Archive for July, 2011

I’m sure it’s not news to anyone that Ava is a little Drama Queen (I could have hundreds of funny t shirts made with all the stuff she says).  Today she bit her lip while she was eating dinner.  It must have really hurt because she was still complaining about it around bedtime.  Then she said to me, “I think I’m going to have to stay in bed all day tomorrow.  We shouldn’t go to swimming lessons so I can stay in bed.”  LOL  We’ll see if she still feels the same way in the morning…she loves swimming lessons!

Last weekend, we took temporary leave of our sanity and decided to add another puppy to the family!  Meet Bella…

Isn’t she adorable?  She’s a black lab/German shepherd mix and she’s the sweetest little thing!  She loves being carried around cradled in our arms like a baby (on her back).  It’s cute now, but wait until she’s 80 pounds and still wants us to carry her like that!

One reason we decided to get her was for our 6-month-old puppy, Amber.  Even though Amber gets lots of attention from us, and especially from the kids, she really loves having other dogs around.  We can already see that her mood has improved from having Bella around and she’s much more playful with all of us.

It’s definitely going to be interesting around here!  I can already tell we’re going to wish we had social security disability insurance or something to fund the dog food!  We’re pretty sure Amber is an English mastiff mix (we got her from the Humane Society, so we don’t know for sure) which means they will both be big dogs and we’ll really be going through the dog food!

Never a dull moment around here, is there?!

Whether you’re redoing your kitchen or are just always on the lookout for great decorating ideas, you’ll want to request the Kraftmaid Inspiration Guide.  I’ve requested it in the past and it was so much fun to look through it and get some fresh ideas.  It only lasts a couple hours because it’s so popular, so if you want one, request it now!

The kids and I spent last week up in Wisconsin with my family and on Sunday we got the whole family together for four-generation pictures!  I was so excited when my mom came up with this idea.  With nineteen people in our branch of the family, it’s not often that everyone is all together in the same place at the same time, so it was really nice to get a picture of everyone together.  Unfortunately, Chad had to stay home to work, so he wasn’t in the pictures, so we had almost everyone.

I’ll be posting the pictures to my Facebook and photobucket soon, but here are the highlights:

My mom with all four grandkids (Madison, Josie, Ava and Kelvin)

My grandparents with all four grandkids

My mom and sisters and me.

The kids and me

All of us.  My grandparents are in green, my parents are in white, the kids and I are in orange, my brother and his family are in red and my unmarried brothers and sisters are in blue.

There are so many more….individual pictures of each of the children, pictures of each family, etc.  But I’m sure this post is in photo overload as it is.

I’m planning to compile some of these photos into photo collage posters from Kodak.  They’re running a great Buy One, Get One Free promotion right now, which is perfect timing for me!

Here are the details if you’re interested in getting your own:

Buy one collage poster and get a second collage poster FREE — Must have two of the same size collage posters in cart to receive the discount. Photos may differ but both collage posters must be equal in value. Limit one free collage poster per new customer. Offer expires 8/3/11

  • Printed on heavyweight paper with matte finish
  • Created with Non-toxic inks: contain no hazardous VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds), and are fade-resistant.
  • Eco-friendly, archival paper: Made using wind-power and Certified Eco-sustainable by the Forest Stewardship Council
  • Features several photos on one print to tell a story
  • Multiple layouts and text option to create a unique project

I can’t wait to get mine ordered and get them on my walls to display!  These pictures are too great to keep them hiding in my computer!

Once upon a time, I had three blogs.  My personal one that only family and friends read (if even them! LOL), this blog and a money-saving blog.  I also had a 2-year-old and a baby under 1.  And it just wasn’t working out.  I spent all my free time after the kids went to bed trying to keep up on the deals to post on my money-saving blog.  I spent so much time and energy on that, that I wasn’t even going out and getting the deals for our family anymore.  Which kind of defeats the purpose of researching deals, if you ask me.  So even though I enjoyed it, I let the money-saving blog go.

Occasionally since then, I hear about a great deal and want to pass it on, but this isn’t a money-saving blog.  And it still won’t be a money-saving blog.  This is and always will be a parenting blog, but I figured, “Why not share a great family-friendly deal now and then?”  Will I be compiling and posting lists of store deals each week?  No.  Will I be stressing myself out and trying to post every single deal I come across? No.  Will this blog become more about saving money than about parenting?  Absolutely not!  But let’s face it….being a parent and trying to save money goes hand-in-hand for most of us.

So a couple of times a week, in addition to regular posts, I may be posting a few family/child/baby-related deals.  If I’m low on time, those will be the posts I don’t do, but when I’m able to, I’d love to help my readers get good deals and save money!

To start this off, notice those new coupon bars in my sidebar?  You can click on those, print coupons your family will use and be on your way to saving money at the grocery store.  And if printing coupons isn’t your thing or you always forget them at home, you can load coupons straight to your store loyalty card that will come off your total automatically at the register!  You can do that through Saving Star or Cellfire!  Plus, at the top of the sidebar, under “Pages”, you’ll notice a tab called, “Samples, Coupons and Other Savings”.  That is updated regularly with fresh savings for you!

Well, that should keep you busy until my next money-saving post, right?  I’m off to watch Lost if Chad will *ever* quit playing Guitar Hero!  LOL

One of the kids’ favorite activities while we were in Wisconsin was catching fireflies with my grandparents.  The first night, we tried getting the kids to catch them in their hands, but that didn’t go so well.  The second night, my grandpa bought them both butterfly nets and they were able to catch tons!  The actual net was about the size of a ping pong paddle, and it worked perfectly!

Every night, we caught between 10 and 20 in just a few minutes before the mosquitoes drove us inside.  We had it down to an art….the kids and Grandpa would go out and swoop several up in their nets, run back to us, my grandma would grab them out of the net and I would open and close the container quickly to avoid letting any out.  Then we would head inside and watch them light up before we released them.  I think it was more fun watching them crawl out and fly away than it was catching them!

Now that we started this, I’m sure we’ll be heading out to catch fireflies several times a week here at home, too.  I’m glad that the kids enjoy it as much as I did when I was little!  Nothing says summer like a jar full of lightning bugs, does it?

I truly had the best of intentions to keep the blog updated while the kids and I were up in Wisconsin visiting family for the last 9 days.  Unfortunately, my laptop had other plans.  Such as refusing to connect to my grandparents’ wireless.  No amount of arguing or coaxing would convince it to connect, so I had an unplanned bloggy vacation!  I was able to access the internet on my phone, though, so at least I wasn’t completely in the dark!  LOL

Needless to say, we made it there and back safely (trips like that make me nervous and make me glad I have life insurance !) and had a blast.  I took tons of pictures and will be doing several blog posts with them tomorrow.  Tonight, though, my eyes are threatening to close while staring at the screen.  Driving all day will do that to you!

Did you have an awesome 4th of July weekend?  We did!  We had friends visiting for the weekend…just a casual get-together, not a party requiring Holiday Party Invitations . But we had a blast!  Literally!

Chad really enjoyed his favorite part of 4th of July….letting his pyromaniac side out!

And the kids loved watching from the safety of the back steps, which was definitely the best spot for them.  I was sitting in a lawn chair on the driveway and a piece of hot ash came down right on my big toe!  It hurt for hours!


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