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Friday, March 26, 2010

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Wordless Wednesday (on Thursday)


Why is he so happy you ask?
Well, because of this, of course!
Our brand new car! (that seats 6 so the boys won't be squished anymore!)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Busy Fruitful!





I've been watching lots of Joyce Meyer lately and she doesn't like the word busy so we say we've been fruitful!

It's been a "fruitful" couple of days. Thursday Max got his glasses and he looks adorable! He wasn't crazy about getting them and we're having a hard time getting him to keep them on his eyes. He's got bifocals and they positioned the bifocal part up so high that he has to wear them lower on his nose so when he looks normally he'll be looking out the right part. He's complaining that he can't read the computer with the glasses on too. I'm really wondering if they're right for him and I think we'll take him back this coming week when the hubby goes back to pick up his contacts. After the last visit with the Dr. I believe this family will be switching to a different eye Dr. The more I think about it the more I think he was out of line. On top of it all, he got picked on in school Friday. My poor boy came home crying! OOH! Those little SNOTS! Kids are so mean! His teacher did call to let us know that overall he did well with them and seemed to be more well behaved.
My boy with his new specs!

I made his appointment to see the developmental optometrist the first part of next month. His vision was the biggest red flag in his sensory profile done by the OT at school. That'll be a whole other battle since the insurance doesn't pay for these visits. I'm prepared to fight them though. Developmental problems aren't considered medical which is absolutely ridiculous to me. Anyway, I'm looking forward to seeing if that's another piece of the puzzle in figuring out his behavioral issues.




Friday was a half day at school for the boys. My mother in law, myself and the boys went to Chuck E. Cheese as a sort of reward for Max not giving his teachers a hard time with his glasses. The boys had fun. I left with Zach so I could take him to get his separators in for his braces. They took loads of pictures, x-rays and did molds of his teeth. That was the worst part for him. The goop they put into the metal mold sort of squirts out everywhere and has to sit for 30 seconds or so then it's taken out. When she did the top mold poor Zach gagged and gagged! She had an interesting trick to help him stop and that was to pick up his leg and move his foot in a circle. It worked! His separators looked like miniature blue rubber bands with strings attached. They wedged them in using the string for leverage then pulled the strings out. He was nervous but it ended up not being as bad as he expected. Today he's very sore and not really eating well. That's where the Tylenol comes in! His braces go on on the 29th.

Luke riding the horsey!

Today we met the hubby's sister for lunch and she took Zach and Max to her house for the night. Cory and Luke and I went car shopping! YIPEE! We have an '05 Scion XB that we have outgrown and were very anxious to get out of it. I went in knowing I needed them to take the Scion without flip flopping payments and our new payments couldn't go up. I did tons of research on the car I wanted and the car salesman knew it. It felt pretty good to feel like I was in control of the sale and not him. We were looking at the 2010 Mazda 5. It's a small mini-van that seats 6. I fell in love with it with all the research I did and I knew we could afford it, it was just a matter of weather the salesman would haggle with us or not. We test drove it...well, Cory test drove it and I sat in the middle row of seats with Luke. It was really nice! So the first deal he came back with was $25.00 over our top price per month and I flat out said NO! So he went back out and the manager came in with a lower deal of $11.00 more. I should have said NO again but I got excited and said we'll take it! I'm still happy and don't feel like we got ripped at all. We got the sport model in copper red and we pick it up on Tuesday! We're super excited!

Our new car!

Tomorrow we'll drive the hour and forty-five minutes to Cory's sisters house to get the boys. He's set to do some odds and ends around her house as she's hoping to sell within the next couple of months.

That's it...that's my fruitful weekend! Looking forward to so many things coming up I can't stand it!

Friday, March 19, 2010

A Friends of Gevalia Offer Awaits You

Join us for our special Friends of Gevalia offer and enjoy a premium coffee kit including a stainless steel coffeemaker, scoop and a pound of Gevalia coffee-Just $12.95 (a $100 value!) Gevalia’s guarantee-you’ll love your coffee or it’s free!

Friday Follow!


MckLinky Blog Hop

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Al's Big Buys 3/13-20



This was a good week for coupons. I got $244.20 worth of groceries for $75.73. I'm starting to run out of places to store all my stuff! There's always underneath beds..HA! I've also earned my free ham and my sisters. Here's what I got.




18 cans Chock Full O Nuts Coffee $1.99-.75 (doubled) coupon= .49 each (This isn't included in the above total because it was from last week. I didn't get a chance to post my savings for last week but just wanted to mention it.




16 International Delight Creamer .99-.55 (doubled) coupon= FREE


32 Barilla Whole Grain & Piccolini Pasta .99-.75 (doubled)= FREE


35 (yes, 35) Quaker True Delight Granola Bars $1.99-.75 (doubled)= .49 each


40 Nesquik Chocolate Milk $1.00-.40 (doubled)=.20 each


1 Huggies Overnights Jumbo Pack $8.99-$1.50=$7.49


2 Huggies Wipes $2.49-.50 (doubled)=$1.49 each


1 Frito Lays BBQ Chips $1.99-.55 (doubled)=.89


4 Mens Suave Shampoo $2.00-.50 (doubled) $1.00 each


10 Keebler Wheatables $2.50-$1.50=$1.00 each (plus I have a mail in rebate for $10.00 back on 10 so they'll be free)


2 Tropicana OJ $2.50-$3.00 off 2= $1.00 each


1 Breyers True Inspirations Yogurt $2.49-$2.49 coupon=FREE
1 Baby Spinach and 1 Baby Romaine..no coupons but worth mentioning..on clearance for .50 each and there was enough to split with my MIL.




I'm not done yet, I'll be getting 8 more pasta, 20 more Nesquik and 10 more Wheatables on Saturday. Sometimes I have too much and need to make multiple trips. The list above isn't all I got. I also got lots of fruit, dog food, soda for the hubby, graham crackers and some other stuff.


Monday, March 15, 2010

Flubber!


This weekend my boys and I made homemade flubber! Everyone in the family enjoyed playing with it. Here's the recipe

1/3 cup water
3 Tbsp. Borax (found in the laundry isle)
2 cups white glue (such as Elmer's)

2 cups water

food coloring (optional)








First dissolve the borax in 1/3 water. In a separate bowl mix the glue and the 2 cups water (now is the time to add color if you like). Once your borax is dissolved, mix into the glue mixture and get dirty! Use your hands to mix and knead until the water is absorbed. I ended up making more of the borax/water mixture because it just wasn't absorbing the liquid like I though it should.




A safety note to parents wanting to try this fun concoction...Borax is toxic if ingested so I don't recommend trying this with little guys (or really letting them play with it for that matter...just in case they decide it looks tasty!) I made this with Zach (11) and Max (6). Luke (20 months) has not been allowed to play with it as he likes to put everything in his mouth.


This was a quick and fun family activity that provided hours of fun for my boys and I. Max and I rolled it into a ball and played catch with it. We made hand prints in it, bounced it, tore it and made piles and watched it ooze all over the counter! Your flubber makes a nice mess if left on carpet or fabric so don't make that mistake (we were picking pieces of flubber out of the carpet for a bit on Saturday). It can be stored in a large ziploc bag.




Sunday, March 14, 2010

Taking Inventory

Recently I've read several blogs that list their inventory and I always find it interesting to see what other families are buying and are able to stock up on. So here's what's in my stockpile (and this is not my entire stock of food, just the items I have stockpiled)....

In the pantry:
53 boxes assorted cereal (Post, Kelloggs, GM)
7 Kraft BBQ Sauce
10 Krustaez Pancake Mix plus a giant bag from Sams Club
6 Solo Plates
2 Solo Cups
1 Solo Bowl
21 Progresso Soup
29 Lipton Soup Mix (Beefy Onion, Onion, Savory Herb & Garlic, Vegetable, Noodle Soup)
10 Ritz (Wheat, Vegetable, Snowflake)
27 Ragu Pasta Sauce
6 Wheat Thins
6 Triscuits (Cracked Pepper & Olive Oil, Rosemary & Olive Oil)
20 Hefty Trash Bags (Kitchen size and Lawn & Garden size)
11 Hefty One Zip
4 Mt. Olive Pickles
4 Mt. Olive Relish
19 Quaker Mini Quakes assorted flavors
29 Hamburger Helper assorted flavors (after these are gone I plan on coming up with
homemade versions of these not-so-healthy dinners)
7 Planters Big Nut Bars
5 Fiber Plus bars
31 Boxes Ronzoni/Barilla pasta
7 Orville Redenbacher's Popcorn (I found a recipe for homemade microwave popcorn!)
6 Cheez-Its
9 Marcal Small Steps Tissues
14 Kraft Mac & Cheese
31 Peanut Butter (Skippy)
22 Coffee (Melitta, Foldgers & Chock Full O Nuts)
6 Pepperidge Farms Goldfish
10 Wheatables Nut Crackers
15 Quaker True Delights Granola Bars
In the kitchen:
13 Finish dishwasher gelpacs (I've been working on my stockpile of this for over a year!)
33 College Inn Broth (beef, chicken, turkey, vegetable)
12 Lysol Pourable
7 Lysol AP/Bathroom Cleaners
2 AP Greenworks Cleaner
3 Greenworks Dish soap
In the laundry room:
5 Bounce Dryer Bars
10 Clorox Bleach
13 Spray N Wash
3 6 packs Fruit2O
In the bathroom:
19 Olay Body Wash
31 L'Oreal for kids Shampoo
11 Softsoap Handsoap
2 Softsoap Body Wash
9 Colgate Toothpaste
18 Colgate Toothbrush
10 Garnier Fructis (Hairspray, Shampoo, Conditioner)
17 Lysol Bowl Cleaner
26 Shampoo/Conditioner (Citre Shine, Finesse & White Rain)
4 Edge Shave Gel
12 Schick Quatro Titanium Reusable Razors
4 Speed Stick
6 Lady Speed Stick
106 rolls Marcal Small Steps Toilet Paper
13 Wetones Canisters
20 Nesquik Chocolate Milk
In the freezer:
40 Oscar Mayer Bacon
36 Birds Eye Steamfresh Veggies
3 NY Texas Toast Lite
6 NY Garlic Bread Sticks
4 Butterball Turkey Bacon
8 Butterball Chicken/Turkey Strips
13 Tony's Crispy Crust Pizza
19 Birds Eye Boxed Veggies
Keep in mind when you read the numbers that I do have a family of 5. I also donate to the food pantry at my church and often give items to family and friends. I can't pass up a great deal! My stockpiled items are all either free or very close to free!
Share your stockpiles and comment back so I can read it!

Friday, March 12, 2010

BIFOCALS??? Say WHAT??



Yesterday Max got a notice home from school saying he needed to be examined by an optometrist. His eyes had been checked by the school nurse and found to have 20/50 vision in both eyes. Naturally, I jumped on the bandwagon and made him an appointment for the next day.


We all wear glasses/contacts in our family. Myself, my husband, our 11 year old son, both our siblings, parents, grandparents...ALL of us. It's just a given that eventually all of our children will need them. I just didn't think at 6. So we talked with Max about getting glasses in a sugar coated way.


Oh, how much more handsome you'll be!

You'll be *just* like your big brother!

YOU get to pick out whatever glasses you want!



This morning he was excited at the prospects of coming home with his new spectacles. He had already been picking out different frames when his brother got his new ones earlier in the week. (And did I mention that we have to drive an hour and fifteen minutes to get to this eye doctor?) Armed with my arsenal of distractions for Luke, we headed out the door.

Max was called in and examined. I mentioned to the Dr. that the OT at school wanted us to pursue a developmental optometrist. (You can read about why Max has to see an OT at school HERE) He looked at me dumbfounded. He asked me why he goes to an OT and I told him that Max has Sensory Processing Disorder with the worst part being with his vision. That he's being seen because of behavioral issues at school and at home. Then he asked me if Max's teacher was male or female...? Ummm....not sure why it's relevant but, a female. So he suggested that next year I ask for a male teacher that maybe the female teacher just didn't like boys! WHAT? Dear Lord. No I said, we, his parents pursued treatment for him, NOT his teacher. In fact, she rarely, rarely calls with a problem.

The next part of the conversation just flabbergasted me. He asked me what I feed Max for breakfast before he goes to school. I said I feed him something different every day...breakfast sandwiches, cereal, bagels, whatever. What kind of cereal? he asked. Uh, well we have lots of different kinds...yes, bad ones I'm sure I said as I laughed sarcastically. So he proceeds to tell me I should take all refined sugar out of his diet and he'll behave! Then points to his Gatorade and says see, refined sugar. So I said well? everythings bad for you anymore.


Seriously? Who does this guy think he is? Honestly, the more I think about it, the more aggravated I get. I suppose I should just laugh and shrug it off.

Back to Max. My poor little boy of six needs bifocals. He's nearsighted and he over corrects while reading. I could have done lined bifocals or progressives but his lenses are so little that they would have been hard to progress and I figured if he can see the line it may help him adjust to using them. I know it'll be a challenge having a six year old boy be half way responsible with glasses and now on top of it he has to learn to use bifocals and have a line across his eyes all the time. The fortunate thing is that he may not have to use bifocals forever.

After we were done with his appointment I took them to Max's new favorite place to eat, Sonic. Max ordered popcorn chicken, apple slices and a bubble gum slush (and some of my x-tra long chili cheese coney with mustard and onions (YES, I had a chili cheese coney and tater tots AND a watermelon slush..Tony Horton (P90X, the hubby and I are doing a modified version) wouldn't be impressed!..and some of Luke's corn dog..and some of my tater tots). It's a good day when you get to eat at Sonic. BTW...our closest Sonic is an hour and fifteen minutes away and that's probably a very, very good thing.

Next week we'll go pick them up and start our journey. It'll be an interesting one.


So what do you think of my Dr.?


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Strawberry Bandit!

Today I was on Facebook chatting with my sister as I often do. Today I noticed it was unusually quiet. Having a toddler around that has 2 older brothers to mimic doesn't make for a quiet household by any means. This is what I saw when I turned the corner from the living room to the kitchen.

*NO* I didn't even hear the chair move. I swear. *YES* I left him on the chair so I could get my camera. He's my third, what can I say.


Just look at those little bites. Cute right? I guess he had to taste each and every one to make sure they were okay.

And at almost 20 months he was even smart enough to pull off the stems and leaves! (Now if I can teach him to make it to the garbage.....)


I guess this was the winner since it's half gone!

A Stand Up Company!


All too often you call a company with a complaint or comment and you simply get a "we're sorry for your inconvenience, ma'am." I'm in the business of calling with whatever issues I might have because frankly, it's my money! Most people don't bother and I think that's a problem. We work hard for our money and can't afford to waste it on inferior products and services. You have a problem? CALL!


That being said, I recently got 2+ cases of Stonyfield Farm Oikos Yogurt for free (sale+coupons=very happy me!). I did notice in the store that the foil lids were puffed but I honestly didn't think anything of it. The next day Luke and I each had one and I noticed they tasted a bit tangy. I called Stonyfield Farms customer service number listed on the cup just to find out if they were safe to eat. The customer service lady, Allison (I like her already..we share the same name!), was very pleasant and explained to me that it just meant the yogurt was fermented and was fine to eat but would taste "off." She also said it was a refrigeration issue and said she could send some coupons for free replacement product. She was sort of taken aback when I told her I had gotten 30 of them! She put me on hold for a brief moment and when she came back on she said I should take the product back to the store to have it replaced and they would send me some coupons anyway.


Today I got the mail and found an envelope from Stonyfield Farms. Below is what they sent me.






A very nice letter, coupons for 12 free Oikos yogurts and another packet of assorted coupons! WOW! That's fantastic! Very impressive Stonyfield!


Now you should go check out their website. They've got a program called My Stonyfield Rewards where you enter codes from products you buy and earn free products. Check it out! They also have great recipes and printable coupons. Go on over and check them out! And their Oikos yogurt is SOOO good!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

UGH, so sick!



My husband works at a school (germ city), the same school that my 2 older boys go to. He came home Thursday from work complaining of a sore throat. By 7pm he was down and out on the couch with the shakes and a fever. He only got about an hour's worth of sleep all night. He went to work the next day much to my dismay. By noonish he was home and having his mother take him to urgent care. $45.00 later he was home toting his giant horse pills. I never understood that! You have strep throat, can barely swallow your own spit and they expect you to take these giant pills the size of a small child!


Yesterday I knew I was getting it. Midday I started feeling my glands swelling and by 8ish that night I took my turn on the couch. What a horrific night! I haven't been that sick in a long time. Fever, sore throat, swollen glands, bad bad headache, chills, body aches, nausea..you name it I had it. I barely slept. One thing I do often when I have body aches and can't seem to get warm is to let the hot shower beat on me. I did that 3 times last night. Then I'd get into bed and cover up with my 2 comforters (on top of my flannel pj's) and wake up in a cold sweat. It was miserable.
Today I went to urgent care myself. I was hoping I could just go in and tell the doc that my husband had been in the day before and he wouldn't do a throat culture and charge me an extra 20 bucks. No such luck. He said to me after looking at my throat that he was giving me an antibiotic either way. So why do the culture? I don't get it.
I just have to say that WITH health insurance if we all get this that co-pays and antibiotics for 5 of us would be $225! OH DEAR LORD! Please God, don't let the kids get it. Not only do I not want them to feel this way, that's a LOT of money! How ridiculous is that?
Oh well, I'm going to shower and lay in bed.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Conversation Starters!

So it's been a very long time since I've done a conversation starters with Zobmondo so here goes.

Here's the question:
Would you rather...
For the rest of your life, choose the same drink and the same meal to ingest every time you eat
OR
have someone else always choose what you eat?
My answer?
I've gotta have some variety folks! Let them choose what I eat. I'll just have to learn to be more adventurous. What's your answer?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

KitchenAid..such a love-hate relationship

I broke down a couple of years ago and bought myself a KitchenAid Professional 600 6 quart mixer. I was so excited I couldn't stand it! If you know mixers, you know that I paid a pretty penny for this baby. I didn't mind because I wanted one so badly.

For an entire year I was thrilled with it aside from the volume of it. Lets just say you can't talk on the phone next to the machine when it's running. It's claim to fame is that it can mix up to 14 cups of flour at a time. I'm a huge homemade bread/roll/cinnamon bun/pizza dough/soft pretzel fan...anything involving yeast, really. My mixer gets a workout but it's okay because it's a KitchenAid, right? Heavy duty, right? Huh! That's what I thought. Literally 2 weeks after the one year warranty was up the stinking thing stopped working right in the middle of mixing dough. The motor ran but the mechanism wouldn't spin. Gears stripped. PERFECT! *SIGH*

I called KA customer service and much to my surprise they replaced it with a new machine! I was very impressed and my faith in the company was renewed.

After doing much research about my problem, I found TONS of others with the same problem! I guess they started making the gear box with plastic parts rather than the all metal that they claimed. At this point I figured it's all good because I've got a new one coming and another full year warranty on it.

Here we are 1 year and 3 months after I received this new mixer and guess what happened? Yup! Right in the middle of a batch of pizza dough. I cannot express to you how aggravated I was and still am. Not realizing it was 3 months past the warranty date I called KA again. The lady in customer service was very pleasant. She allowed me to explain what happened, put me on hold and when she came back on the line she explained to me that they would send me a refurbished model with a 6 month warranty.

Now am I supposed to be happy? afraid? I guess both? I'm very happy that they are sending me another one knowing that the warranty was outdated. I'm very scared that the gears will strip again. Part of me wants to sell it on EBay and buy a different brand. I just don't know. I do know that this should NOT be happening. It's not like I bought some cheesy floor model from WalMart! I suppose what I'll have to do is mix my dough and then knead by hand? I'll have to think of it as therapeutic.........

Al's Big Buys 3/2/10

So I had planned on taking a picture for you of my groceries this week and completely forgot. I don't know why, but I find it interesting to look at people's grocery pics. Here were the deals I got this week. SR is doing "dollar days" this week so they offer money towards your next shopping trip when you buy specific items plus free reusable shopping bags.

I want to first start by telling you of the opening conversation with myself and the young cashier. He said "Hi, how are you?" Me "Good, how are you" Him "Good and you?" I just thought it was slightly amusing. Then as he was scanning my coupons he called me a coupon warrior. That's a first..ha!

Oikos greek yogurt was on sale last week from $2.49 to 1.00. My store only had 3 kinds, plain (bleck), vanilla and strawberry. I was only able to get 8 because they didn't have enough in stock, so I got a rain check. Yesterday I used the rain check and got 32 more for free with my $1.00 off coupons. So in all, I got 40 of them for free.

Motts was the first dollar days deal I got. Their juice was 2/4, buy 5 and get $5.00 off your next shopping trip. I got 6 for $12.00 minus the $5 off my next trip = 6 juices for $7.00 plus a free bag.

Lysol toilet bowl cleaner on sale 2/4. I had coupons for .75 off each making them .50 each. I checked them out in 2 batches of 5 so I could get 2 dollar days deals with them. In all I got 10 for $5.00 and got $10.00 to use on my next order and 2 free bags. They paid me 5 bucks to take the cleaner and bags!

Green Works cleaners on sale 2/5. I got 3 dish soap and 2 all purpose cleaner minus my .50 off coupons, making them $1.50 each. Then I got $5.00 off my next shopping trip plus a free bag making them .50 each.

Perdue Turkey Meatballs (my favorite) on sale for $2.21 minus my .75 off coupon making them .71 per box. BTW, I used Perdue ShortCuts Chicken coupons on these.

Clorox bleach on sale for $1.69 minus my .50/2 coupon made them $1.19 each, plus a $5.00 off your next order coupon making them .36 each and I got another free bag.

Bounce Dryer Bars on sale for $4.00 each minus my $1.50 off coupons made them $2.50 each. Then I got a $5.00 off my next order for a total of $1.50 each.

In all I got $160.27 worth of groceries for $60.58, a savings of 62%!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

High Speed and a Shiny New Laptop!

So here on my road (you'd think I was in the middle of absolute nowhere!) we JUST got hooked up to cable last week..right in the middle of our blizzard. If you've recently switched from dial up to cable internet, you know exactly how my family and I feel. I can say honestly that it used to take me 20 minutes or more to upload ONE photo to the internet! I'll admit that we've been a little obsessive since it's so new to us. It still feels strange when I'm on the internet and the phone rings.


Anyway, we're elated and I can't wait to get my projects started that required high speed internet. I've stumbled upon digital scrapbooking and I'm looking forward to trying it out. I've always loved the way a well-put-together scrapbook page looks but lets face it, scrapbooking can be ridiculously expensive! Never mind storing all the tools, glues, marking pens, paper, embellishments...the list goes on and on I'm sure.


One of the things I need to get started in my new endeavour is a better laptop. I'm working on a laptop that was given to my son by his Aunt Heidi and it's good for surfing the internet and whatnot, but isn't good enough for the programs I want like Photoshop. Sooo....my husband being a LAN tech, helped me pick out a new one on a budget.


I searched for days and days and went from buying refurbished with only a 90 day warranty to getting a really good deal from OfficeDepot.com. I'm very excited to get my new one. Anyone looking for a good laptop for the money check out this deal from OfficeDepot.


Who knows? Maybe I'll start blog design!