Friday, August 29, 2008

If You Can't Take Your Dog....

......take your hermit crab to the beach.

We took our hermit crab, affectionately known as "Mr. Crab", to the beach last weekend. We fully intended to "let him go back to his family and make babies". So, after lunch our first day, we grabbed his cage and toted him down to the beach.

Olivia had the honor of pulling the lid off the cage and (lovingly) dumping him out onto the sand.

Well, instead of seeing him off and ending fond memories of him sitting on our kitchen counter, the kids decided he would be really fun to "play" with at the beach. Every once in a while, a "beach walker" would see him and yell at the kids to "come look at the hermit crab" they had found. Olivia would waltz up and say, "Yeah, that's my hermit crab...I'm letting him go!". Totally busting their bubble.

I have to say, taking him actually down to the beach was a great idea. The kids put him in buckets, watched him "swim" in the water, crawl around the sand and even made sand castles for him. I mean, it's not like he can get away really fast!!!!

The total irony of it all???

He is still sitting on my kitchen counter!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008


Why coudn't I think of this...and then be a millionaire. These are "one of those things" that I deal with on a daily basis. But never thought of finding a fix for it. It's called a My Plate Mate.

I'm going to have to keep my eyes peeled a little better.


...this could get very addicting. I'll just have a little collection of blog headers.... Hey, it could be worse.

First Attempt... this funky header stuff. Who's bound to change every few weeks. Though, I may just have to start digital know...with all my free time.

It sure is fun though.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

That Darn Beach Weather

We had a last minute beach trip last weekend. Then hurricane Fay tried to threaten us which made our decision even harder. We did not want to go to the beach if it was going to thunderstorm the whole time. I mean, can you imagine 4 adults entertaining 6 kids ages 7 and under in a condo for two days while it was storming?? Uh, I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy. BUT, we went anyways, and it was great. Actually, there was NO rain...and Birmingham got it ALL!!! haha!

This was Lillian's first time to really play on the beach. What a beach baby. She loved it. I couldn't keep her out of the ocean. She didn't care having sand in every nook and cranny either. She played so well.

Landon rolled around in the sand like it was snow. He couldn't keep enough sand ON him.

(he's trying to bury himself - go figure)

Olivia was swimming out to sand bars and braving the waves like a champ! She also found a bunch of shells and sand fleas!

I even got to hit up the Florabama again! hehe (it was a little windy....)

And then I took my family back!!

They ate off yellow frisbees! We had so much fun!

But everyone was exhausted by day they all are fed, bathed, in pjs, eating popcorn watching a movie...WOW...I'm not quite sure how that got accomplished....

Other than some really gusty winds on Saturday, the weekend was AWESOME! I'm so glad we decided not to back out. You just never know with beach weather....

Monday, August 25, 2008


WOW..... ::cliche warning:: Time FLIES! Olivia has officially started kindergarten. She loves it so far. It helps when you already know your teacher because you were with her so much the year before. Most of her classmates were back...and there are even a few new ones!

Don't they look so cute in their uniforms?? :-)

You're getting so big Olivia! We love you so much!!

The house has been pretty quiet today. Could be tired kids from our awesome beach trip! What an adventure that was!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Is This Too Far??

I just went through my trash to retrieve $5 in extra care bucks that I accidentally threw away last night. And let's just say it wasn't at the top. Do I have a problem??? Am I too obsessed?

Or am I just going crazy because I am leaving for the beach in 1.5 hours and I still have tons to pack, kids to wake up, one to pick up from HER VERY FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN, and I'd love to pick up so I don't come home to a messy house. Oh, and I've been up since 5:30 a.m. Hmm...I think I'm just delirious!

And, Hurricane Fay....don't mess with this mama!!!!! (pretty please)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

New Territory

Some BIG changes are about to happen in our home. The biggest being Olivia is starting kindergarten. She's never been away from me this long during the day/week. Last year was 3 half days...barely. Still, she is so excited and can't wait. But it really throws a monkey wrench into my daily/weekly routine! For the past FIVE years I've kept the same nap routine from 1:00 to 3:00 pm...most of the time even later. Olivia still takes a very good nap 5 out of 7 days a week. If she doesn't sleep, she stays in her room quietly. I need this time just as much as my kids do!! Half the time I'm showering in peace, but sometimes I sneak a nap in too.

So, beginning Thursday, she will be in school from 8:30 to 2:30 Monday through Thursday. (Fridays they all get out at 12:30!) That means she gets out of school right smack dab in the middle of my the kids naps! Mommy Lillian and Landon do not function well without a good afternoon nap/rest time. If they don't get one, well, I pay for it really badly later.

So right now, we're going to try carpooling with my neighbor where I take in the mornings, and she picks up in the afternoons. I hoping that this will still provide the time for Landon and Lillian to take their usual afternoon nap. But I have a feeling that we're going to still be swapping out days and mornings/afternoons. Then there are bound to be days where someone is sick and I have to get all the kids, or whatever else comes up during the year.

So, I'm pretty anxious about how that is going to turn out. Not to mention I have no idea what I'm going to do without her 5 days a week!! She is a HUGE help with Lillian and Landon. We are going to miss her terribly!! But I have a feeling a "different Landon" is going to come out. I'm looking forward to spending more time with him without his big sister. She can really drive the situation (sometimes good and sometimes bad) and he just goes along without even thinking. It'll be interesting what personality traits come out when he is now the oldest one still at home with me everyday. So, I'm sure we'll be getting the Growing Kids God's Way curriculum out and "spot training" in areas that I've overlooked so far. Yippee!!

No, seriously, this is new territory for me. My first baby is scooting out of the nest. Luckily, I know that she is in incredible hands! Oh, and I can go up and visit pretty much any time I want! hehe :-) It's only .8 miles down the road!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Daddy's Disclosures

Since my awesome husband got his awesome new job, he has less time to blog. SO...I think I've talked him in to periodic postings on my blog. They will be called "Daddy's Disclosures" (pun intended) and I hoping to get something out of him at least once a week! Maybe I'll tell him that he can't eat dinner until he writes his blog - just like the kids can't eat until the playroom is cleaned! hehe Anyways, this is his recent job happenings in his own words! Enjoy - he is an awesome writer!


God’s Rich Blessing

I had always been one who perceived success as self-inflicted. It has been this very mind frame that pushed me to my limits in most everything. Many times, I have also been the Bain of my success. My patience has always been something that I know needs attention. That said, from a career perspective, I have paddled myself in so many circles that I finally decided to let God have control.

It was about 2 years ago that I accepted the position of Accounting Manager with a well-known company. I must admit, going into the position, I had self-conceived notions of what my career path would look like as well as the culture that I was walking into. It wasn’t long that I had a “feeling” (impatience) that the culture wasn’t what I was looking for. I attempted to influence the culture in such a way that would develop the company to be what I wanted it to be. I pushed harder to attain success and acceptance by learning and developing, revising and redeveloping. I was getting nowhere fast. Although I had success based on my work ethic and ability to develop efficiencies, I was not getting what I wanted. I wanted a culture change. Ultimately, after a few short months I knew that I wanted something different. I searched every nook and cranny to expose some viable reason as to why I should get out. I was desperate.

It was in that time that I sought counsel, counsel that I had to seek diligently and with open ears. Over the course of several weeks it was apparent to me that my counsel did not want me to “move”. It seems like every verse that I read had some form of “hold fast” incorporated into it. I tried to reassess/retranslate the verses and the message that was so blatantly screaming “don’t move”. I had one job opportunity during this time of assessment that offered me well above where I was from an income perspective. However, I felt a strong urgency to stay put based on the counsel that I was so graciously given. Through my obedience I gained more experience in my career than I would have had I accepted the “better” offer. I eventually became the leader of the Accounting Department and my salary increased by almost 50% in just 18 months. Still, I had a “feeling”.

One day, a good friend called me and informed me that I should call a guy he knew. This friend knows me quite well from a career perspective and knows my aspirations and determination. Turned out, the guy that I called is a very respected and successful businessman who happened to be looking for a Controller. He is the type of guy that you meet and go, “wow, this is someone I want to work with”. For whatever reason, Danny became interested in me and although I was not what he was looking for in terms of experience, he was willing to give me a shot at a job that can greatly influence his continued success. Mind you, I have only been an accountant for less than 3 years.

That brings me to today. I am currently the Controller of a company called Summit Products, LLC. I’ve been given great responsibility and even greater opportunity. The culture fits. You know when you just know? It’s like when I met my wife, I just knew. I have an opportunity to mentor with someone who has been there, done that. I had no mentor at Stratton’s. I was a leader that was tapped out in potential. I look forward to learning and growing every day. I am excited about being a part of the Summit team.

Over the past several years I have learned one thing for certain; God’s timing is impeccable. Faith is the one key factor that allows for God’s timing to prevail. God’s timing is an incredible faith builder. Without His timing in my life, I would have no experiences from which to grow in faith. Over the past several years I have had to learn the hard way that I am not in control of my own life. God rewards those who seek and obey.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

At Least They'll Be 'Regular'

Not sure who decided to taste this, but I found my recent CVS deal opened and tasted!! And then put back. Guess it wasn't quite what he or she was expecting!! HA!

Thank goodness it wasn't anything toxic...I guess that's why they don't have a childproof cap on this one.

I just can't figure out which one it was. My guess would be Landon. I recently found him with a ring of chocolate around his mouth at 6:00 A.M. He thought OREOS would be a great breakfast...especially since I wasn't even awake yet. And when I finally got up, he was sitting on the couch as if he had been sitting there since he had gotten out of bed. Too bad an OREOFACE isn't too easy to hide!! :-)

Monday, August 11, 2008

CVS Trippin'

This might be my best trip to CVS far at least!! I guess that makes up for last week. :)

I had $5.00 ECBs that I knew I needed to stretch pretty far. I was also in desperate need of diapers for Lillian. So I did "moneymaker" transaction first to stretch my $5 ECBs further.

Transaction #1: (done at pharmacy counter)

1 Alavert $5.99
1 Children's Advil $5.79

$2 off $10 CVS
$2 Advil
$4 Alavert
$3.00 ECBs

TOTAL: $1.39 paid on a $5 gift card (they messed up my ECBs one time and gave me that instead)


$5.79 ECB (from advil)
$3.00 ECV (from Alavert)

Transaction #2:

1 Huggies $8.99 (working towards $5.00 back after buying $25.00)
1 CVS q-tips $1.50

coupons used:
$1 (huggies)
$2 (CVS skin)
$2 off $10 CVS coupon
$5 ECBs

Total: $0.62 (paid on CVS gift card)

Transaction #3

1 Huggies $8.99
1 CVS q-tips $1.50

coupons used:
$1 huggies
$2 off $10 CVS
$2 CVS skin
$5.79 ECBs

which put me -$0.06 so I had them adjust my skincare coupon to $1.94!!!


Transaction #4 (done at a different store)

1 Huggies $8.99
1 Colgate $2.79
1 Colgate $0.00 (BOGO)

coupons used:
$1 huggies
$2 off $10 CVS
$2 Colgate coupon I got from the register
$1 Colgate coupons I got from the reigister
$2.99 paid on gift card

TOTAL out of pocket: $3.69

Received back $5.00 from the huggies!! The exact amount I came in with!!

GRAND SAVINGS: $41.77 and spend a TOTAL of $3.69 out of pocket!! (and came out with $5.00 ECBs!!!)

I pretty much look at that as 3 free packs of diapers...with some q-tips, medicine and toothpaste thrown in!

I can deal with that any day! Boy, I wish I had learned this when we were really broke. I mean, we are a family of 5 living on Robert's income alone. It just kills me to see how much I could have saved over the years when we were living on an extremely tight budget - and that's an understatement!! But the Lord has always taken care of us!!

There's A Tiger On The Loose

And he likes to eat little children and babies.

Uh oh! The tiger is sick.

Is he breathing??


Friday, August 8, 2008


I thought I'd post one of my grocery deals instead of pharmacy trips. So here it goes.

Most of these items were BOGO at Publix this week. I had coupons for everything but the peanut butter...but it was $1.29/jar so it was still a great deal! The brushes were not on my list. But since I left my brush at the lake last weekend, and they were in the clearance bin for $2.39 each, I decided to get them. Robert's been using the dog brush. :-) He cleaned it out though - don't worry! :-)

Grand total $33.89
Grander savings $52.95

fajita kits were $0.97 each
ziploc bags were0.70 each
granola bars were $0.84 each
popcorn was $1.57 each
cereals were around $1.30 or $1.50
hunts was $0.38
yogurt 8-packs were $0.89 each

You get the point. If I had more coupons for any of these things, I probably would have bought more!

Now, if I can just find a place to keep all this stuff!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Hidden Deals and CVS

So it wasn't my best CVS run ever. I learned my lesson and should have broken up the transactions into 2 or 3 "around $10" transactions. Then I probably would have paid pennies! Oh well. I also messed up and grabbed a wrong toothbrush. So that's also why it came out a little higher.!! Ok.

TOTAL for this transaction: $4.33 (saved $54.24)

The batteries were on clearance for $2.90 and I had $1.00 coupons Had to get those. All the makeup was free because Cover Girl was BOGO this week and I used a BOGO coupon. Which is COMPLETEY OKAY TO DO. I talked to CVS corporate personally - after a rude encounter with a "manager" that said it was "HIS RULE" not to use my BOGO coupons. Oh, he got an earfull from upper management later, I'm sure of it!

I received back ECBs for the toothbrushes and toothpaste. All in all..not too shabby.

But this is where shopping gets fun. I just happened to notice those clearance batteries - good Energizer e2 batteries!! Then as I was pulling them off, there were 4 packs with $2.00 coupons I could use instantly!

So I bought 4 more packs of batteries all for $2.18!!! I'm not sure you can get batteries like this for $0.55 each at WallyWorld!! :-) And we go through AAA batteries like candy here!!

Always have to keep your eyes peeled! There are hidden deals all the time! My brain is still being trained to look out for these!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A Crayon and A Water Bottle

One of my favorite things about babies is that they are easily entertained. For example, during arsenic hour at our house the other night, I gave Lillian a crayon and a water bottle while I cooked. It entertained her for almost an HOUR!! I love it. Just the simple little things can make them SO happy! It's the little things. :-)