Ok, so what happens when you have a Daddy who loves basketball and the Lakers more specifically? You have a Lakers baby. Now, since it is the FINALS and of course we are watching every game one could say that Daddy is training her early. I think the saying is "train them early... and they shall not... hate sports?" I think it will just make it easier for her later on ;-) GO LAKERS...You can do IT!
We have been saying daily prayers with Cooper since he was a baby. At about 2 he started saying his prayers by repeating us. Recently, he has started to say part of his prayers on his own. Well, yesterday before Pete went to work, he started saying his nightly prayer by himself. He started off by blessing his Family and Sister then he said "bless me to go to the Zoo... bless me to go to the Animal Park... bless me to go on an Adventure"... at that point we redirected the prayer. He told me "no mommy, my turn" and started all over. I thought it was so cute and had to keep myself from laughing. I think it is neat that he understands that you can pray to Heavenly Father for things you want. We need to work more on the "thanking" part, but looks like we are on the right track!
We LOVE the outdoors so; there is no better place to live than the Pacific Northwest. We also love camping, but since we had Cooper and now Delaney I haven't been. Pete has only been a few times with the Scouts. It hasn't been enough for our liking... so we decided to bring camping to us, thus the camp fire, in our back yard. Yes, you heard me right... our backyard is large enough to have our own fire ring. We positioned it between two huge fir trees. The rocks were already in our yard so it cost us nothing.
Cooper loved helping dig the hole and even continued digging well after the pit was finished. It was so fun to sit in camping chairs and watch the fire burn. I even smelled like a camp fire after... which brings back so many memories. We enjoyed our "family home evening" by the ring and talked about nature. The only thing missing were the smores, but don't worry I have them on my shopping list for next time. I can't say it enough... WE LOVE THE OUTDOORS!
Times are tight for most everyone and money is something that should be "saved" instead of wasted or used to get "out of debt". Because I need to do both I have to figure out a way to reduce my monthly expenses. Since grocery's and incidentals make a huge dent in our monthly income and it's not a fixed cost; I should start here.
So what to do? I have seen people save tons of money using coupons; even get a shopping cart of stuff for cheap or even free. There are tons of blogs that are dedicated for this purpose. I was motivate! Besides who doesn't want to save $$$$?. So I got some coupons and went to the store... well I saved a few buck, but nothing "free" or even really close. Not much to write home about. Then, there was the problem that most of the coupons we really didn't use the products. Now what?
Well, I did much more research and found several mistakes I was making. First, it's all about stalking up. Getting "free" items or really cheap to supplement future needs. Second, not always is the "bargain bigger" size the best use of the coupon. For example I often buy the biggest package of wipes and diapers for two reasons. The first, is I need a lot and second, they are cheaper by the volume. Well the best I can do with the coupon is get money off the huge box and can only use one coupon per purchase. Not much savings. What I found is there is a better way to use the coupons. If I buy the small box's and have coupons I can get the smaller for really cheap or even free. By buying multiple quantities of the smaller item and using more coupons I can save even more money and get almost the same volume. With this you need to match up sales with the coupons. When the coupons work best is went the coupons are used during a "sale" of an item so it ends up being free. Hope this makes sense.
Also, I found a ton of "free" samples on-line. Of course they usually come in a trial size and not really worth the effort, but I found if I put them in my 72 hour emergency kit or use for traveling then they are worth the time and effort and FREE is FREE!
Ok, so with my new found enthusiasm I went shopping the other day and hit the jack-pot... I spent $148.32 in grocery sales and after using coupons I only paid $74.32... That is a SAVINGS of $74.00 dollars. Now who couldn't use and extra $74.00? Now this was just my first outing. I since have found a few more ideas and plan to put them to use this week. I will let you know the outcome soon.
These are just a few things I have learned. Stay tuned to find out more ideas and tricks to saving with coupons.
We recently upgraded the "FUN FACTOR" of our backyard. We got a really good deal, on this play structure, for Cooper. It was already put together so that was a huge plus. It came apart in a few pieces to transport and easily put back together. Pete worked really hard to build the play area and put in the bark. I will admit that after only wheel barrel or two of bark dust I was too tired and sore so I quit the "manual labor" part. Cooper LOVES his "house". I love it too, because he can go outside and play by himself now, when it is not raining. Looking forward to many hours of backyard fun to come.
I can't help cracking up each time I see these pictures. I bought sun glasses for Cooper & Delaney and of course made them pose for pictures. My original thought behind the glasses was to get Laney a pair since I waited too long to get Cooper his first pair a year ago. He wouldn't ware them. My thought process was that if she got use to them before she could take them off, then maybe she wouldn't. Here to hoping...
Well, since Laney got a pair Cooper wanted some. He has only really worn them long enough for me to take the pictures. I think the "old lady" design of Laney's is too funny, but she looks so cute. What do you think? Cooper's have sharks around the rims and on the sides and we do love animals.
My good friend makes these super cute hair band and sent a few to Delaney. They are made out of yarn and are so unique to what you can find in the stores. She also makes hats for kids and adults. She made one for Cooper and he looked so cute. Her prices are really reasonable. She will also make custom orders. Here's her link http://www.beanlees.blogspot.com/ check it out. THANKSMeg... You ROCK!
Check out the drool... Think she is starting to teeth.
Not a very good view, but I love th black and hot pink.
What is more fun than a good old fashion BBQ with friends? I love the smell of the BBQ and love hamburgers even more. Then there is the watermelon, chips and soda. Our weather was a bit cruddy... it rained most of the day and at one point poured. The kids tried to play outside a few times when the sun shown through the clouds, but soon after they either got rained out or muddy/wet. We had a great Memorial Day regardless and thank to the Karen's for sharing it with us.
On a more serious note, I want to take a minute to share my thoughts about our American Hero's. I believe that freedom does not come with-out a price. This price comes in all forms; monetary, time, sacrifice and death for many. If I did not say thank you to those that serve our country now and in the past, I would be remiss.
I personally have a brother that is currently serving, in the Air Force and has been for 10+ years. He is an officer with a current rank of Major. He is currently stationed at the Pentagon. My family is so proud of him and his choice to have a career protecting our country.
My father served, in the Marine Corp and my other brother and his wife served in the Army. I have extended family that is also currently serving. My grandpa Agnew also served. We are equally proud of their service and thank all of them for protecting us.
My heart this day is with the families that have lost their precious Mothers, Fathers, Brothers and Sisters. May God encircle you with his love and give you peace to know your fallen haven't died in vain. GOD BLESS AMERICA!
Pete and Wendy were married July 1996. We then waited 10 long years to have our first child, May 16th, 2007, a beautiful baby boy, Cooper. We were then blessed to have an equally beautiful baby girl, Delaney, on Thanksgiving Day 11-26-09. They are truly the reason we get up in the mornings. Wendy is a stay at home mom and Pete works as a Building Engineer for a local hospital. We moved to heaven on earth, the Pacific North West, in 1999. We can't imagine living any where else. We are lucky to live close to Wendy's family and miss those who live so far away. We are hoping to extend our family soon and can't wait to see what lies in-store for us!