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.
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