Sunday, January 30, 2011

Everything Is Green

The other night I washed a load of laundry. This is nothing new. One of my first chores as a teenager was to learn to wash the clothes. I am a little (others might say a lot) OCD! I love to wash clothes and fold them all neatly and perfectly and put them away in a very organized fashion. Early on in our newlywed days, Jason would try to help me wash or fold the clothes, but to this day, I prefer to do the job alone. I'm just a little controlling that way.

Anyways, the other night I was running a load of laundry in anticipation of our trip to Fall Creek Falls (that we just got back from and LOVED - more on that in another post). When it came time to fold the clothes I noticed some green spots on Jason's shirt and I found it a bit odd. Then I noticed that Joshua's jeans had some green spots on them...Abby Kate's new white sweater was also covered in green dots...Joshua's football jersey...Jason's khaki's...the towels...washcloths...socks...pjs... The mess began to get bigger and bigger and I quickly learned that ALL of my clothes in THAT load were colored GREEN!!!!

I quickly sprayed the clothes with shout and washed the load again. Well, tonight I finally got around to taking that load out and it is still.......


What's a girl to do? Any success stories on removing crayon from your clothes?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

"What Do You Do...

....when you are cold?"

My precious 3 year old gave the answer, "you snuggle".

My Jackson, you melt my heart daily!

Monday, January 17, 2011

My 2010 Year of Savings

Once again, I am grateful to see another year filled with savings! This year's total is almost a couple hundred short of last year's grand savings total, but I am still pleased. I am still a deal seeking momma and I pride myself on saving our family a lot of money when it comes to our grocery shopping. I love shopping the deals and stocking up on the items that go on sale. I love it that the kids are now all about my coupons and they love shopping with me and asking if I have a coupon for whatever it is that we are buying. 

I've also found that I can save big with the department stores when they have a sale. Unfortunately I haven't kept up with that total. I'm sure that would be a pretty impressive number, though. I actually had to go shopping the other day for clothes. I cannot stand shopping for clothes and trying on so many different things. Let me tell you, my hair was all about the static that comes with this season. Anyways, I was really proud of myself for only looking at the clothes that were on sale. I came away with some incredible bargains and the best part was that I got the majority of it for free using a lot of gift cards that I had been given. I also lucked out and found some church clothes and pajamas for next year on clearance for the boys at Kohl's! I walked away with a savings of over $250!!!

Now that I've proven to myself that I am in fact saving our family money by shopping the sales and using coupons, I will no longer keep a grand total on my blog. However, if I ever come across a deal that I just have to share I will certainly do so!

2010 Savings
Coupons - $2.75 
CVS - $228.23 
Kroger - $384.63 
Publix - $1,018.90
Target - $509.08 
Walgreens - $165.26 
Times Where I Saved More Than I Spent - 18

Total Savings for 2010 - $2,308.85

    Sunday, January 16, 2011

    The Biltmore

    Back at the beginning of our Fall Break in October, our family took off for a week in the mountains. Jason and I spent our first 3 years of married life in Kingsport, Tennessee. We have fond memories of our time spent there as a newly married couple and of our experience in Youth Ministry. We have many friends that are still there and anytime we head to the mountains, we love going a little further up the road to visit with our friends.

    We were able to stay with our friends, Matt and Cecile. Last year over our Labor Day break, we spent a long weekend in the mountains with Matt and Cecile. We decided on a day trip over to Asheville to visit the Biltmore. Jason and I loved visiting Asheville when we were newlyweds. In our early years of marriage, we made several trips over for long weekends. One Christmas we toured the Biltmore and loved it. They really go all out in decorating for Christmas. It had been at least 8 or 9 years since we had been back. I was amazed at how much more of the Biltmore they had opened for the public tour.

    The kids loved it and had so much fun spending the day touring the Biltmore! Asheville is one of those towns that holds a special place in our hearts. Its a place that takes me back to our early years of marriage. I loved experiencing the town and the Biltmore again with our children.

    The Biltmore 2010

    Friday, January 14, 2011

    Family Fun Friday

    Our party of 5 has decided on a new family activity - Family Fun Fridays! We are all so excited! I love that the kids are at the stage where they can objectively voice their opinions and we can all decide on something fun to do as a family. Last weekend I sat down with the family to plan out our weekly menu. With the threat of snow, I wanted to make sure that we had plenty of food. I also thought that sitting down with the family and deciding on our menu would help with the great debate every night - "What do you want for dinner?". I admit, it is hard to decide what kind of meat you want for dinner first thing in the morning. However, it is equally as hard to decide what to feed our party of 5 each night without complaints and planning ahead. I always have food stocked up, but if I don't have the time during the day to thaw out my meat, then we are out of luck. I love cooking, the stress comes from knowing what to fix each day. I love that everyone voiced their opinion on what they would like for dinner and that we were all able to agree.

    Our weekly menu this week. I can't wait to make next week's menu tomorrow!

    Jason picked my homemade chicken noodle soup, Joshua picked Spaghetti night, and Abby Kate picked Roast (I love it all). I can't even begin to tell you how excited everyone was for "their night" this week. I gave up on trying to fix dinner on Wednesday nights several years ago. We live too far out for Jason to make it home before church and for us to have dinner fixed and eaten before heading out for Wednesday night church. It kind of bothers me that we don't eat at home on Wednesday nights, but I've just learned to embrace it and accept it. We did go ahead and decide on the place that we would eat because that also always poses a challenge each Wednesday night. I have to admit that it was nice to know ahead of time what we were going to eat. It also helps with Jason's schedule during the week to know what he is going to have for dinner so that he can plan ahead his lunch appointments.

    Now, I am not usually one that likes to have a dinner schedule planned for each night. In the past, there were times where we tried to have a dinner calendar and I just didn't want whatever was on the menu that night. We are at a different phase in our family right now and having this weekly dinner schedule is going to be a huge help. I love that we can all give our input and help decide our family's menu. It is very exciting for the kids, but I think that I am more excited. For once, I don't have to be the deciding factor for each meal. I also love hearing what the kids find to be their favorite meal that I make.

    We decided to add a little fun each week too. After a long week of school, it is nice to have time out as a family. The kids are really excited about our Family Fun Fridays. Each week we will choose something fun to do as a family. It might be dinner out, a movie, a special treat, a camp out in the living room, pizza night, a ballgame, bowling, a trip to the park, ice cream night, etc. The possibilities are endless and the fun thing is that the kids help decide what we are going to do together. Family Fun Friday is also a great way to keep everyone on track with their behavior. Tonight our plans include dinner at Rosie's and a trip to Krispy Kreme. It is so hard to believe that we already have 6 year old twins and the time that has flown by. I know that in a few short years, they will have other things to do on Friday nights. For now, we want to soak it all up. I hope that the kids will have fond memories of the fun that we have on Friday nights. Whether we spend our time together out doing something or we are under our roof having game night, we will have fun together!

    Thursday, January 13, 2011

    My Love/Hate Relationship

    So, I've had my blog private for a few weeks. The reason...I don't have it updated. If you know anything about me, then you know that I don't like to do things halfheartedly. My OCD self is seriously bothered by things being undone and not fully completed. I've always given 110% and if I can't, then I don't even attempt to try until I can give my best. Anyways, I've toyed around with the idea of shutting down my blog for well over a year now. Jason has kept me afloat this last year and half encouraging me to keep at it. I moved my blog to private and now I'm second guessing my decision. I keep thinking of all the things that I can blog about and all the memories that I want to preserve. I have found more time to think of blogs this week with being out all week for snow and ice. So for now, I'm going to see what I can do. I think that I will try and blog the events that have taken place over the last few months and see where that lands me.