Thursday, December 10, 2009

Saving money this holiday season

Don't you find that you spend money without even trying, during this time of year?! Sometimes, I spend money without even leaving the house!! The kids come home with this and that thing to send money in for, from school all the time. It can get overwhelming. Now, factor in Christmas shopping and man, the money flies out of the account!! So... I have been trying to do things like, go to the dollar store more, and going directly to the clearance section in every store. They all have them and you can find some GREAT deals!! you have to go there first and sometimes only go there, skipping the rest of the store. Why pay full price. I have also been studying my grocery circular and circling things i need. I went today to Shop and Save for the thursday save $10 off $50. The cashier actually asked me if I wanted to do 2 separate transactions to save yeah!! They usually make you leave the store and come back in. I also brought coupons, and only bought things that were on sale or I had a coupon for it. I saved $20 off the bat with the S&S promo, I saved an additional $8 with coupons and saved another $55 by shopping at shop and save and buying the items on sale!!! LOVE it. what a great feeling!!! Both the kids were in dier need for new sneakers, so we went to the mall and headed for the clearance section at a cool store called Jouneys for kids. they have cool skateboarding stuff there, so Chase was all over it! He found the brand he'd been begging me for, which is $59 for a pair of shoes...we found many options to try on at the clearance section for $19.99 same brand!!!! And Brooke found her clearance sneakers for $9.99. Man, this is addicting!! Today I printed off a $5off coupon from here and will couple it with a 40% off coupon on 1item i got in the mail yesterday to get something, for someone for Christmas. Do any of you have any money saving ideas to share with me? It is almost like a game to see how much you can save. Oh yeah, tomorrow, my friend Julie and I are going to a movie for $5 at AMC theatre. They offer movies for only $5 if you go m-f before noon!! I plan on seeing most my movies this way! Don't forget to leave me some more money saving ideas that you have!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Firetruck + horse + Santa = fun!

Today we took the kids up to a local shopping plaza to see Santa. It was about 30* and windy, so we froze our behinds a little, but it was worth it to see Santa arrive in a big firetruck!! He greeted the crowd and then proceeded to the horse drawn carriage, where each family got a turn to ride with him around the parking lot. This was so much more of an intimate experience for the kids, than just sitting on his lap. They sat on either side of him, and had a sweet conversation as we rode in the big white and red carriage. Brooke told him she wanted a Baby Alive doll and Chase, a snowboard. Santa asked questions about whether they were being good and keeping their rooms clean. He told Brooke to make sure to look under her bed, to see if it was clean (does he know everything or what!!) He asked Chase what he would do, if we didn't get any snow. He said he would just ride his skateboard instead. Fun. The horse was just beautiful, and of course, I felt sorry for him, that he had to pull us all around...After, we went to Starbucks for some hot cocoa -compliments of grandma and grandpa D. Here are some pics. My favorite, is the one where Brooke and Santa are looking at eachother.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Love, love, love this time of the year!! I just adore sitting and looking at the Christmas lights at night. So much, that I have been falling asleep out in the family room the past few nights. That part I don't like, because I have wierd dreams and am not at all comfortable, but for the life of me, cannot get up to go to bed. Sad, huh. Anyway. We usually tend to put the same decorations in the same places every year. This year, we mixed it up a little. Our tree is in the living room in front of the large window, and I have to say, I love it there. You can see it as you drive down the street. We spend a lot of time on the computer, and it is right by our desk, so that is nice. In the family room, we still have plenty of lights with our light up snowman, 2 lighted wreaths, and some lights on the fireplace. The hall bath even gets its own lighted wreath. Our neighborhood has lots of houses with lights too this year. Looks so pretty. What have you done around your house this Christmas season that you are enjoying??

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


A few weeks ago, I came upon a really neat idea, from another blog. I have been gathering supplies ever since, to create my very own. It is an Advent tree, that has goodies in marked boxes that the kids will open on the corresponding day in December. This morning's treat wasn't that exciting...they ALL can't be was a pack of gum for each. Some days have candy, others, holiday socks, mechanical pencils, chapstick, those washcloths that expand when you add water, or just a note for a free cone at McDonalds. I still have to get stuff for about half the boxes, but today being Dec 1 (YIKES) I had to get it up and going. The kids seem very excited, and they have to search the tree to find the correct number for the day. Chase asked if one is a flat screen tv. Yeah. He did ask which one is the most expensive. I told him it is box #25. It is priceless. His guess was a heart that I kissed - cute. It is actually the baby Jesus from our nativity that they will open on the 25th and place in the manger, since He is the biggest, most important gift. I wonder if they will figure it out by the 25th. I bet Brooke notices that He is missing from the nativity scene..we'll see. Here are some pics of it so far. Excuse my yucky refrig in the backround. I took some brances from the back yard and spray painted them with leftover paint from the bedroom furniture. Then placed florist foam in the bottom of my vase and stuck the branches in. Added some berries, my mom gave me for color and then decorated the boxes and numbered them. Hung them with ribbon. EVERYTHING I bought was from the dollar store!! We used to make chains out of paper and the kids would pull off a chain each day to count down to Christmas day. What do you all do??

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Happy Birthday to my Hubby

Today is my wonderful husbands birthday. I just got off the night shift, and have beeen up for over 24 hours straight, so my mind is dull, but I coulnt let this day go by without wishing him a very happy birthday!! The kids and I made his favorite dessert -do you remember Jello cheesecakes?? He isnt much of a sweet eater, but loves this. If you havent had one in a while, you should revisit it, it is as good as you remember. I am about to stay up just a bit longer in oreder to make another favorite of his, baked mostacolli. I want to have it all mixed together and prepped, so when i wake up and he is home from work, it will be ready to just pop in the oven. Happy Birthday babe, I love you very much!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fun Holiday ideas

I just finished reading today's post over at centsational girl and know what my next project will be! She just made a really cool Advent tree, using branches. Check it out, but come back! I am a branch lover too, and have various branches that I got from around our yard, stuffed in vases around the house. I love the outdoor look indoors. I just so happen to have left-over spray paint from the bedroom furniture project, that will go nicely on some of those branches. My plan is to shop dollar bins, looking for various boxes. I will let the kids decorate each of the boxes - won't that be fun to have over the yrs to come. Then I will fill them with little surprises, that they can open each day of December. The last gift will be baby Jesus, that they can place in the manger after opening, since He is the greatest gift of all. I am really excited to start gathering all the items needed for this, and will post my progress.
My friend Kim, (she doesn't have a blog, well she does, but DOESN'T HAVE ANYTHING ON IT AT ALL) has the CUTEST ideas for all kinds of things, from headboards, bows, monogrammed camera straps, shower curtains, and her latest Christmas ornament wreath. She NEEDS to blog about these so you all can see her great work!! She does post her projects on facebook, but, anyway. I also plan on making the ornament wreath and can't wait for that too! What fun things are you working on or planning to do?? Do share!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Baked French toast Casserole (Paula Deen's recipe)

Julie, over at Three against one, is having her Tuesday Tasties. She is hosting a Holiday recipie party. Go check it out after you read this YUMMY breakfast casserole from Food networks, Paula Deen. I have my family over every Christmas morning for a brunch, and make this along with some egg is to DIE FOR!!! And it is sooo easy, as you prep it the night before and just pop it in, in the morning, the smell as we open up the kids presents is WONDERFUL!!

1 loaf french bread
8 large eggs
2 cups half and half
1 cup milk
2 tblspoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
dash salt

Slice french bread into 20 slices, 1inch each. Arrange slices in a generously buttered 9x13 baking dish, in 2 rows, overlapping slices. (I usually just jam them in all over, the more the better). In a large bowl, combine the eggs, half and half, milk sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Beat with a whisk until blended but not too bubbly. Pour mixture over the bread slices, making sure all are covered evenly with the milk-egg mixture. Cover with foil and refrig. overnight.

The next day, preheat oven to 350degrees.

Spread Praline Topping (below) over the bread and bake for 40minutes, until puffed and lightly golden. The recipie states to serve with maple syrup. But I never do, it is delicious on its own.

Praline Topping: (AKA to die for)
1/2 pound (2sticks) butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
2tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
combine all ingredients in a bowl and blend well.

This is the easiest, most yummiest thing that will ever pass your lips and land on your hips:)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Christmas is in 2 months!!

Did that title grab your attention, or what. Seriously, less than 2 months and Christmas will be here. I love to shop for presents, but who doesn't. Especially when you could just whip out the ole charge card and shop til you drop. BUT, this year is different. It is the first time in a long time that we can spend only what we have. Yikes. We had the kids start to make out their lists already so I can start to look and plan. Brooke and I actually went to KMart on sunday. It is NOT my favorite place to shop. It is a drab looking store and you cannot find someone to help you for the life of you. However, they do LAYAWAY. I saw the ads for that, and thought, that is what we will do this year. Is anyone else out there old enough to remember what layaway actually is??!! I remember working at Brook's Fashion as a teenager and people would come in all the time to pay on their merchandise in layaway. I am happy to be back in the 80's in that respect. It will feel very freeing to not be bogged down with major credit card bills after the fun of the season is gone. I got ALL of my shopping done for Chase!! And so far, it has only cost me $30.00!! yes, it will be much more after I make all the payments. but, how fun!! Does anyone know of any other stores out there that do layaway. Please let me know. And happy shopping, the clock is ticking.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Burried treasure

First of all I am FINALLY done with the armoire. It turned out okay. It was harder than the nightstand, I guess because it is so much bigger. We brought it in last night, and once in place and I was able to give it a closer inspection, I see a few spots that I will have to deal with. But oh well, It is done.

Now, for the burried treasure. We had our church small group over last week. We put Dewey in our room, so he wouldn't bug everyone. While in there, he scratched up the carpet by the door and revealed...........beautiful hardwoods! So, that is my next project. Mike wasn't ready to take on the whole thing yet. But I wanted to at least pull up the section where the armoire goes, since we already had it out to paint. There was quite a few staples and nails in the floor, and we will replace the baseboard eventually, but I am gonna love it! Who knows how long it will take for us to rip up the rest of the room, but it is our room, so no one will really see it but us. How exciting to find a treasure like that. The carpet in there is yuck, it was old when we moved in 8years ago!! So, this is great news. Thanks Dewey! Here is a pic of the section of floor I revealed yesterday.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Armoire update

It has officially been 14 days since my last post about my DIY bedroom furniture. What can I say, it is one of the biggest (and probably, ONLY) drawbacks of a DIY project. There have been a few obstacles getting in the way of me completing (starting) the armoire. We had rain, tons of it, for about a week here!! Plus the weather decided to get freezing cold for awhile. And, a girl has to work! Well, yesterday was the first beautiful day in a long while, and I was off work, so I got my behind outside and pulled off the hardware, sanded the drawers, primed them, and spray painted them. Brooke had dance that afternoon, so that is as far as I got. So, now I have finished drawers all over the house. I don't want to put them back in the, because IT still needs sanded, primed and painted. Someday. I am hoping this weekend will be the time!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


I love to read blogs. I especially love to look at sites that take old yardsale finds or things you already own, and make them new again. I have been wanting to do something to the furniture I've had since leaving home, for a long time now. After looking at countless decorating blogs and watching a lot of HGTV and DIY (which Mike has told me to QUIT WATCHING, because he is somehow dragged into my projects, or at least his strong muscles are:)) I have FINALLY stopped thinking about it, and started to DO it. Now, of course, that I am painting the furniture cream, the cream walls will eventually need to be changed, but that will have to come later. I have finished my nightstand and love it. Next is the armoire. I have cleared out the drawers and taken most of them out to the garage, but the work on that piece will have to wait till thursday. I work tonight, all night, so will have to sleep tomorrow, but can't wait to get started. If you have an old piece of furniture, here are the steps to take.
* First wipe down and clean your piece (after removing hardware)
* next lightly sand the whole thing, so the paint will adhere.
* roll on a primer, and allow to dry for about an hour
* start to apply spray paint. I did this outside in the grass. I placed the nightstand on a big piece of plywood and went to town. I used Rust-oleum satin Heirloon White. I got this color idea from a few of the blogs in my sidebar, Centsational girl and The Lettered Cottage. They both have such FABULOUS ideas, you should check out!! Anyway, I applied 3 coats, about 20 minutes apart. Then allowed to dry for 24hours before moving.
* I sprayed the brass drawer pulls with some leftover spraypaint from my kitchen redo, and I like the way it turned out.

I forgot to take a before pic of the nightstand, so I posted a pic of the matching armoire "before" and will post the after of it later.
I have to say, it is fun and rewarding to redo a piece of furniture. And with budgets being a little tighter these days, it helps save money, and I still get a "new" look! Have any of you redone something?? What did you use?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

And then, there were two

Remember just a few days ago, all the drama and trauma that surrounded Brooke and her loose front tooth. Well this morning she lost her other front tooth, and the story was quite different!! The only similiarity to these stories, is the fact that she could wriggle both those teeth, to the point where it even grossed me, the nurse, out!! This tooth, she just wriggled with her tongue and it came out!! She walked into the room with the tooth lying on her tongue, saying, mom, I need your help. She just didn't want to touch it. So, here she is toothless. SO CUTE!!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

My baby is SIX

****UPDATE: Brooke decided she did not want her ears pierced after all. She keeps apologizing for not doing it??? I kinda thought that might happen when she actually got to the store. Oh well, I told her if and when she is ever ready, I will take her. And yes, she lost her tooth the next day after the original post. That was an ordeal too:)

Today is my sweet little girls 6th Birthday! Where on earth have these past years gone??? I still remember sitting in her room, nursing her in the middle of the night. That was always my favorite time with my babies. She, like her brother, has turned into such a sweet, caring, compassionate child. She is ALL GIRL!! She LOVES shoes, painted nails, hair accessories, jewelry, frilly things, new clothes, makeup - all things feminine! She loves dance class and loves to sing, she loves to talk to her imaginary friends all the time in the bathroom or when alone. She loves to "read" books to us and her stuffed animals. I love the fact that she still sleeps with her blankie and her stuffed pink bear, Pink Tulip. Like all of us girls, she is emotional at times and also loves to sleep in(unlike her brother who sets his alarm at 6:30 am every day to read) -she wants just 5more minutes about 10 times!!

This is what she wore to school today on her birthday. She says she gets to wear a pink paper crown all day and sit in the special chair in class today. She brought special sprinkle cookies for snack. Afterwards, we are going to the mall with Grandma Deemer, Grandma Jan and Aunt Kathy (we wish with all our hearts, that you were here too Grandma Paula, you KNOW you will be in Brooke's heart). Brooke is getting her ears pierced (so far) and then we are going to the Cheesecake Factory for lunch. Happy Birthday my sweet girl, you are my angel. Daddy and I love you sooooooo much!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

hanging by a thread

Brooke has lost about 4 teeth so far. Right now she is dealing with one of her front big teeth being extremely loose. She has been showing us, and wiggling that tooth for about the last month! Well, last night it became sooooo loose, it is hanging lower than the other front tooth, starting to turn grey at the top and litterally, hanging by a thread. She cried for an hour last night before bed, wanting it out so bad, yet so afraid to make it happen. I even gave her a piece of bread to bite into so it will just pop out. Poor thing held that bread, put it to her lips a dozen times, but couldn't quite muster up the courage to bite it. Mike, Chase, and I, all offered to pull it for her, she did not want any part of that. So her and I lay in bed together and prayed for courage and strength. Then she asked the tooth Fariy to pull it for her while she slept. She said it loud enough so that she could hear her...since she was waiting just outside her window (Brooke said this). So cute! So, began the fun for Mike and I. We waited 2 hours till she was in deep sleep. I was up first. I had tissue in hand. Crept (how DO you spell that word) into her room, and began to tickle her lips to get her to open her mouth. A few times she opened her eyes, but I could tell she was out of it. Then she would roll over. Hey, this is harder than it might seem!! So , I left, defeated. and told Mike he was up. He went in and tried to simply, gently, pull her lips apart. Needless to say, neither of us had any luck. We chickened out! I DID leave her new toothbrush, a dollar from Chase (how sweet) and some hello Kitty bracelets I got from the dollar bin at Target, under her pillow anyway. WHY you ask, well the tooth fairy told me she did that because SHE was unable to open Brooke's mouth last night to pull it, and she KNEW that if she left the stuff, Brooke was be brave enough to pull it sometime today. We tried to be brave this am before school. No luck. She said she wanted her teacher to pull it at school today. So, off she went with that tooth STILL hanging by a thread. Bless her heart!!

And just to update you all on my back. Things are slowly improving day by day. The morning hours seem to be the worst for some reason. Dr. K has been coming daily. I thank you all for your prayers. I am going a little stir crazy, as I like to go somewhere daily and the only thing that I've done this whole week, is go for a short car ride guessed it McDonalds. Gotta have my diet coke!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Oh, my aching back!

Many of you know that a few weeks ago, I got back on the diet bandwagon and also started to do my walking again. I was feeling so energized and could start to see small differences in my legs. I would go for my long power walk and then swing by the house to pick up Dewey and take him once around the block at a slower pace. Well, last wed and thurs I decided to start taking Dewey with me on the whole walk, (he's on a diet too). On thursday I also tried to keep his leash shorter and to try and get him to heal with me, instead of always pulling. He is already a 65pound dog, and little did I realize at the time of our walk, that I was doing damage to my low back. On friday, I got the kids off to school and ran some errands, and it was then, that my low back really began to ache. By the evening it was killing me, and I had to teach 6 couples how to give birth the next am, so I HAD to get some relief. So, I called the best chiropractor in the world, Dr.K, and she dropped everything and came to my rescue. By the next morning I was still sore, but able to go teach class.....unfortunately, my back didn't think that was so great, and by Sunday am at 5:00 I was in such misery. It was pain worse than giving birth in my book!!! So here I am today, tuesday, still battling the on and off muscle wrenching pain in my back. Dr. K is coming everyday this week to see if we can get it under control for good. I tell ya, I have some great moments where I think, Hey, this is really improving, then litterally the next hour I am bent over in pain. I just want to get back to normal again!!
I do feel very blessed right now, even with the pain. My friends and family have been GREAT!! I have gotten 2 FABULOUS meals from Julie and Kathaleen, which is spoiling us all!! YUM YUM YUM is all i can say. Thank you guys again. You are so sweet. Also a HUGE TY to Julie, for always calling to see if i am in need of my McDonald's diet coke, and bringing it to my door. WOW, what a friend and neigbor:) Thank you to mom and dad, for taking Brooke to play and lunch, and then to her dance class. What would I do without you two AGAIN!!! They also brought me a huge diet coke yesterday too. Sad, huh that everyone knows that's what gets me through the days! Well, my back has had enough time in this position I am in right now, so I will end this long post! Please pray that my back will be "back" to normal SOON. Thank you.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

There are no coincidences

Today was a day like any other day. UNTIL. Our sweet dog Dewey almost got hit by a car. I just recieved an email earlier today about living each moment, because you never know what will happen in a year, a month, a day, a minute, a second. Boy is that the truth!! In a split second, I stood in my driveway, eyes focused on my Dewey running out to meet the oncoming car. All I could think to do was drop the mail I was holding and scream a blood curdling scream of "D-E-W-E-Y!!!! I saw the whole thing happen in slow motion. And the only explanation I have for him not getting injured is God sending His angels to intervene. Because where I stood, it looked like his back leg was going to be totally mangled by the cars back wheel. When in fact, all that happened, is he got a huge black mark from the tire rubbing up against him!! Nothing else but dirty fur! Praise God. We learned tonight in Bible study that there are NO coincidences in life. Only God intervening in certain times of our lives. He IS there when we call out to Him in our greatest times of need, and for that I am so grateful. I don't know what I would've done if something terrible happened to our baby. Thank you God for protecting our 4-legged baby!

"PAY" attention in school

Does anyone else out there feel overwhelmed when school starts?? Yes, it is nice to have some time to myself and all. But from the minute they enter home after that very first day, the papers, rules, folders, fundraisers, on and on, keep coming home with them. NOW this year, I have it all times two!! Pages have litteraly been flying off of our checkbook. It is only the third week of school and our Fall fundraiser has begun and ended! Me, feeling guilty, wanting my kids to partake in the big celebration party, complete with bounce houses, if you sell a certain amount of items, had to make up the difference for both their order forms, to get them to that magic number. OOH, that was just the biggest run on sentence, sorry. Anyway. then I bought an Entertainment book, Chase needed to rent a violin for his strings group, we signed up for our Club HOPE - that I help lead, Brooke's dance is starting back up $, money for school lunches and milk, adventure club fees, AHHHHHHHH. Next, Halloween costumes, then CHRISTMAS WILL BE HERE BEFORE YOU KNOW IT!! Stop the world, I want to get off! Are any of you feeling the same way? Or is something else on your mind about the new school year starting? Do share.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

DARE delivered

This post is in response of a DARE from my friend Kelli, who blogged about the funniest website, Awkward family photos. In it there is a picture of a girl with her cabbage patch doll. The girl is also sporting the ever popular, bi-level haircut. Yes, I admitted to having such "do" back in the day, and she dared me to post a pic from that here it is. While I was at it I found one of me with the bi-level cut that also proves that, yes, once upon a time I WAS thin in this life!! I cut off my friend Susie who is in the pic with me, in one of the photos...she, also, was sportin the "do", but she was not dared, so I will spare her the public humility!! Does anyone else have any pics of themselves with the bi-level cut or some other trendy delight???? DO SHARE!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Back in the groove of things after our fling

Whew! What a whirlwind it has been here. We just got in last night from a fabulous getaway to Florida. We had been thinking about a trip all summer, and were so undecided if we should or not, and finally booked our flights a few weeks ago. We left on tuesday and headed to sunny Orlando, where Grandma and Grandpa Rogers live!! The flight was great (esp with a little Xanax on board) :) The kids were soooo excited to see their G & G!! On Wednesday, we spent the day with Grandpa at The Holy Land experience. All I can say is WOW! They re-inact the crucifiction of Christ......right in front of you. I know they are all just actors, but you really felt as if it was Jesus himself in front of you. You truly could feel God's presence over that place. Cool. Then, the next morning we got in Grandmas car and headed down to Ft Meyers for a few days. We got to stay at Mike's boss' condo, went to a couple beaches and swam a lot at the condo pool!! We headed back to Orlando on Sunday am, and got to spend more time with G&G and uncle matt and his girlfriend, who is visiting the USA for the first time!!! So cool. Thank you sooooo much again, Frank and Paula for EVERYTHING!!! We love you guys and miss you already!!

But, we had to get back home, as the kids had meet the teacher last night and the first day of school today. Nothin like cuttin it close. Today is my baby's first day of Kindergarten!!! It helps to know that Chase is there with her, as the BIG 5th grader!! He had to look just "so" today. He told me that "how you look today, will determine your nickname for the rest of the year"....So, dressed in our new duds, with our hair product in, and deoderant and body spray on, we were ready to conquer the school...yikes. Brooke, was in one of her fav new outfits too, with her new Hannah Montanna book bag. It was cute. All the parents (dads too) stayed home till the kids got on the bus. It was a full bus stop this year. FUN!!

So, with BOTH kids at school in the morning (Brooke is half day), I have NO EXCUSE but to start my walking... and that is exactly what I did already this am!!! It felt so good. I am tired of being tired and slug-like. I hope I can committ and keep it up!!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Tax Free.......YIPEE!!

This weekend is the annual tax free, back to school shopping event here in Missouri. (Is it happening everywhere??) My good friend JULIE called me up Friday am and asked the kids and I to join her and the girls, on a shopping adventure. I was indeed up to the challenge!! I remember growing up, how we always went shopping in August for some new duds for school. It always helps to give that little bit of extra confidence, as you start the new school year!! The Carters store at the Mills is having a 50% off sale, and then Julie gave me a 20% off coupon, PLUS no sales tax = one, great, day, of, shopping!!!!! Here are a few of the new outfits for Brooke and Chase. FUN FUN FUN!! hope you all are having a great weekend....are you tax free too???

(IN)COURAGE -SO great...check it out!









our family

our family