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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Conversation Starters!

Conversation Starters with Zobmondo!
The rules: You MUST answer the question
You MUST NOT add to or take away from it to suit your answer.
Would You Rather....
Have a see-through nose
OR
Entirely white eyeballs?
I love this question! I think the thought of a see-through nose is hilarious. And so that's my answer...here everyone...look at my boogers! The white eyeballs kinda freaks me out.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Godfather


Growing up, my husband looked up to him. Phil taught Cory so much. Phil is a computer guy and Cory was his young apprentice. I met Phil when Cory and I started dating and I can remember being totally taken aback by his forwardness and giant personality. I was this shy, self-conscious, sheltered person and he was most definitely not. We sat on the porch steps of his weekend escape from the city and that's where it began for me. The yellow house on the little hill with the pig flag hanging off the porch.
I've truly never met anyone quite like Phil. I've never met someone who's done so much in his life. He grew up in South Philly and migrated to Greenwich Village in "the City." A fitting place for Phil. He lives there with his wife Curly, the inventor of the "special wave" and lover of all things swine. On the weekends they come up to the "mountains."
We've got so many fond memories of Phil. Sterling silver Tiffany barbell rattles engraved with the boys' initials and birthdates, sharing Thanksgiving dinner, corn and ribs, cowboy hats, Indian rainsticks and incense, New Paltz craft fairs, Buddy the cat, pig overalls, Red Rider BB guns, Cory's bestman....the list continues on and on.
He's a photographer, writer, lover of art, an actor, a deep thinker, he's stubborn and has strong political views. He's forward and he'll catch you off guard. He loves deeply from the bottom of his soul. He's a submariner, a son, a brother, a husband, a friend. He's Phillip, The Godfather, Our Godfather.
We're thankful to have Phil in our lives and blessed to be able to call him The Godfather of our 3 children.

Monday, September 28, 2009

7 down 50ish to go?

We did things backwards, my husband and I. We met in 1996 at a little tiny restaurant in the town over from where we live now. I was, at the time, a waitress headed to being baker, chef and later on all of the above plus dishwasher all at once. One day this dorky double bar glasses wearing boy came in to fill the dish washing position. He was still in high school. I wasn't. We got to know each other and I slowly fell in love. He was, despite the dorky glasses, sexy and smart. So smart.



We started dating in Spring of 1997. He would come to my apartment after school and lay on my bed doing homework. Did I mention how smart he is? Yeah. I met his parents and his sister. The first time I went over for dinner I remember the lovely salad his mom made with those pretty little purple flowers on top of chives garnishing it. I made the terrible mistake of eating one and secretly suffered as my mouth was on fire and I was left with the worst onion breath ever. I was so shy. So much that they thought I didn't like them because I never talked. I remember thinking they were so strange. Cory's mom and sister would go to the bathroom together. I always figured they were gossiping about me. They were so close knit and that was very foreign to me. My family wasn't close then, really. Thankfully we are now.

We always watched X-Files together and Cory would stay until the last possible second and then fly home in his red Ford pickup you could hear from a mile away. We would pray for snow storms in the winter because his mom would call up and tell him not to drive home. We loved those nights, they were the best! So that's probably what lead up to us doing things backwards. I found out in December of 1997 that I was pregnant. Oh man were we scared! Especially Cory who thought for sure his life was over. He would be disowned by his parents, never go to college and be a pizza delivery boy forever. I, of course, had a much better outlook on things. We'd do whatever we had to for Cory to finish college so we'd make a good life for our baby.

It was probably the hardest time of our young lives. Zach was born in 1998 when Cory was just 19 and I was 22. We went through more than anyone should have to over the next 2 years. That's another story. One I'm not ready to share. We waited to get married so Cory could keep his health insurance with his parents. He went to college. He graduated with an associates in liberal arts from SCCC. He went there on full scholarship through their honors program. After SCCC he went to SUNY New Platz and graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelors degree in Computer Science. I told you he's smart! I remember holding Zach as I stood on top of the chair watching Cory in his cap and gown that day in New Paltz as he graduated. I was so incredibly proud of him.

We were married on September 28, 2002, 4 years after our son was born. We were so happy! Zach was our little ring bearer, looking all handsome in his sweet little tux. We were married by our family friend who had married many other couples in our family at the church where my mother and father and my sister and her husband had been married. Tradition. Our reception was so much fun. We drank, danced, laughed, cried, ate and had the time of our lives with the people we loved. My mother in law and I had done most of the work ourselves to keep costs low. I made music CD's with pretty labels for our favors. We did table scapes, our unity candle, the bows on the cake knife and serving spatula, and these beautiful satin and lace pillars with candles on top that surrounded our cake. We made our card box too. Looking back, it sort of looked like a stacked wedding cake. We did what we could on our little budget and it turned out beautifully.

We honeymooned at the Poconos for 2 nights and picked Zach up and continued on to Williamsburg, Virginia. We had a very nice relaxing vacation then headed back to reality.

So, today, September 28, our 7th anniversary. No romantic dinners. No date. Boo. He's working and has a soccer game tonight. So he'll spend our anniversary coaching and I'll spend it having dinner with his parents. Oh well, there's always next year, right?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Conversation Starters!

It's Thursday and time for Conversation Starters with Zobmondo!
The rules: You must choose one or the other, and do not change any part of the question. These are the ONLY 2 choices.
Would you rather....
For the rest of your life, eat your least favorite foods hygienically prepared
OR
Eat your favorite foods prepared in risky circumstances?
My answer...
There's no question here...I'm a bit of a germ-o-phobe when it comes to food and restaurants. I'm totally choking down my least favorite foods. I'll learn to love them!
What's your choice?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Friday, September 18, 2009

Whining

AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

You ever have one of those days? *sigh* I'm having one of those months, I think. Feeling teary all the time. I'm feeling like such a whiner but maybe if I just get it out maybe I'll feel a little better. So here's your warning...the first part of this is a pity party whine fest.
I feel like I've had a lot on my emotional plate lately and I'm so ready to blow. I'm feeling like relationships are falling apart, like I'm ALWAYS mommy and wife and never Allison. I guess that comes with being a stay at home mom, huh? Feeling like I'm not good enough for certain people or like I'm not worth people's effort. Like if I disappeared, the only one's to notice would be my kids because there'd be nobody to wash their clothes or feed them. Yep, I warned ya....a big whiner I am today. On top of that, we overdrew our checking account by a few hundred dollars, don't have credit cards to fall back on and my son's behavior is getting to be unbearable. I guess that's the most pressing matter at the moment. The only one I feel like I could possibly have some control over.
My middle son is such a honey. We've always felt like there was something off with him. Behaviorally. You have a "bad" kid and of course immediately know that people judge you as a parent and you feel it's ALL your fault. Feeling like you're not doing enough. I know there are certain people in his life that would rather not even have to deal with him and it makes me incredibly sad. He's such a funny loving boy. Some can only see the bad things he does. My grandmother always comments on how she's never seen a busier boy or how he never stops moving or what a handful he is. She always says how Max and my nephew can't get together because they're awful together. My sister and I get so sick of hearing it. Or people will watch him do something wrong and say "boy, I DON'T know how you do it." And I do worry about what people think of him and us.
This year he started first grade. On the second day of school his teacher and I ran into each other at the end of the day when I came to pick them up. She expressed her concern about Max's inability to control his fidgeting. She wanted to know if he had always been that way or if maybe he was just nervous. I told her that it wasn't uncommon for him and we've been concerned about his behavior for some time now. She told me that she had given Max a squishy ball to squeeze while doing lessons or whenever he needed it to help him focus. He is very easily distracted. Last night we went to open house at school and happened to be the only ones in his classroom during the session we attended. It was a perfect opportunity to talk to her one on one about what we should do. We've also been in contact with the occupational therapist at school. His teacher is so on top of her game,it's great that he ended up with her. We've set up a conference for the end of the month to go over his behavior and so we can stay on the same page.
When the teacher mentioned the ball to help him concentrate, I immediately started doing research on the internet and came up with Sensory Processing Disorder or SPD. Reading about this condition was like having a light bulb go off in my head! The amount of symptoms I checked off for Max was unreal. I'm also wondering if it's possibly ADD (not ADHD). The therapist said there's a fine line between the two, so she was giving my husband and Max's teacher a survey to fill out and she'll look it over and we'll go from there. I'm not hoping there's something wrong with him, but if we do come up with something I'll be happy to know how to deal with it now. I'm very hopeful for his situation. I will NOT jump on the medication bandwagon and WILL learn how we can work with him and what will benefit him and us.
Now if I can get finances, marriage, friendships and whatever else going in the same direction, I'll be a much happier camper!
Okay, I'm done...thanks for letting me vent.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

http://oh-dear-lord.blogspot.com/2009/09/little-miss-muffins-homemade-cookie.html

Click above to enter my cookie giveaway! Ends 9/20. FREE! FREE! FREE!

The boys at the Fairground


Up til today, for the past year or so, my husband and I have been living with one vehicle. Most days it's fine, but there are times when it's incredibly inconvenient. I feel like such a mooch having to rely on other people to help us get where we need to go. My husband has this Jeep Cherokee that last spring (08) failed inspection. At the time we had no money to get it fixed so it sat and sat and sat. It was mowed around, plowed around, and sometimes used for storage. When we finally had the money, he got too "busy" (lazy) to call and set up an appointment and get it to the shop. The tires were flat, the hood was rusted shut and there was a hole in the brake line. My mother in law would joke about opening the hood and planting flowers in it. I'm sure when it finally moved out of the driveway on Monday our neighbors threw a party. So today he's going to DMV to register it and he'll finally have his baby back and I'll have a little more freedom.



So since the boys started school, this is our day: Cory gets up early because he's working 7-3 so he can coach modified soccer. His mom or dad pick him up and drop him off at work. I get the boys ready and take them to school. At 2:30 I leave to pick them up and we go to the fairground for 2 hours. Then we go back to the school and pick Cory up and go home. It's been such a pain. The baby has been missing or getting a very short afternoon nap because it falls right when I have to get the boys. I've been shoving their bikes and the stroller into my tiny car and taking them to the fairground after school. I drive a Scion Xb, you know, the little car that looks like a shoe box? Yeah, tiny. I've joked in the past that I was going to call Nike and tell them I'd advertise for them and they could paint my car to look like a Nike shoe box. The seats in the back of the car are split 1/3-2/3 and so I have to put the 1/3 part of it down to get Zach's bike in. Every time I put it in and take it out, the handle bars scrape the roof of the car. Every time I say "I am NOT doing this again" and I do anyway. It's been good, really because the boys get to ride their bikes and get out some pent up energy. Especially Max who is normally a lazy boy. It's been good for me too because I've been walking a lot. I'm sorta bummed that it's raining today because we won't be able to go.


So, now that I've gone completely away from the subject I was actually going to write about....here are some pictures I snapped while we were there on Monday.




Max sharing his unusual find.



He fell asleep watching the front wheel turn. And yes, that's a Darth Vader sticker on his stroller..it says "Who's your daddy?"...his name is Luke..get it?




Some sort of aphids the boys found under a milkweed leaf. I think they're very cool looking!



Looking for caterpillars



What a cutie!





He was trying to run away from me so he could eat the flower.


Max showing Luke his cicada nymph skeleton. He found tons of them under the Oak tree.


Cicada Skeletons

We had a nice time and I hope next time we find lots of interesting treasures!

Conversation Starters!

It's Thursday and that means it's time for my conversation starters with Zobmondo!
Just a reminder of the rules:
You MUST choose one or the other, you can't add to or take away from the question to suit your answer.
The question:
Would you rather...
As a woman,
have quadruplets
or
have four babies, all 10 months apart?
My answer?
This is a hard one. I guess I'd have to go with quads. I think I'd rather do it all at once than to do diapers for like 6 years straight.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday









What? I have teeth?

This morning while getting the boys ready for school, as I do every morning, tell Max to go brush his teeth. This is the conversation:

Me: Max, go brush your teeth please.

Max: Why? When did we start THIS?
Me: When did we start what Max?

Max: Brushing our teeth morning AND night?
OH MAX!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Seriously?



I don't know what made me notice this or why it bothers me, but seriously? Look at the outside package of the butter. The salted butter has a red outer package and the labels on the sticks are blue! The unsalted package is blue and the sticks red! What? Why? Some sort of stupid joke? Trying to confuse us? I think it's kinda funny actually. What person came up with that idea? "Yes, that's what we'll do, a switcharoo on the colors, perfect idea!" Yep, it's the little things...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Conversation Starters!

It's time for my weekly conversation starter with Zobmondo!
This week's question:
Would you rather....
Have one long, thick, furry eyebrow across your entire forehead
OR
an inordinate amount of ear and nose hair that cannot be removed?
My answer?
Well, I'm thinking since it doesn't say I can't get the unibrow waxed, that's what I'd choose. If I'm not allowed to wax it, at least I can grow bangs long enough to cover it.
What's your answer?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Twas the night before school...






Twas the night before school, when all through the house, not a child was stirring, not even my spouse! The backpacks were laid by the door with care, in hopes that they wouldn't leave them there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of recess danced in their heads. And pappa in his flannels and I in my apron, he went to bed and I was a-bakin'.

When out of his room, Max came with a clatter, pappa sprang from the bed to see what was the matter. Away to the hall I flew like a flash, turned him around and started to laugh.

The dirt on the bicycles lain in the front yard, today they had been ridden really quite hard. Morning came and what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a sleepy sixth grader ready to start a new year.

With brand new clothes and even cologne, he thinks with the girls he will surely be known!

I wake up my Max and give him his slacks, he dresses with speed and I don't have to plead!

Patties of sausage and eggs on the table, I tell them to come eat whenever they're able. Finish with haste we've no time to waste, if you don't clean your plate you're sure to be late.






It's really quite strange we're actually early, they've plenty of time to make they're teeth pearly.

To the top of the porch, to the front of the car, having ten minutes to spare sure is bizarre! We buckle our belts and the nervous energy is felt, we go down the road, we're finally in school mode.

I drop them at school and Zach looks so cool, with his new skater look, he's off the hook. His wristbands and chain complete his outfit, he's sure looking hot, there's no doubt about it!

Max's face looking so excited, with his friends he'll soon be united. My heart filled with pride and I almost cried as I watched my first grader wave see ya later.
Now I am home and what do I hear? So quiet and peaceful I could shed a tear. We're so happy to begin another great school year, but soon we'll be wishing for summer to be near.
What will Luke do with the house to himself, no brothers to bother him and mom to his self! He'll nap without being woken and I'll be soft spoken for mommies love naps more than babies perhaps.
I think I will clean and make the floor sheen for a very brief stint my mirrors will glint. More than two rooms this time I'll take away the grime until two thirty and they make it dirty.

It seems my kids got a couple of extra days at home. My boys just went back to school this morning and mommy is one happy camper! I started writing this last night but couldn't keep my eyes open, so I had to finish today.

Cookie Giveaway?


So I've been wanting to start giveaways lately and wasn't really sure how to get started. I'm wondering, since I'm a baker selling on Ebay, if anyone would be interested in a homemade cookie giveaway? Good idea? Bad idea? It's okay, be honest!

Jillian Michaels' Fitness Ultimatum 2009


Should you buy it??? NO! Let me tell you why....


Let me first start by saying that it's not all bad...just mostly.


Jillian Michales' workout game is for Nintendo Wii and is compatible with the Wii Balance Board but also works without it. When first turning it on it prompts you to set up a profile with your name, age, height and weight. If you have a balance board, you can weigh yourself on that. The next screen allows you to personalize your character by making it male or female and choosing clothing colors. Once that's done you can go to the main screen which is set up like a camp. The cafeteria is where you can go for fitness and diet tips, most of which, I've found aren't helpful. There's a multiplayer option which I haven't tried, office, stats and training. Choosing the option to train brings you to your workout.


There are 4 different types of workout to choose from. Weight loss, intervals, strength training and hill climb. The descriptions are as follows:

Weight Loss: Helps you lose weight

Intervals: Maintain a steady workout

Strength Training: Increase and maintain muscle tone

Hill Climb: Build your endurance and push yourself

With each you are able to choose your time limit of 5, 10, 15, 30, 46 and 60 minutes and intensities of light, medium and hard. I've only done medium. With each one you start off running in place and swinging your arms. You run through a park on a dirt path past trees, trees, benches, and more trees. No flowers, no people, no nothing. How long you run depends on the length of your workout. At an hour it's approximately 4 1/2 minutes. After each running session, you do things such as paint grenade toss, cannon attack, handcar pump, log jump, boxing, punching bag dodge and more. I have been finding that only with this particular game, the Wii controls aren't sensitive enough. About a quarter of my workout has been spent shaking the controls now knowing why they don't register on the game.

As I said before, the graphics are awful! The workout is set to the worst music! I actually find it much easier to get through the workout if I turn the volume down and turn on my own music. And I have to say that Jillian isn't very motivating. Unless you call random insults motivating. Such as "I could have done it better than that." Not my idea of motivation.

So, I'm very happy that I'm only borrowing it from a friend and that I didn't actually pay for it. At first I did like it, but I got tired of it very quickly. It does it's job of getting you sweating, but I hate exercising in the first place, the last thing I want is something that's boring on top of it.


I also have to say that after 372 customer reviews at Amazon.com, this game has only a 2 star rating (out of 5.) Hmm...shouldn't that be a clue?


Now just remember, this is my opinion and there's always gonna be people who like and dislike things. If you have this game, let me know if you like it!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

King Scotty!


This is a picture of Zach (r) and Max (m) with my friends son Scott (l). Now just look at how my boys are looking at Scott....and see how Scott is eating it right up? It's so funny how the younger guys worship the ground these older kids walk on. How they think every joke is hilarious. They're the smartest, the fastest, the best dressed, the funniest. This is how my boys feel about Scott. Seriously! It's the funniest thing.


Scott came to babysit once and since then my boys haven't stopped hounding us to go out again so Scott can come over. "No MOM, you can go out, really...PLEASE! Why can't you just go?...ah, can't ya feel the love?! Max had so much fun with him that he locked the front door when his mom came to pick him up so he would have to spend the night. Ha...a five year old having a sleepover with a fifteen year old. That would have been the highlight of his summer!


My boys were the lucky recipients of some hand-me-down clothes from Scott...Max got one of the shirts and wore it for 2 days straight! I had to force him to take it off so I could wash it. The best part was when he was putting it on, he said to me "hey Mom, it even SMELLS like Scott!" HAHA! Dear Lord!



This is Max's birthday party this summer. Scott came over with his mom and brother and lets just say we ended up with a mud pit in the back yard. I let Zach have some buddies over too and just look at all of them gathered around Scott just hoping they're the one that gets chased by him with the water. Because we all know that would make THEM the cool kid too!


So Scott, in case ya didn't know, you've got a couple of fans over here, so anytime you need a little ego boost, come on over!


Giveaways....?

Okay, I've searched and searched and posted on twitter and on mombloggersclub.com and can't get any info. I really, really want to do giveaways on my blog but have no idea how to get started! Can anyone give me some info? Pretty Please?

Momma's littlest helper

Momma's little helper









Helping Momma with dishes.



And cleaning the fridge.











And he's an organizational expert!




(He made the mess, not me..)






He's learning early on how to coupon!


And trying to be like his big brothers.

Ah, the reasons there are no two rooms clean at one time in our house.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Soulful Sunday



I love this picture of my boys at the Bronx Zoo. This year was our 9th annual trip to the zoo, our Mother's Day Tradition. We go with our children and their grandparents.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Choose Your Battles

I love this phrase and remind myself of it daily as I raise 3 little boys and 1 very big boy. Fighting battles like putting the toilet seat down, even if there are more of them than me and getting the pee INTO the toilet and not spraying it onto every surface of the bathroom. The battle I've given up on is keeping their bathroom fresh smelling and I've decided that with 3 boys all 5 years apart, it's bound to reek for the next 17 years weather I like it or not. That or make them sit like girls to pee (which I threaten to do on a regular basis.) Like taking drinking glasses out of their bedrooms BEFORE the milk curdles and then finally dries out and you can't figure out why your room smells like vomit and foot funk. I know, ewww! Comes with the territory I suppose.

And I'm wondering why, when the garbage can is in the cupboard under the sink, do they put it IN THE SINK? Or when all of the spoons are dirty (all 3...they've lost the other 5) do they have to use my plastic ones I keep for cookouts and such instead of washing one. Or they get a drink and not only leave the container out, but don't clean up the sticky juice they spilled on the counter that's now dripped onto the floor and between the counter and the stove? Perfect to attract those colonies of ants I'm battling to get rid of.

I wonder why my hubby always leaves the car without gas, leaves his dirty socks under the end table and candy wrappers on the couch. Why he thinks he's done a thorough job cleaning his whiskers OUT of the sink and completely ignores the ones stuck to the faucet and all surrounding areas. Why HE has to use the toilet right after I've cleaned it. Again, I know...ewww. But come on, I can't be the only one!

Some things I guess are never-ending battles.

Go Fish!


Zach casting with his grandmother watching





This morning my in laws took Zach and Max fishing. They picked them up at 8am and headed out. I had to send Max with a breakfast goodie bag because he wouldn't eat and well, I worry about them being hungry. So away he went with his Nesquik, a bag of grapes and some not-so-healthy snacks into their grandfathers pickup armed with all their fishing gear. I have to say it was nice and quiet here for a couple of hours with the big boys gone, Cory sleeping in and the baby napping. Mommy had plenty of time to sign up on twitter and get herself completely confused!

Max fishing...in his underwear...don't know why?!

About an hour ago I heard the telltale sign that they were home...the dogs barking their fool heads off. In ran Max with a Ziploc bag containing his catch. The only Ziploc bag...my loud, dancing around, fidgeting boy was the only one who caught a fish and not only did he catch one, he caught 9! My father-in-law's face was completely animated as he retold the events that had happened at the lake. He said Max, in his underwear (haven't figured that one out yet), did this funny knee wiggling, butt shaking happy dance every time he caught a fish. At one point I guess they got a fish off the hook and it was flopping around the dock while Zach was about laying on top of it trying to catch it and it flopped itself back to the safety of the lake.

Zach watching his reflection?


Wish I could have seen it, but glad they got some time away from us and some nice bonding time with their grandparents!

Twit What?

Okay my friends...I've signed up for twitter...now what? I'm feeling very overwhelmed and kind of behind the times here. What's your best advice for me in using twitter?

My goal in signing up for twitter is to promote my blogs...but I don't know what to do now that I've signed up! Help a "living under a rock" friend out and guide me a little! THANKS!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Al's Big Buys 9/3

Beware all you health food nuts...this post might make you cringe.......


I know it's been forever since I posted on a grocery trip. I honestly haven't gotten enough fabulous deals to make it worth it. This week was a pretty good week.




Let me start by saying I couldn't go shopping until hubby got home with the two eldest after soccer practice. I left my house at 8pm...ugh. I'm already tired, been dealing with a whiny baby all day, boys arguing and on top of late shopping, afterwards I had to bake a cake.




As I'm shopping I go by the ladies room and decide I'd better go then before I got to the other end of the store. So I'm in the stall and there's this little girl with her face up against the crack in the door trying to look in at me!!! O-M-G! So I slapped my hand up in front of her face so she couldn't see me and she stayed right there 'til her mom was done in the other stall. Seriously? NOSEY-RUDE! Ok, I get over it and continue on. Here's the deals I got the past 2 days.


23 Nesquik Chocolate Milk on sale for $1.00 each minus .80¢ coupon = .20¢ each


20 Reese's Peanut Butter cups free with coupons!


20 NY Pretzel Pretzel-fills on sale for $1.84 minus $1.00 off coupons = .84¢ each.


12 Luigi's Italian Ice on sale for $1.66 minus $1.50 off coupon = .16¢ each


20 Tony's Crispy Crust Pizza on sale for $1.00 each minus .50¢ off coupon = .50¢ each


8 Turkey Hill Ice Cream on sale for $1.77 each minus $1.00 off coupon = .77¢ each


9 Jif Peanut Butter on sale for $1.99 minus $1.10 off coupon = .89¢ each


3 Quaker Granola Bars and 2 Quaker Instant Oatmeal total for all 5 with coupons/sales $4.48


No coupons but worth mentioning was ShopRite butter for $1.49 per pound. I got 20 pounds...I'm a baker...I LOVE butter sales!


So in the end I got $294.35 worth of groceries for $186.70 for a total savings of $107.65! WooHoo! Love it!




Conversation Starters!

I have this book called Zobmondo. This is the craziest book! It is "The outrageous book of bizarre (pff...I've been spelling that bizzare..lol) choices" and some of it's content is pretty crude. So inside the book it gives the description of Zobmondo...

Zobmondo: a slang expression derived from the negative exclamation "zob," to express horror, pain or frustration: "Mary tripped over the log and stubbed her toe. 'Zob!' she cried." Zobmondo!! expresses the utter dismay that zob cannot begin to describe.

The purpose of the book is to inspire ridiculous, fun conversations and debate. You MUST answer the question. No changing the question or saying "well I would do it IF."

Zobmondo!! offers a warning before reading the first question: Proceed with caution. This book is only for those with a twisted imagination. Be prepared to leave conventional thought behind and join the ranks of the demented and insane.

That being said, I'd like to start a weekly Zobmondo conversation starter! Here's the first question....

Would you rather get a bad case of poison ivy way up inside your nose or inside your inner ear?

My answer? My ear of course! I'd much rather be seen with my finger in my ear than up my nose!

What's your answer?

P.S. you can find Zobmondo!! at Amazon for really cheap.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Buffering.....Buffering.......Buffering

I cannot even tell you how much I -heart- dialup....*blink*blink*. No, really! Nothing makes me happier than to wait a full 20 minutes, yep...TWENTY minutes to upload a picture *sideways smile* to blogger and facebook! If I'm having a really lucky day, my laptop will overheat and shutdown with no prior notice *double thumbs up*. Or one of the kids OR dogs will trip over the phone cord leading to said laptop and pull it out! Joy! Joy I tell you!

Youtube? Pff....what's that? Seriously! It's fabulous to be able to watch half second clips of any given video so a 2 minute video takes about 4 minutes.

On the phone with tech support.....them"Okay Mrs. ***, if you'll just log onto the internet, we'll talk you through it"....me "hmmm.....well? I'd LOVE to but you see, I live on this street, it's only a half mile from houses with high speed...I'm not the only one on the road otherwise I'd understand. There are 11 houses within that half mile. ELEVEN. So sorry Mr. Techy Guy, you won't be talking me through anything." NICE.

So I think my property taxes should be lowered for being in a less desirable area, afterall, high speed internet is almost a necessity these days, right? Pff...

Have You Seen......?


Have you seen my cake blog? Looking for more followers........just click on the words "cake blog."


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Out of the mouths of Boys

I picked up my nephew Adam this morning because my sister had to work today. He'll be 7 in 13 days and my son is 6. The following is the conversation that was had between pick-up and my home...

Adam: This road is bumpy. Ya know, the road at God's house is GOLD!

Max: I know, someday we'll live at God's house.

Adam: You know, you can ask God for anything and He'll give it to you! He uses magic and if you want something sour, you just ask God and BAM! you have something sour!

Max: Yeah, like I would ask for an arcade. He'll use His magic and make it for me, all I have to do is ask.

Adam: A CASINO! And one for only 6 and under (after all, he hasn't turned 7 yet). But only 2 old people. One would be my dad, my dad's realllly old! He's 40!

Max: And someone from my side of the family?

Adam: Yup!

Max: Okay, Pop. Ya know, the one with the barn? Yeah, Pop.

Adam: Aunt Allie? How many hours do we have?

Me: Five buddy.

Adam: Let's see, 1 hour is 60 minutes. Two hours is 120 minutes.

Max: How many minutes do we have?

Me: We have 300 minutes. Hey Adam, how did you get to be so smart?

Max: Duh, he's got a big brain Mom!

Me: You have a really big brain right Adam?

Adam: No I don't, just have a look at my fist!

Oh dear Lord! I thought I would die of laughter! My nephew, the comedian. I seriously hope my sister is writing down these things that come out of his mouth!

Note to Self:

Note to Self:

Do NOT fall asleep with a cough drop in mouth or it will end up a sticky mess underneath your pillow!

(yep, this is what happened to me last night, nice)

Monday, August 31, 2009

Oh Max!

This is a phrase that's heard in my house frequently! Oh Max! What now?

My Max is very particular about how he likes his hair. When it's a little longer, he can be found in the bathroom styling it with water and a comb. Don't dare touch it once it's done! On occasion he likes to have his hair buzzed. At the beginning of the summer we started talking about buzzing his hair because it would be much cooler. Little did I know, it would be chilly and rainy for 2 months straight! After much debate back and forth, he agreed, but wanted a mohawk. Cool. I'm okay with that! Fits Max's personality to a T! So I got out the buzzer and gave him a signature Mr.T. The next day at swimming lessons I heard his teachers comment to him "cool mohawk Max!" and he smiled.

After a few weeks, he decided he'd had enough and wanted it cut off. Out came the buzzer again and off came the mohawk. Apparently I hadn't gotten the front all even because he came out of our bathroom declaring that he had "fixed" it. This is the result. Nice! Perfect! Now you get to be bald because that's about how short I had to cut it to get rid of the lines!

Oh Max!

P.S. Yep, he had a nosebleed.....

Why?

I don't know why I have to be one of those people who loves food sooo much. I don't know why I have to be one of those people who hates exercise sooo much. But I do know that's the very reason I struggle with my weight.

I hate the anticipation of my morning workout. I do not look forward to it at all! It's not fun and I don't like being sweaty but I do have to say that I feel fantastic afterwards. Mentally, I feel like I've accomplished something on the road to my ultimate goal, 40 pounds.

I'm good for about the first half hour and then I start feeling like I'd rather stick needles in my ears than to finish. I think it's bogus for people to think that 20 minutes 3 times a day is good enough! Not with my diet anyway. I mean, I'm not a total hog, but I do like my food! So I try to exercise with my Jillian Michaels on the Wii for 45 minutes to an hour at least 4 days a week. I give myself the weekends off for a break. Well, also because I need not exercise in front of my husband and get mad as he mocks me. He doesn't do it maliciously, I just take it that way because I hate the exercising so much. I also try to get over to the fairgrounds so the boys can ride their bikes and I push Luke in his stroller up and down the hills.

I confess, I love a good sloppy burger! Bacon, cheese, onion strings, barbecue sauce...yummmmm! Or those Dock Side burgers from Cheeseburger in Paradise? OMG...to die for! Fried onions, mushrooms and Swiss cheese? And yes, I even like McDonald's' cheeseburgers. Salty french fries...brownies...chocolate...doritos...shall I go on? Am I making you hungry? Can you tell I'm hungry? Ah, and this is the reason I need the exercise I'm doing, at the very least.

Onward I go...2 pounds down...38 to go.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Loving the love flowing!

I get email updates and prayer requests from my church regularly. This is something that's important to me because on a couple of occasions I have requested prayer for one reason or another myself. God wants us to pray. And He listens.

Earlier in the week I had received an email about a local family whose house burnt down. It came from a friend from Church, PJ, who headed this donation drive. God bless her and what a blessing she has been. They lost everything including their car in the driveway and their beloved family pets. It especially hits home for me because they too have three children. They have 2 girls ages 8 and 4 and a boy age 5. I cannot fathom this happening to my family. I cannot imagine the years of memories packed away in photos, in family heirlooms passed from generation to generation, in every room, with every turn.....gone. Gone. No bed to sleep in. No toys to play with. No way to cook a meal. All of those things you've worked a lifetime to get...gone. Gone.

He struggled to get his dogs out, the dad, but wasn't successful. If you're a pet owner, you know that your pets are a part of your family. When you lose them it's like losing a loved one. Added to a family's normal love for their pets, these people work at the SPCA and are passionate about animals.

Living in a one room tiny hotel, a family struggles to be humble and accept donations from strangers, feeling like beggars. I can see the shock in mom's eyes as she jokes about not having to take care of her family's recyclables. And I watch the joy in the children's eyes as I hand them my children's old toys, backpacks, clothes. It matters not that they've been used and abused by children before them. We move out of the way as they scoot back and forth in front of their makeshift home. A small distraction from the horrible tragedy that they grapple with.

I feel God calling me to help this family in every way I possibly can. An overwhelming calling. I've gathered old books, a couple of backpacks, loads of food, toiletries and laundry items, scooters, and my boys even gave away their old Nintendo game cube and a few games. I was very proud of them. I cleared out my closed of the clothes I no longer fit in or needed. I also cleaned out my middle son's closet for their boy. And I baked them a batch of cupcakes. It's the least I can do for a family who has nothing. I will continue my efforts as I think people tend to step up in the beginning and slowly forget what an awful thing they've been through.

I'm not writing about what I've done for them to look for a so-called pat on the back, I'm writing about it because I want to show you how God is working and about paying it forward. As I stood in the parking lot in front of their room, I got teary eyed as I assured the family that even though it's hard for them to accept these gifts, we wouldn't be doing it or offering if we didn't want to help. I gave them my phone number and told them to please call me if there was anything at all that they needed...a meal, a ride, anything. And I meant it. Their misfortune ends up being a blessing to those of us who feel the calling to help.

I have been blessed in my life by different people at different times. Weather it was a meal when I didn't have money to buy groceries, a vacation when we couldn't afford it, school clothes and supplies for my kids. PJ is also my dog/house sitter and this summer offered to come for payment of a couple of batches of cookies so we could go away. There wouldn't have been a vacation if not for her generosity. The past two years I have been the recipient of a scholarship for a women's retreat in Pennsylvania because I didn't have the money to pay for it. What a blessing the Women's Worship Weekend has been for me! There have been so many times over the past year that people have blessed my life at the perfect time and now it's my turn to pay it forward. The love of Jesus working through my life to theirs. Praise God!

Last night PJ popped up on Facebook to chat with me and the phrase that sticks in my head from her is "loving the love flowing!". Agreed, PJ.

If you've been blessed....pay it forward!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

My little bike rider


We live on a road whose speed limit is 55 and are at the end of a long straight stretch so needless to say, people fly on our road. There's no way, on God's green earth, that I'm letting my kids ride their bikes here at home, people just aren't careful enough, they're too much into their own worlds, going way too fast. Everyone is always in such a hurry these days! So they learned at a much older age to ride than most kids do I guess. I don't know why it never occured to me to take them to the fairground to practice. Last week Max was determined to learn!


Like the country song, I am the queen of our double wide trailer...when we bought our land it had an old single wide on it that we made due in for 5 years. Underneath it was a concrete slab. When we got our new one, we put it the opposite way on the land and so part of the old slab juts out from the front of the house. Not necessarily the best looking thing, but it is quite convenient actually! It's where the boys use sidewalk chalk, paint and play basketball. It's where mom (me) knows she's safe from lurking snakes. It's also where the boys learned to ride, in circles.


Last week Max amazed us all when he just started riding out of nowhere! A friend suggested I load the bike into the car and take him to the local fairgrounds where they have paved roads all around with very minimal traffic. This week, we did just that! We have one car and it's little. We drive a Scion Xb. If you've ever seen the trunk of one of those, it's pretty much non-existant! We're lucky to get one bike in. Zach's bike is busted from an accident he had earlier in the summer, so he brought his Razor scooter and we left the baby home with dad. Max was crazy on his bike! He would push it to the top of a hill and glide down. If he wobbles, he recovers surprisingly fast. He's an old pro in just a short week!


It's also great to get him on his bike because he's a video game freak and active he is not! We had him play AYSO soccer last year for the first time and he sort of stood in the middle of the field laughing and cheering on his teammates. It really was comical! T-ball was a different story..he actually loved playing that. Perfect sport for him though, minimal running! So we're happy to get our chubster moving, my 74 pound, 4ft. 2in., 6 year old! So everyone is getting into this active mode, thankfully. We all could stand to lose some pounds.


I'm already anticipating Max's first question of the day..."Mom, can we go to the fairground?" and we'll go.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I weigh WHAT???????

I realize I've had 3 kids, but come on! How the hell did I get to be 1?9 pounds?! It's certainly not the KFC in my fridge or the cheez-its in the pantry, right? And it has nothing to do with me sitting on the computer half the day, right? Or the middle of the night get-up-to-pee-eat-a-brownie-and-have-a-big-glass-0f-milk attacks? DEAR LORD! Someone get me moving!

I've always struggled with my weight. Even in high school I was the biggest girl in our little clique. Still am! I come from a family of big girls, mostly. Then there's my sister who's a size 6. I'm not jealous of her though, she works very hard to stay that little. She deserves to be thin.

I also married into a family of eaters. I'm blown away watching my father in law pack away 6 hot dogs, and several sides only to eat again a couple of short hours later. And what's sad is that my husband who eats less is more overweight. I guess it's his lack of movement that does it for him.

I'm happy to say though that I've motivated myself enough to start exercising. Our family has a Wii that my boys enjoy all too often. I have several exercising "games" and my new favorite one is Jillian Michaels. I set it for 1 hour at medium intensity and in front of the air conditioner I get my body moving. Last night I took the boys to ride their bikes at the fairground and I walked, so 2 times yesterday I exercised. Then I sat down last night in front of the television to watch a marathon of Ice Road Truckers on the DVR and sabotaged my efforts with stupid Cheez-its!! Ugh, will it never end? The cravings? The laziness?

Maybe I'll get there...40 pounds to go.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Al's Big Buys 5/17-5/20-5/21






This week I made 3 trips to SR, so far. I may end up making a 4th. Some weeks I have so many coupons to use I couldn't possibly do it all in one trip. I try to split my trips up between Liberty and Monticello for 2 reasons. One being that if something is on a really good sale and runs out in one store, I check the other. The second reason is that Monticello has a wider variety of items than Liberty and sometimes I can't find certain items in Liberty. I prefer Liberty. I'm there so often that some of the cashiers and managers know my name and I've NEVER introduced myself...strange. I also think when someone comes through with $100 worth of coupons on a regular basis they tend to be a little more memorable!

Yesterday I met my sister in Liberty to shop. I'm "training" her to coupon like me. So when she checked out, she did so about 20 minutes before me. I checked out on the isle next to the one she did with a really nice guy named Aaron. The cashier that checked her out (a kid named Corey) turned to me and said "do you have a sister?" so obviously I said I did. He said "yeah, she was just here and she warned us that you were here too. She said you were teaching her to coupon like you." I love the reaction from the cashier when they realize how much money I've saved. Until they got to know me, they would always ask "WHERE did you get all these coupons?!"

On to my savings for this week (so far).

I've learned to look for certain cashiers because they NEVER check the dates on my coupons. Actually in the 6 months or so I've been heavy duty couponing, only 1 cashier has checked dates. My sister used coupons for granola bars yesterday that expired in March! That said, my Powerade, Ball Park, Sense & Spray and Finish (Electrasol) coupons were ALL expired.

This is what I got.
40 Powerades normally $1.00, on sale for .79 cents minus .75 (doubled to $1.50) off 2 for a total of .14 cents each. EXPIRED on 5/17.
13 Wet Ones canisters on sale for $1.24 minus my coupons for .75 off doubled to $1.50 ending up being FREE!

11 Kraft BBQ sauce normally $1.19 on sale for .89 cents. Using my .75 cent coupon, they actually doubled to the full $1.19 off on 8 and doubled to $1.50 off of 3! Then for the first 2 sets the computer spit out a $2.00 coupon off your next shopping order. My Kraft BBQ sauce MADE me $8.23!!! Makes up for paying too much for the coupons which I paid $3.00 for (really paid $6.00 for 22, but shared half with my sister, so my half cost me $3).

2 snack size packs of Twix and 2 packs of Milky Way. They were on sale for $1.25 each and I had 2 coupons that I'm noticing now didn't get put in right. They were supposed to be BOGO, so my cashier should have taken off $1.25 2 times, but ended up taking off .69 cents 2 times...? So, they should have cost me $2.50 for 4.

2 Marcal TP, yes, more TP...99 cents for each ended up being free with my coupons.
2 Barilla Mini Wheel pasta on sale for $1.25 each minus my $1.00 off 2 for a total of $1.50 for 2.
12 Renuzit Air Fresheners (my boys have decided it's really cool to have them in their rooms...don't know why???). They cost $1.00 each and I had 2 coupons for $1.00 off 6. I ended up paying $10.00 for 12.
7 more Luigi's Italian Ice still on sale for $1.99 minus my .75 off coupons doubled to $1.50 for a total of .49 cents each.
2 Ball Park hot dogs on sale for $1.49 each minus my $1.00 off 2 for a total of $1.00 each. I also have more coupons coming for more hot dogs. I'm planning on stocking up now for Max's birthday party. $1.00 per package for MY favorite hot dogs is CHEAP!! (Expired coupons!)

3 Edge shaving gel priced $2.49 minus my .75 cent coupons doubled to $1.50 for a total of .99 cents each.

2 Snyder pretzel pieces on sale for $2/5 minus my $1.00 off coupon for a total of 2/$4.
3 Tabasco sauce (which I do NOT use...am slowly finding homes for the 5 I have from last week and this week) on sale for .99 cents minus my $1.00 off coupons, and yes, they took the full $1.00 off so they paid me .03 cents to take their Tabasco.
7 Tyson Chicken nuggets/patties on sale for $2.49 minus my coupon that doubled to $1.10 off for a total of $1.39 each.
6 Finish (formerly Electrasol) dishwasher packs priced $2.99 minus my EXPIRED coupons for $2.50 off for a total of .49 cents each.

4 B & M baked beans (the large cans) on sale for 4/$5 minus my $1.00 off coupon for a total of 4/$4.

20 Propel fitness water on sale for $1.00 each. My .50 cent coupons doubled to $1.00 off making them FREE accept for tax which was .04 cents each!

3 El Monterey Tornados on sale for $1.99 minus my $1.00 off coupons for a total of .99 cents each. Plus attached to the packages are forms that allow you to send in your register receipt to receive $5.00 worth of coupons or a refund up to $3.00 if you're not happy with the product.

3 Ritz and 3 Wheat Thins each $2.50. I had coupons for buy 1 Ritz and get 1 Wheat thins free PLUS 2 $1.00 off ritz coupons. I ended up paying $5.50 for 6 boxes of crackers.
1 Sense & Spray starter kit regularly $8.99 on sale for $6.99 minus my $4.00 off coupon making it $2.99. I also had a coupon for 1 free refill when you buy 1 starter kit. So that was priced $3.99 and I got it for free. Total of $10.98 for $2.99.
I also got 12 packages of Borden singles which I didn't have coupons for, but was worth mentioning because they're on sale for .99 cents each.
The cost of my coupons this week was $13.57. My baked good sales on Ebay pay for all my coupons! My total for this week was $367.37 for $205.43 plus my coupons =$190.00 for a total savings of $148.37!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Al's Big Buys part 2


This week's trip to SR was quite uneventful compared to last week with crazy Ms. Manners. I was able to go by myself this time, I love when that happens. I can concentrate better when I'm alone and not on a schedule. So no fun stories, just the deals.


A couple of months back SR had Birds Eye veggies on sale 5 for $5 and I was able to get coupons on Ebay for $1 off 1. She sold them in lots of 10 for $1.99 each. I got 30 of them then and also got a rain check and ordered more coupons. I didn't have room in my freezer for 50 at the time, so I held onto them until I did have room. So tonight, I got 20 Birds Eye veggies for free in store and ended up costing me .19 cents each...just the price of the coupons. And they were expired too...lol.


The next deal was Bar S hot dogs on sale for 2 for $2 and with my $1.00 off coupon, they ended up being .50 cents each.


I had also purchased Softsoap hand soap coupons a couple of weeks back for .10 cents each. This week they were on sale for $1.19 minus my coupon for .35 cents that doubled to .70 cents making them .59 cents each with the cost of the coupons. I got 12.


I got 2 Tabasco sauce on sale for .99 cents and with my coupon for .50 cents off doubled to .99, they were free. I didn't buy these coupons. They were actually free. On my way back from Kingston one day with my sister, we stopped at Stewarts and noticed piles of Sunday papers bundled up in front. My sister asked about them and was told we could pull the coupons out as long as we kept them bundled! Bonus!!
French's regular yellow mustard was I believe $1.49. I had 2 coupons, one for .75 cents off and one for .50 cents off. I ended up getting one free and one for .49 cents. I also got one honey mustard for free.
Turkey Hill iced tea half gallons were on sale for $1.66 and I had a coupon for $1.00 off 2. They ended up costing $2.32.
I have been holding onto this Pepperidge Farm Vitality bread coupon forever and finally got to use it tonight. I got one loaf of Oats and Barley bread (not pictured) on sale for $2.50 minus $1.00 for my coupon making it $1.50.
I bought Luigi's Italian Ice coupons on ebay for very little..don't remember how much. I got 10 assorted flavors for .49 cents after my .75 cent off coupons.
The other night I got 6 Capri Sun Sunrise at WalMart (thanks Jenn). They charge $1.97 and I had coupons for $1.00 off each. They ended up being .97 cents each.
And last but not least...MORE tp! Yes, it's a tower of tp. I have finally used the last of my free Marcal toilet paper coupons...70 in all. When I told Cory, he said to me "few..it's a good thing, we were running low!" Thinks he's funny...
Until next week.....

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Al's Big Buys


Let me start by saying that my day began with me stepping both feet into some squidgy dog crap in my laundry room...I just love my dogs! Must be my hubby fell asleep before their midnight tie-out to relieve themselves. This really was an indication of how the rest of my day went.

So, Luke and I dropped the rest of my brood off at school and we headed to Monticello, coupons in hand. He was very good, mostly, until he decided he wanted to be carried through the store. I'm on a mission to get Spray N Wash and Bagel-fuls. Of course they don't even have 1 Spray N Wash, at least not the one I wanted. No problem, I'll get it in Liberty. We got our shopping done and went to check out. The girl got through my first, and largest order. I go to get out my debit card and surprise, surprise...no debit card! Now, I don't have credit cards...not anymore anyway, so I can't pay with a credit card! My next move is of course my check book. As my luck would have it, I had given Cory the last check yesterday to pay for the boys' AYSO registration. GREAT!!! So, I ask the cashier to suspend the order so I can go to the bank and withdrawal some money. I have to load Luke into his car seat and drive to my bank, which luckily is in the same parking lot.


Back in business, cash in hand, we go back into SR and pay for the groceries. I'm thinking I've still got a couple of hours before I need to pick the boys up from school as they had a half day today. I got everything including my 22 pound plus the car seat baby into the car and sit to look at my receipt because it just seemed high to me. Thankfully, I was right! I purchased Chex Mix Bars that rang up wrong. So now I have to get Luke and the car seat back out and go into SR only to find that I only brought 2 of my 3 receipts in with me. The girl gave me my refund for the 2 I brought in and then I had to go back out to the car and bring back the third.

Few...shopping's done and I still have some time before I need to get the boys.
Got the boys and took them to lunch at McDonald's in Liberty so I could use the rest of my coupons that came while I was in Monticello. That all went surprisingly well, until I began backing out of my space at SR. I just shift into reverse and turn to look when I hear a very loud banging on the passenger side window!!! Have you ever??!! I wish I would have payed attention to Zach's face when she pounded right by his ear. So she says to me in a not-so-nice tone "you can't put your cart back??" I'm absolutely floored by this woman! I would NEVER even think of doing that! So anyway, I say "No, I can't, I have 3 kids in here and won't leave them" Yes, I could have and should have sent Zachary to put it back, but after the day I had already had, I was being lazy. So she's obviously annoyed as she pushes a cart toward the cart return and doesn't actually put it in. I then said to her "you didn't even put yours back!" to which she said "that's YOUR cart, I'm just pulling in. Don't you teach your kids manners?" Now, maybe it's me, but I don't really think putting my cart back has anything to do with manners. And in an un-Christian like tone I said "No, no I don't!" and I backed out.

Both the boys were like "Oh my God, she was RUDE!!!" Poor woman must have been having a worse day than me to have reacted like that.

So, anyway, here are my "big buys" for this week.

12 boxes of Chex Mix Bars regularly $3.29 each, on sale for 6/$9.99. With my coupons for .50 cents off that double to $1.00, I got them for .66 cents each and a total of $7.92

6 giant Hershey's Special Dark bars regularly $1.42 on sale for $1.17 minus coupons for $1.00 off each for a total of .17 cents each and a total of $1.02

10 boxes of Bagel-fuls regularly $2.79 on sale for $2.39 minus my coupons that doubled to $1.50 off each for a total of .89 cents each and a total of $8.90.

9 SoBe Lifewater $1.00 each minus coupons that doubled to .80 cents off each and ended up being .20 cents each and a total of $1.80.

12 Spray N Wash on sale for $1.64 each, with my coupons that doubled to $1.00 off each, ended up being .64 cents each and a total of $7.68

2 Sani-Hands for Kids (because we're visiting the Bronx Zoo this weekend) $2.99 each minus my $1.00 off each coupons for a total of $1.99 each and a total of $3.98.

Now here's the very biggest of the "big buys".......drum roll...............


40 boxes of assorted sizes Hefty One Zip baggies regularly $2.34 on sale for $1.00 minus my coupon that doubled as much as it could for .55 cents off for a total of ...drum roll......04 cents each! Yes, that's right I said .04 cents each! A total of $1.60 for 40 boxes!
I did, however, pay for most of my coupons which was a total of $8.00.
My total savings...$125.56 for $32.90 plus the cost of coupons for a grand total savings of $84.66 and I won't have to buy bags for a year or four!


And I always bring my canvas bags which also get me .05 cents each.


Yesss....I love it!
And, yes, my pantry and every cupboard looks like a mini grocery store! And I like it that way!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

My vaccuum cleaner


It's been so long since my last baby reached the milestones all parents watch for. I had forgotten how fast the first year goes and how very cute each little step really is. I think sometimes as Moms we tend to get frustrated in the beginning and wish those hard times away. Like the feedings every 2 or 3 hours that last a half hour each making it feel like you're constantly attached to this little tiny thing. And those days when they want to be held all day when all you want to do is get a load of laundry done. I tried very hard with my littlest one not to wish those days away and to enjoy every new stage, easy or hard. I was sad to have the night-time feedings end and I was sad when he moved into his own bedroom into his "big bed". And I miss the days when I was the only one who could feed him. I was extremely sad when he decided he didn't need mommy's milk anymore. My tiny little boy on strike from the only thing he knew for 9 months. That may have been the single hardest time of his young life for me. One stage I certainly didn't wish away. While I couldn't leave him for more than a few hours at a time, I enjoyed nursing immensely. We so enjoyed watching him roll around the house. He got where he wanted just by rolling, but it didn't last long. Next was a sort of commando crawl. Watching him get up on all fours was very exciting for all of us. He looked like a little gecko swaying and looking very uncoordinated as he tried to figure it out. He's got these 2 little teeth that he uses to bite everything! He loves to chew on paper and now that he's very mobile, he's discovered the dog food. I can see in his face how proud he is of himself when he masters a new skill. I love listening to him say the same thing over and over again..."dada dada dada" even though it's not "mama mama". Sometimes it even sounds like he's saying dada did it. Each new step is so precious. He's so laid back and happy. He's so inquizative, wanting to touch and explore everything he can get his hands on. He has this purple kazoo that he just loves to sing into and we love to listen. He bounces to music and is obsessed with food. Don't try to eat in front of him without sharing, that's when his little temper shows. His newest skill is pulling himself up to a standing position which is why he has a little black and blue on his cheek. It's one stage that's so hard. They learn how to pull up and can't figure out how to get back down so they just kind of fall. We have all mastered the swipe with the finger to the back of his throat to fish out random things he finds on the floor...paper, dog food, legos, lint..anything his little pinchers can pick up. I love the fat hands and rolls on his thighs. I love seeing his little head pop up above the railing of his crib after a nice long nap. I love the smile he gets on his little face when he sees his brothers or his daddy walk throught the door. I love watching him make a bee-line to a person with food. I'm so blessed and I vow to enjoy each and every stage my little vaccuum cleaner goes through, hard or easy.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Thank God for small favors!

I've had a rough couple of weeks. I woke up in the middle of the night with a fever a couple of weeks ago. The typical chills, can't get warm. I took Tylenol and went back to sleep only to wake up an hour later in a pool of sweat. The next morning I had one of my headaches that I've been getting since I was a little girl. Thankfully I have the worlds best baby who is the happiest most content baby...as long as he's not hungry! Cory came home at lunch time and spent the rest of the day taking care of the boys and I took a 3 hour nap. I felt much better. That night I got a fever again so I decided to go to bed early. The farther in the week we got, the worse I started to feel. My knees hurt really bad and the act of standing or sitting was awful. On Thursday I woke up and my arm felt like it was broken. What is this all about? I toyed with the idea of going to urgent care, but the more I thought about the pain, the more I thought it felt like a pinched nerve. My wonderful hubby again stayed home with me because now I can't even lift the baby. Luckily, I was able to get an appointment with my chiropractor who's office is always busy. I drive myself, shifting my car with my left hand. He examines me and decides my neck is "off" and my shoulder has "slipped out slightly." He says it may take 2 treatments and it may take 6 treatments (times a $20 co-pay each time, I'm hearing $40 or $120...not really in the budget!). So I go home and nurse my shoulder with an ice pack and no heavy lifting...as in my 22 pound chunk of a baby.

The next morning I woke up and now I'm really feeling awful and sort of strange. My joints...my hands, wrists, knees and my jaw all hurt really badly. I guess today will be my trip to urgent care with another co-pay. Don't get me wrong, I'm extremely thankful for health insurance, but these co-pays are killing me! So, again, I drive myself so I don't have to drag my 3 children and I sign myself into urgent care. By the time I arrived, my headache was back with a vengeance. I'm happy that there's nobody in the waiting room and think to myself I should be in and out of there in no time...boy was I wrong!

I was taken to a waiting room directly in front of the nurses station. Now, if you've ever been to urgent care, you know that the doors are glass so you can see everything. The nurse left the door open, so at least I got to listen to the nurses complain about everything they could think of. I think that's one of my petpeeves...I hate going to places and listening to people complain about everything. I swear people are so ungrateful!

So anyway, I wait and wait and wait...no book, no magazines, nobody to talk to and feeling really crappy. Now in one of the many conversations I eavesdrop on, I hear the nurses say they're running an hour behind..GREAT! She comes and says "you're next, hon." Finally! 20 plus minutes later, the Dr. comes in. He's more focused on my shoulder than on my joints, which is why I was there to begin with. So, I say "what really brought me here is my joints!". He checks me out and goes over my symptoms and says I have fifth disease. Then he asks me if that "sounds okay to you"???? Are you looking for me to diagnose myself? Very strange. Slightly more rare in adults. Settles more in the joints with adults than kids and the pain can last months...WONDERFUL! No specific treatment other than treating the symptoms...Tylenol, ibuprofen, rest.

I got through the rest of the weekend with a bum shoulder and feeling like an old lady with arthritis.

Monday I went to Kingston with my sis. I felt good, mostly. Last night I started to feel my headache coming back. Of course, as my luck would have it, Cory has a conference in Syracuse today and can't be home to help with Luke! This headache is BAD! The kind over-the-counter meds can't touch. Zachary also complained of a headache this morning. I left it up to him if he wanted to stay home or not. He stayed. Thank God for small favors! His headache stayed mild enough for him to take care of Luke for his sick momma. He is the best kid ever! He changed diapers, played with Luke, put him down for naps and even swiped his ten year old finger in Luke's mouth a couple of times to fish out random things he picked up off floors or tables. He felt bad for me as I sat on the couch crying because it hurt so bad wishing Cory was home. Such an old soul, my Zach. So caring. I'm so blessed!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

No words necessary.


My self-professed atheist a short 2 years ago. He's a numbers guy. A believer in the Darwin Theory. He evolved from apes.

I know many people who had been praying for him. Praying for God to work in his life. Praying for the day that he would accept Christ. It felt like the day would never come. I had him read books about God to our kids hoping it would change his heart. I tried to show him how Jesus had changed my life.

I begged him to come to church with us. He reluctantly agreed to come once a month and I hoped he was listening. We slowly went from once a month to every week. We had conversations. Nothing in those conversations indicated he was at the place we all wished he was in. But, he was no longer an atheist. Now he's moved on to being agnostic. I knew that God was working on him. I know that everything happens in Gods perfect time, not mine. I was patient and I continued to pray.

I would jokingly, but not really, say "I love Jesus Cory, do you love Jesus?" and he wouldn't answer me. "Jesus is my Savior Cory, is He yours?". Nothing. We continued to pray. And even though he wasn't answering my questions, I knew God was working. He was now praying with the kids at their bedtimes. Going with the flow? I didn't know. God knew.

Last night Cory came home with this giant tattoo on his leg. All we could see was a bloody paper towel taped onto his leg with masking tape. He wandered around the house as if he was afraid to show us until he finally sat down on the couch and cut the towel off. Tears streamed down my face as I looked at my husband with his newest tattoo. A huge statement for all to see.

This tattoo is even more special because in the middle of it is our birthstone. Cory and I share the same birthstone. To the left is Zach's birthstone. On the bottom is Max's birthstone and to the right is Luke's birthstone. He decided to leave the top one colorless...in his words "just in case". I watched Zach's face light up as he gazed upon his fathers leg. He had been praying also.

As I heard a man say Sunday night at Daytop...I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am a self-professed Jesus Freak. You're truly missing out if you are not. I am not ashamed. I have faith in my God and I know that when my number is called, I am going home to be with my Savior. I now know that my husband will be joining me, no words necessary.

Praise God.


Saturday, April 18, 2009

I'm glad I came around.


I guess I always had issues with forming close relationships.
I remember laying on the floor huddled up in front of my grandparents big console TV listening to my grandmother on the phone with my dad. I remember thinking that I had never seen her cry...until now. I remember my father talking about my mom in later years and swallowing the lump in my throat because I had to be strong for my father. I was seven.
I remember at the time how mean I thought my Poppop was. He was loud and impatient. Sometimes he said things that weren't so nice. I think he was obsessed with food..lol. It's a wonder he lived as long as he did. He was also a big softy if you caught him on a good day. He'd give you the shirt off his back if you needed it and always had a boat of a car that he handed over to me whenever I wanted. I loved him. I watched in sadness as he went downhill fast after his stroke. I also watched the day the coroner came and took him away. I was twenty three.
I never came around when my family was visiting. I was always invited, obviously, I just rarely showed up and when I did, I didn't stay long. I remember being jealous listening to my sister talk about their get togethers and my sisters trips to visit them, my cousin and my aunt. I never thought about it at the time, but I think I was afraid of loving and losing and being hurt again.
I've been through a lot in my life, even more than I'm willing to write about. I've grown as a person so much over the years and it was after having my own children that I realized how very important my family was to me and how ridiculous I had been.
I let down my guard and started going to family functions. That was possibly what was missing from my life. I love them all so much more than they'll ever know...ALL of them!
My sister and I are best friends. We don't always agree on things, but it's part of what we love about each other. She's my big sister, the older, skinnier, blond version of myself. She hates when I say that. She hates that she's aging, but I think she's still young and hip. She still looks good in a bikini. LOL. Do you know what it's like to just have to look at someone and know what they're thinking? That's my big sister and me. We've been through a lot, me and my sister. But we're strong, must be the Hillman blood.
I think about how excited I used to get as a child waiting for "Jersey and Delaware" to show up.
My Uncle Sean who used to steal my nose and put it in his pocket and makes the best collard greens. He told me I took his breath away when he saw me walk down the isle at my wedding because I looked just like my mom. The reason I had to explain to people why my cousins were black. LOL. My cousin Apryl, the beautiful model and actress I was so proud of. Lover of butterflies. I used to take my blue Ziggy folder full of her magazine adds and the playbill from The Piano that she acted in as a little girl to school and show her off as if they were pictures of myself. Seanie...I miss Seanie. So handsome. He took over my place as the one who doesn't come around much. We did get to see him last summer though. I love him! And my Aunt Tracy...we've formed a special relationship in the past year or so. My fellow chocolate lover. Germophobe. LOL. When I think about what my mom must have been like, I often think maybe she was just like my Aunt Tracy. We're stubborn. Sarcastic. Funny. They're Delaware.
My three cousins from Jersey. I always loved listening to them talk with their Jersey accents. I remember traveling with my grandparents to see them and telling them I thought the trip seemed longer the older I got. I was little. I remember Mary coming to Mommom and Poppop's one time and taking me in her little pickup truck to the Apollo Plaza shopping. We had conversation about what kind of car I wanted... a Mazda Miata...what was I thinking. Lisa, the pretty blond in the Navy. She has my grandparents only other great grandchild besides mine and Nicole's. Dalton. What a nice boy. And then there's Sandy. Sandy and I were born on the same day, December 26th, 5 years apart. I didn't realize until this past Easter how much I've been missing out on not keeping touch with my cousins. Sandy and I have a lot more in common than I ever knew. My hope is that we'll all be better about keeping in touch. My Uncle Grant. If there ever was a Poppop, Jr. it is him! I feel so much differently about him as an adult than I ever did as a child. Maybe it's him, maybe it's me, but I really like being around him. He's funny. He owns 50 of the same camo shirt because they were cheap. My kinda guy! He so reminded me of my grandfather at our last gathering, I was so amazed. The food obsession we all possess must be a Merwin thing. He was waiting for the women of our family, and Uncle Sean, to get dinner ready and he jokingly made a comment about it taking so long and then the phrase "by the Jesus" came out of his mouth and I was taken back 15 years. Aunt Judy. I don't really remember much of her, but I do remember that she took my sister and I for our first Shirley Temple.
My Aunt Charlotte. Baker of pies and maker of jelly. I remember going to the NYS Fair with her and sleeping on a lawn chair in the big barns next to the goats. What a blast we had. We got to see Whitney Houston in concert that year. Even working in the barns she always had the cutest heels on. And the legs on that woman...woo! LOL. And who could forget about my Uncle John. Uncle Hiney. Always jokingly calls me the good kid. And wet head. So funny.
And my Mommom. The glue. The most amazing woman I've ever known. I have fond memories of peanut butter fudge and fried hamburgers out of her cast iron skillets. I remember pretzels bitten into the shape of her name. I remember cross word puzzles and ham and cheese sandwiches. Candy hidden in random drawers. The most amazing Christmas village you'll ever see. Loving. Strong. Fiesty. She's a Jesus loving woman of God and we are so blessed as a family to have her. She's never had a drivers license and never been drunk! A rare breed, my mom's mom. Our Mommom.
We're all scattered across the North East. Always wished we lived closer. We're all obsessed with food, even my skinny sister. We're all sarcastic and stubborn. We're a talented group of women and men, if I do say so. We've loved and lossed. We remain strong and positive. Must be the Hillman/ Merwin blood.
I'm glad I came around.