Tuesday, June 30, 2009


MAY: (this was written in May)
I wanted to do a coupon update for everyone who's been asking about our savings. In May we spent $168.00 on groceries/household items. I didn't post pictures of everything we I didn't have time to take the pictures but tried to do better in June. We got WAY more food than we normally do and spent WAY less money, so that was great! I think we won't need to buy chicken again until the end of the summer because I bought 19lbs of it!! I'm still trying to get the budget down more, but we just eat too many fruits and veggies:). May was so low because I got pounds and pounds of free apples and we had strawberries, blueberries, bananas and apple sauce in the freezer that we used.

June started out with a purchase of $29.00 worth of produce including .99 strawberries, .78/lb peaches, .99/lb apples, .89/lb pears, .99 cucumbers, .99 peppers...in all colors! That same week I bought these groceries and two gallons of milk for $13.00. More than I wanted to spend, but still a great deal. This picture isn't that great, but there are three bottles of sunscreen that were $8.99 each before coupons...but coupons helped with that too!

(including 2 gallons of milk
not in the picture)

(I got a $5 gift card back as well)

(It cost $2.08 in tax but I had a gift card from buying the Smart One's
meals, so it ended up being free..WITH money still left on the card:)

(I forgot I left a bag in the car that
had two more toothpastes in it, one more
softsoap, 7 deli meat pkg, and 3 more Pecan Sandies)
We don't usually drink kool aid but I got 50 pkgs for free and
figured it was lemonade:). Also...we've never bought packaged
cookies but have been able to give some away. The only things that cost
money were the hot dogs and the deli meat pkg...everything else
was completely free.

plus I got a $10.00 gift card
back! Biggest savings to date: more than
$200! Brian has cut me off from buying
more toilet paper for a while because we have SO much

I've learned 'target/goal' prices on a lot
of foods and my target price for cereal is less
than a dollar a box.

$2.00/ plus I got $15 dollars back in gift cards
went shopping at mom's for my
first trip to Harris Teeter (and
I got to organize mom's coupons and
help her out with her shopping:)

thanks to super double coupons at
Harris Teeter I was able to get this
all for $6!!

I got this at Harris Teeter for free and
they gave me $1 back! (I got a
$4 printout from my previous HT
trip to use:)

$16.00 (plus I got $10.00 back in gift cards)
*not pictured: 2 gallons of milk, yogurt,
and 8 boxes of eggo waffles*

$8.00 (if I didn't get peppers or
chicken my total would have been $3.00...
but the 4 red peppers were on sale for .99/ea
and the chicken was around $1/lb too!)

I was pretty good with the pictures in June and only left out a few bread/milk/produce ones. In all we spent $110.00 this month on groceries and once again got a TON more than we usually do. I thought it would be harder than May because of the produce but we were blessed with great sales! We were also at Nonny and Poppy's for a week so that helped too...although it didn't stop me from going shopping up there:)! I don't usually go to the grocery store this much but with the super double coupons at Harris Teeter and AWESOME deals at Target I couldn't resist! In addition to saving money this month, I still have $15.00 worth of gift cards from my purchases to use at Target! I am thinking about having some coupon classes because so many people are interested in how I save so much money AND because we have GOT to raise some money for the adoption! There...I've finally said it on the blog...we are adopting a baby boy from Korea!! Therefore we need to save/earn as much as possible.

Monday, June 29, 2009

mommy road trip

When I was a kid my mom used to take my brother and I to visit family (in CT) one week out of the summer while my dad stayed home and worked. I've been doing the same thing with the kiddos...and it works out perfectly because Brian's office always has a 'shut down' (or something) this time of year which basically means that he works LATE into the night for several days.
We went to visit Nonny and Poppy last week and were SUPER excited to see Braden again! We had a great time visiting our favorite 'hang outs' there and playing lots of games with Nonny.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

little helper

While Braden was at Nonny and Poppy's house and Cailey was at Choir Camp in the mornings, I was able to spend some AWESOME time with Kinsey! We went to the Y, grocery shopping (where she was adorable pushing the little cart...I only wish I had my camera!), played a lot of games and read tons of books! I had a great time with Kinsey and love how whenever she's an 'only child' her language explodes! She talks a TON more when it's just her and I.

On Friday I was packing to go to Nonny and Poppy's house and Kinsey left the room for a while. I thought she was playing in the playroom. She came in my room and proudly announced that she packed and was ready to go. Curious, I decided to go into the girls room where I found EVERY drawer empty.....they have 16 drawers and 4 baskets in their room....EMPTY!!! I praised her for 'helping' me pack and then let her know that while she was VERY helpful we didn't need that many things and that we would only need summer clothes:). I set out the items she could pack for herself, then things to pack for Cailey and she did it!

What a blessing to be able to spend special one on one time with my baby girl...who is growing up so fast!

Saturday, June 27, 2009


so proud of our little singer!

celebrating a job well done
with ice cream!

A couple weeks ago Cailey had a choir camp that lasted a week. There were a ton of kids there and in only a week (of 1/2 days) they were able to put together an AMAZING musical. The kids had a choice to learn choreography, sign language, rhythm, dance, or solos. Cailey learned the choreography and requested a solo. I love that she has no stage fright (SO different from me in that way) and actually LOVES to be singing in front of everyone. She did a great job on her solo and a great job learning all the other songs as well. She's already asking if she can go back again next year and can't wait to see all the new friends she made!

At AWANAS, Sunday School, Co op, the pool, etc. Cailey has always desired to be friends with the older girls. We've been blessed that so far all the girls she loves to hang around with are wonderful examples and don't mind her 'tagging along'. I told her the other day that she'll have to remember this as she gets older and to always be kind to younger children who want to be her friend....even if she doesn't want to:).

one of the 'stars' and Cailey's
new (older) buddy for the week!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Braden's Adventure

I haven't blogged about Braden recently because he's been at Nonny and Poppy's house BY HIMSELF getting spoiled:)!! Nonny came and picked him up last week and he stayed with them for five days before the girls and I joined him (while Daddy worked). He had a BLAST! Nonny has taken Cailey for a week before and Braden couldn't wait for it to be his turn. He was very helpful to her and constantly asked what he could do to help.

Braden's words:
I had a fun time with Nonny. I rode my bike, went to see a movie, got dessert every night, and ate a big pretzel. I got to go to the library TWO times! I read to Nonny and Poppy. Poppy let me go on a walk with him and was proud that I could ride my bike without training wheels. Nonny bought me new shoes because she said my shoes were too small...wanna see them?:) Nonny likes to get up early so I didn't have to wait until 7:00. We walked around the lake and she said I did a good job. We went to Chick Fil A!

he loved helping nonny bake!

such a BIG helper! he truly has a servant's
heart and cares deeply for others.

I wish I would have gotten a picture of him with Poppy, as well...but that'll have to wait for next time. I'm so happy Braden had such a great time but I did miss my sweet boy while he was gone.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

the tooth fairy forgot....again!

Cailey lost another bottom tooth a couple weeks ago and put it in her tooth fairy pillow. She knows that Daddy is the tooth fairy which is a really good thing because her tooth fairy has forgotten to get her tooth...BOTH times. I had offered to get it, etc. but Brian really wanted to do it....oops. Cailey wasn't too disappointed because she knew...but the second time it happened I thought she deserved something much more exciting than money! So Cailey went out on a date with the 'tooth fairy' aka Daddy for breakfast to Panera. Now she's hoping that the 'tooth fairy' will forget much more often:)!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

a brunette??

Nonny got this costume to add to our collection...complete with wig:)! We got a giggle out of this!

Monday, June 22, 2009

and this is just her back

For some reason every summer our backyard is INFESTED with mosquitos. I don't even like going back there....it's crazy! Until a few days ago I thought the mosquitos only liked darker skinned people because Cailey never really gets bit, but Braden and Kinsey get HUGE welts ALL OVER THEM. I almost think they are allergic to them or something because I've never seen a bite swell up so much...and then the next day they look more like 'normal' bites. I feel so bad for them!

A few days ago we had friends over for dinner and then the kiddos went swimming in the backyard pool. When Jackson (who is much lighter skinned) came in, he had over twenty bites on him....and no one else had any (well...maybe kinsey had a couple). We have GOT to figure out how to cut down on the mosquito population in our backyard...help!!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

I asked the kids to tell me some things they love about Daddy and this is what they said (I did NOT prompt them in any way):

Kinsey: I love daddy cuz I like him. I like him read books and we pay games.

Braden: Dear Daddy,
I like to snug you. I like to read with you. I love playing with you. I'm thankful that you work for us. I like cleaning up for you. I'm thankful that you make us lunch sometimes. You love me. I love you.

Cailey: Dear Daddy,
I love you. I like you snugging me. You're my best Daddy because you take me places. I love that you get me breakfast (breftis) and believe in Jesus. I love you because you love mommy. I love that you let me practice riding my bike even when it's hot. I'm thankful that you grill hot dogs. I love to watch movies with you. I love to read the bible with you. I like it when just you and me go to the park and you help me empty my part of the dishwasher. I love you because we wash the car together. I'm thankful you mow the grass so my legs won't be itchy. Love,

Friday, June 19, 2009


I knew it was going to happen someday....and have dreaded the moment. I know the purpose of parenthood is to raise responsible adults...to let go. I've always been the mom who 'dreaded' their birthdays because it meant they were getting older...growing up...needing me less. I've always played with them and tried to soak it all in because I know how quickly time goes by. I LOVE my children with my whole heart and even though there are 'tough times' I can honestly say that I've loved every stage. (Well...except for those first three months with Cailey...I wouldn't ask for that time back:)

One thing that Cailey does EVERY year the day or two after her birthday is say, "I'm almost 7" (or one year older than she just turned). I always tell her to SLOW down and not rush it:)!! Now Kinsey and Braden do the same thing...5 and 1/4, 3 and 1/2, 6 and 3/4. They can't wait to grow up...I remember being the same way...wishing time away so I could be older. Now I'm wanting it to slow down!

I guess it was hard seeing Cailey go off to Kindergarten but this year she was homeschooled so I had the blessing of seeing her grow each and every day...all day. The blessing of teaching her every day....all day. She was involved in many outside activities but when she was at home it was 'our time' and I loved it:)!! Playing games, reading books, doing puzzles, making crafts, baking, praying, all day.

Today we went to the pool and it suddenly hit me as I spent all my time with Kinsey (because Braden is at Nonny and Poppy's house)...my girl is GROWING UP and LETTING GO. I know it's time...but it's KILLING ME! She spent the day making friends and spent her time at the pool with people I didn't know. Little girls, just like her who are learning to let go and swim away from parents to learn and grow from each other. She's always wanted ME to play with her in the pool...the whole time...but is starting to let go. As I write this I'm tearing up because even though I WANT her to make friends and WANT her to break free, she's my baby. I guess she'll always be my baby...they all will.

I do realize that she's still six (and three quarters, as she would say) and isn't exactly getting her drivers license tomorrow...but today was eye opening to me that time is truly flying by and she's letting go...as God intended. Time will continue to fly by each year...and they'll continue to let go....I just pray that they will love the Lord and desire to do His will...in everything.
I LOVE YOU, Cailey, Kinsey, and Braden!!!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


We did Ee during the week of Easter and did TONS of things with eggs! One thing that was new and she really enjoyed was painting with eggs. She also decorated a lowercase e with elephant stickers. Other things we did were: go on lots of egg hunts, exercise, walk like elephants, soar like eagles, made egg shell mosaics with dyed eggs (this took FOREVER for me to peel the shells off enough eggs to make a mosaic:), played envelope games, tried on lots of earrings, and erased a giant E.
Foods: eggs, enchiladas, eggplant, egg rolls, eclair, egg salad, and edamame

Monday, June 15, 2009

Pool Playdate

braden loved jumping in and swimming to
me, playing with the MANY pool toys, and meeting
new friends

such trust!

pulling kinsey around! this is the first time of the
summer that the kiddos have been to a pool where
they could have pool toys!

kinsey jumped to cailey over
and over....cailey was so great about
being sure kinsey was safe!

Cailey learned how to do a cannonball:)

Cailey was SO sweet to Kinsey at the pool and did a
great job playing with her!

they had so much fun racing to the water with jackson!

This week we had the opportunity to go Beth's pool and had a great time! Neighborhood pools have so much more freedom than the Y and the kids definitely took advantage of that and had a great time with pool toys, jumping in, swimming, chasing, catching, and playing. We can't wait to go back!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sprayground Surprise!

they LOVED putting cups over the water and watching it shoot
up into the air! thanks for the idea, Beth!

the girls doing ring around the rosie!

On Thursday I told the kids we were going to play at the sprayground instead of the pool. What I didn't tell them was that their best friends would be there too:)!! Kids are funny with surprises though because I expected Cailey to be so shocked and excited to see them. When they came, Cailey just walked up to them and said, "Look! I lost another tooth!" (Random) BUT later on when it was time to go home she asked me if they were coming over and then got super excited and was completely shocked that they were...so funny!

In the afternoon the 'littles' (Hannah, Samuel, and Isaac) wanted to go outside and play but Laura and I did not because it was SO HOT. SOOO I offered to pay Cailey and Rebecca a quarter if they would 'babysit' them outside. I explained that they had to pay attention to them the whole time and do things that the 'littles' wanted to do. Cailey and Rebecca were SO excited (but Laura thought I was crazy and it wouldn't work for a quarter:) and did a great job! Everytime we looked out the window they were catering to their needs, playing with them on the see saw, pushing them on the swings, getting them drinks, and just being so sweet. They did such a great job that we gave them 35 cents...which they were VERY thankful and excited about:)!! I love that they get so excited about pocket change...and Cailey got paid another quarter the next night to watch Caroline.