H1N1, but colds, coughs, etc...  Andrew stayed home from school yesterday due to fever and cough, but since the night went well... he was back at school today.
We are still keeping busy with AWANA, Basketball camp, work, etc... We did manage to make some pumpkin cookies with the boys the other day.  Very fun and very yummy.

Friday, November 6, 2009


Happy Blog-iversary to Me!

Wow - I can't believe I've been at this five years now. You would have thought my first post back in 2004 would turn into somewhat of a documentary of our lives.

Granted, I haven't been the best blogger in the world because real life happens, but I'm stull thankful for this site and I'm glad I'm still at it.

Friday, October 30, 2009

The extra hour couldn't come at a better time...

Wow - it's been too long since I've posted. We haven't been up to much.  I've been working when Marc's not, Marc's been working when I'm not, and I've been watching all the boys.  Every day is busy.  But mostly, this past week and half have been marked by AJ and me having this cough/cold bug.  It's not terrible during the day, mostly just annoying.  But it's made sleeping at night very difficult. I'm up coughing most of the night and Marc is up with AJ, who is coughing most of the night. 

We're one big sleep deprived family...except for Andrew... we finally had to teach him to read his digital clock and told him when he is allowed to get out of bed in the morning.  He kept getting up earlier and earlier and going downstairs and watching TV until one morning we caught him up at 5:30 in the morning, ready to get up for the day.

Andrew has had quite a week at school.  He had a substitute teacher on Wednesday and therefore got to watch a movie during school. Thursday was a Pajama/Popcorn party that was originally canceled when his school was closed last week. Then today was his harvest party.  I made two dozen puffin munkins with chocolate chips for his class.

However, Marc got a call at home from the school mid morning. They said Andrew was breaking out in hives.  Andrew had to come home from his party.  But Marc said within an hour he was fine and the hives were gone.  So he's fine and his teacher was sweet enough to pack everything he would have got or done in his backpack to bring home with him.

Marc was treated tonight to a Pistons game with his buddy. I made a couple pans of enchiladas for our small group this weekend, we ate an easy dollar menu dinner, and now the boys are in bed. I am catching up on a few shows and finally posting, and hopefully heading to bed soon. Nothing exciting, but we're still here.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Just in Time... I guess

Look what I got in the mail today... for free!

And just in the nick of time, apparently.  Andrew's school closed most of this week (Wed-Fri) due to so many flu-related absences.   He's healthy so far, but 'cmon... sounds like it's a'coming.

And tonight... after I took a very healthy AJ to AWANA, he came home with almost a 103 temp.   Yikes. (sorry fellow AWANA parents... I had no idea, I swear.) The kid that goes to the flu-infected school is just fine. The kid that stays home all day has the 103 temp. Go figure.

Of course, true to form, Marc is out of town when a kid is sick.  Anyway, I gave him some Tylenol and sent his chilly little sad self to bed.

When we got home from AWANA, there was a little package waiting on the doorstep for me.  This package was from Boiron full of homeopathy products for children including Quick Dissolving Pellets for flu-like symptoms, pellets for cold relief, and Chestal honey cough syrup.

Now, I haven't tried these products yet, but it looks like I may real soon.  Click to learn more about Boiron's Children's Products.  And wish us luck.  I guess tomorrow I disinfect all the light switches, door knobs, banisters, etc... again.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Andrew was watching football with Marc on Saturday when he stated, “All of those football players just got into a wreck!”

I had asked Marc a question (I don't remember what it was now... nothing to terribly important.)

Marc answering me: Beats me.

Andrew to Marc: What's that mean?

Marc: What's what mean?

Andrew: Beat's Me.

Marc: I don't know.

Andrew: Then why'd you say it?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Pie Update

So, I've been thinking about the pie.  And the more I think about it, the more convinced I am that I may have screwed up more than I thought.  As I was making the pie crust, I was also pulling together a double batch of Kool-aid Playdough to  take to our small group tonight. 

A double batch of the playdough takes 1 cup of salt.  And now that I think about it the playdough didn't turn out right either.  Hmmmm...... me thinks instead of merely adding 6T to the dough, I might have possibly added 1 cup.  I don't know.  And at this point, it doesn't really matter.  Sigh.

Oh and to add insult to injury, I was hand washing my apple peeler-corer-slicer tonight... and cut my thumb.  Darn you, Pie!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Apple Pie Fail

I've had this huge hankering for homemade apple pie lately.  This is about the time every year when my mom and I get together and kick out a couple homemade pies using her recipe.  And let me tell you, these are the best apple pies!! 
Well, I'm not going to see mom until next month and my hankerin' for apple pie just could not wait. So, while grocery shopping today, I went ahead and picked up a 3# bag of granny smith apples.  Then before church tonight, while making dinner, I also whipped up a quick pie disc for the fridge.
We got home from church and it was time for the boys to go to bed.  But instead I decided to let them stay up and make apple pie with me.  As I'm rolling out the dough, a thought crosses my mind... "I've never done this before".  It dawns on me that in all the years I've been "making" pie with mom... I've merely assisted as needed or possibly just sat across from her and chatted while she did all the work.
So, I get the dough rolled out and I realize that my pie pan is HUGE!  Like feed a small village HUGE.  In fact, it takes all but two of the apples from bag I just bought to fill it.  By the way, the boys LOVE cranking the apple peeler-corer-slicer contraption.  I add the topping, move the pie to the oven, and send the kids to bed.
Making a pie wasn't all that hard and it only consisted of one phone call home to mom.  Now comes the waiting.  Why, oh, why do pies take so long to bake?  And why, oh, why is my extra-super-sized pie taking so long to bake?
Finally....finally it was out of the oven, cooled to a decent temperature, and ready to test.  Hubby made it to the kitchen first. He's not a pie eater, and was merely getting a drink. However, he broke a little corner off the pie crust and popped it in his mouth.  Oh, I wish you could have seen the horrible face me made and then immediately tried to hide.
I asked him several times what was wrong, but got no answer.  So, broke a piece off and tried it.  Oh. My. Goodness.  It was like eating a salt lick.  Seriously.  We had to spit it out and go directly for a drink... and then another drink.   Then we got another drink. 
I checked the original recipe, then checked the scratch paper that I wrote my own measurements on.  See, since my pie pan was SO big, I wanted the recipe times 1.5.  Somewhere in my conversion, I took the original 1/4 teaspoon measurement for salt, multiplied it by 1.5 and came up with 6 tablespoons....y'know, the spoon with the capital T. And that stands for trouble.
We just had to laugh, but I was dissapointed.  I though maybe I could at least eat the top half of the apples and the topping, almost like a crisp, but the salt seemed to have permeated the whole lot.  It's bad.  And it's sad. And mommy has to tell two little boys that the pie they made didn't turn out and they will have to eat Froot Loops instead of apple pie for breakfast like I promised them.
Oh well... I guess we all have our failed cooking or baking stories, right?  I would would love to say that this is my only one, but that is SO not true. I would also LOVE to hear about your food flops.  Write me a comment and share.... make me feel better.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Book Report: The Time Traveler's Wife

A few hours ago, I finished, "The Time Traveler's Wife" by Audrey Niffenegger".  This was a really great book.  One that kept you thinking even when you weren't reading it. One that I want to read again, now that I know how it ends.  One where seemingly minor meaningless notions turn into major points pages later. 

I won't immediately start it again as it is due back to the library and there are several holds waiting on it (it took the library months to get it to me), however, I would like to get my hands back on it now that I know the things I know.

Heads Up... this is not a G rated book by any means.  It is, however, well written & intriguing.  And once again, without giving any conscious thought it about it, it is labeled as yet another Sci-Fi book.  This cracks me up by the way, since I totally have a stereo-typical idea about what sci-fi is (aliens, men in aluminum foil space suits, pointy ears, etc...).

This is none of that.  It's a love story... but not the mushy-make-me-want-to-puke-Edward-Bella-type love story.  Put it on your hold list today (& maybe you'll get to read it yet this year).

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Fall Party - Full Post

PhotobucketIf you use a blog reader, you got the condensed version the first time. Here is the full post:

The Annual Fall Party

We had our big Halloweekend in Ohio this past weekend.  I love this weekend.  It consists of treasure hunts complete with pirate-wear (eye patch, fake gold earrings, bandanas, painted-on mustaches, etc...), pumpkin carving, the flying squirral, trick-or-treating, & a bon-fire with hotdogs & chili.  And of course hanging out with cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, grandparents, etc...  It was a full, fantastic day!

My Super Heroes and their pumpkins.

The gang in their trick-or-treat costumes.

The gang all ready for a treasure hunt.

Video of AJ doing the Flying Squirral.

Video of Andrew doing the Flying Squirral.

Slideshow of more of the weekend.

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