Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Just A Reminder

Whooo hoooo!!! I messed up my math the other day when I reported my savings. It is a little bit better. We are actually saving $1030 on our vacation package at the Polynesian!! :)

A funny for you...

Last night as Clayton was putting the kids to bed, Hayden said, "I want to keep the red stuff inside of me". He was referring to blood as he had just had his blood drawn earlier that day. Needless to say, he DID NOT think that was cool.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The worst pediatrician appointment EVER!

I took both of the boys in for their yearly check-ups today and expected everything to go rather smoothly. Unfortunately, I had no idea what was in store for poor Hayden. My newly turned 4 year old was subjected to pure torture. He had to get all of the shots that are required for Kindergarten plus have his blood drawn. It was horrific. I had to hug him tightly while a nurse held his hands behind me. Another nurse gave him 4 vaccines in his arms and she took forever to do so. Poor Hayden screamed from the pain and I couldn't do anything to help him. I hate that feeling of despair. It was a rather traumatic event and I am soooo not going to be the one to take Emerson to his 4 year check-up when the time comes. Nobody told me that this was going to be such a big deal. I thought that we still had another year before he got all those shots since he won't get to go to real school until Fall 2008. Ugh. Hayden was traumatized the whole way home and fell asleep just before we got home. He took a nap once I got him inside and he never does that. Poor guy. The good thing is that this is the end of the nasty shots for a long, long time. He is good to go. As for Big E, he left the pediatrician's office all fine and dandy. His appointment was super easy with no torture involved.

Birthday pics

Blowing out the candle
Cole helping Hayden open gifts, lol
What a cheesy grin!
Hayden and Cole marveling over the new Hot Wheels set
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Cole, Austin, Jackson, Carson, Kala
Big "E"
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Monday, January 29, 2007

Happy Birthday to my first-born!!

Wow, I can't believe that I am now the mom of a 4 year old. That seems so strange. 4 years ago on this very date, I gave birth at to a sweet little boy at 7:12am. I remember that moment very well as it was the turning point of our lives. Clayton and I had just become parents and we were a family at last. The saying goes that having a child changes everything and no truer words have ever been spoken. We have had our ups and downs as a family but it is a privilege to have such a special son. Hayden is a wonderful child and we love him very much. It is interesting to see him as he grows up. He is now becoming his own little person with his own thoughts and opinions. I never thought that we would make it through the baby years. I couldn't wait for him to get older so that he could do more things. Man, if I could only turn back the clock. I would go back and hold that baby tightly because I now know those years fade wayyyy too quickly.

Anyway, I didn't intend on getting sappy. I hope that Hayden has a wonderful time tonight at his party. We are going to meet 10 of his friends at Fun Depot. They are going to have pizza and I made some Spiderman cupcakes for them. Hopefully it will be a fun time for all! :)

Pictures will be posted later tonight.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Getting into the Polynesian spirit, lol

It's so cool to have these lovely flowers in my sun room. Every year, my Aunt Judy buys a new hibiscus that is pruned to grow like a tree. She usually throws them out once the weather gets cold because she doesn't want to take care of them indoors. I told her to give them to me instead. I got the orange one 2 years ago and the pink one was from last year. They are blooming like crazy and I get blooms year round. They are definitely getting me psyched for our trip to Disney's Polynesian resort. :)

Grandma Christie and the boys

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Thursday, January 25, 2007

WHOO HOO!!! Exciting news!

I am so sad that my family has decided not to go to Disney World this year, but I am so glad that we are going anyway because I got us reservations at the Polynesian today! I am soooo happy because that means that our hotel can be accessed by the monorail and it is really close to the Magic Kingdom. This means that I bumped us up to the Deluxe category but I still managed to save a TON of money. How did I do that? Well, I got a code that knocked over $960 off of our hotel. Isn't that crazy??? The code made the price of the room go from $315 per night to $189. I couldn't believe it. The guy on the phone made my day when he got us this deal. I went ahead and added 8 day park hopper passes and the dining plan. I was waiting to see if the dining plan would be offered for free but this code ended up saving me around $350 more dollars than if I got that for free. You can only use one promotion per reservation so that was a no brainer. I cannot wait!!! :)
***Update***My mom changed her mind and is now back on the itinerary. Yay!


Well, I know I haven't been the best about keeping up with my blog lately, but I have just had so much going on lately. I will try to do better. ;)

I have lots of scrapbook layouts to show you all but they are under wraps until they are revealed through The ScrapRoom and 3 Scrappy Boys. They will be posted as soon as I can do so. I have had to scrap like a mad woman over the past few days to meet my deadlines. It can be a bit stressful, but it is well worth getting the kits for free and being on their design teams. :)

Our Fall Disney trip has been changed. My Mom and my Aunt are backing out. Ugh! I don't think that any of my extended family members are going to go now. We are still going to go without them, but I sure wish that they were going too. As of this point, I have us booked for Port Orleans-French Quarter. That will likely change though. I really want us to be in a hotel on the monorail system. I know that rules out the Wilderness Lodge, but I still really love that one. I am just waiting to see what deals pop up and then I will go from there. A lot of people think that free dining will be offered during our stay. Regardless of it being free, we are definitely doing the dining plan. I can't wait!!

***Warning, MAJOR cable rant ahead***
I am so mad at Mediacom and Sinclair Broadcasting that I could just spit. They are feuding and as a result, I will not be able to see Grey's Anatomy tonight. I have had to watch the past 2 new episodes on the web. Sinclair broadcasts ABC and another channel (I can't think of which one). They demanded more money when their contract with Mediacom was up at the end of last year. Well, Mediacom says that they are being unfair and are asking for alot more than they should. In the meantime, Sinclair has taken their channels off of the line-up and so I have to suffer for it. Sheesh, I don't even get the local news any more. You better believe that I am going to be majorly ticked off if this hasn't been resolved by February 7th. I do not want to miss the new episodes of LOST and I sure as heck do not want to wait until they make them available online. Watching that show on my laptop just isn't the same. Clayton made an appointment to switch us to the Dish Network, but we had to cancel. We don't like the idea of holes being put into our walls nor do we want cords running everywhere. Besides, we were going to keep the cable Internet and that posed lots of problems for the satellite hook-up because they wouldn't be able to use our cable outlets. Sigh...

Saturday, January 20, 2007

The next best thing since sliced bread

I have recently discovered the best thing ever when it comes to cooking. It's a new place called Your Secret Kitchen. I read Heather P's blog last month and heard her raving about it. It is a place that you can put together lots of yummy meals and all the prep work is done for you. They also do all the cleaning, so you get to simply have fun. There are franchises like Dream Dinners and Super Suppers, but this is wayyy better because it is a local Mom & Daughter operation. They use local fresh ingredients and preservatives are unheard of there. The trout that I made was so fresh that it was caught that very morning from a local source. Cool huh? Another awesome thing is that their sauces are all homemade.

I did the 12 meal session and then paid a little extra to have the entrees split in 2 since they are around 6 servings each. The portions are perfect for us. I love coming home with 24 ready-to-go meals. We are eating better food (non-processed/fresh/whole wheat tortillas and breads) and yet I am not making a complete mess of my kitchen. Mind you, I can turn the kitchen into a disaster beyond belief by making the kids a peanut butter sandwich, lol. Anyway, check out a few things that I made in January (cut/pasted from their website):

-Pan-Roasted Stuffed Chicken Breasts
This was a big hit last time. A filling of sun-dried tomato, fresh basil, garlic and mild goat cheese is placed under the skin then pan-roasted to perfection! Special enough for company but bring out the cloth napkins and serve it to your family anyway! Comes with Fresh Herb Couscous.

- Carolina Pecan Crusted Trout
Fresh trout direct from WNC. Delicious topped with a pecan-breadcrumb crust and drizzled with our brown butter sage sauce... YUMMY! Comes with New Potatoes.

- Chicken Confetti Quesadillas
Cilantro pesto, jack cheese, diced colored bell peppers and chunks of all-white meat chicken combine for a super tasty and quick meal. Leave chicken out for vegetarian version. Comes with Spanish Rice.

-Parmesan Chicken Fingers
An all-time kid favorite returns! We marinate the tenders in a seasoned buttermilk bath and then you make up the crumb mixture, dip and you are done! You might want to make two! Comes with Rice Pilaf.

-Four Cheese Vegetarian Lasagna
Wonderful rich flavor! This is a mouth tingling recipe with ricotta, feta, eggplant, tomato, pesto, pumpkin, parmesan and mozzarella. The pumpkin adds an extra creaminess... try it, we're sure you will love it!

-Pork Tenderloin with Raspberry-Chipotle BBQ sauce
Lean and tender pork is marinated in our own homemade Raspberry-Chipotle BBQ sauce. Leftover sauce is then turned into a dipping sauce for the cooked meat. Done in 30 minutes or less! Comes with Oven Roasted Sweet Potatoes.

We were pleasantly surprised at how good everything is. It is so funny but the entrees that we were the most leary about turned out to be our favorites. For instance, we thought that the chicken fingers would be blah but they were soooo yummy. The lasagna sounded weird but was given a big thumbs up by all of us. The trout was a scary entree to try since Clayton and I prefer fish like mahi mahi and grouper, but it was my #1 favorite. It didn't taste fishy at all.

Anyhoo, if you live in the WNC area you should try them out. They provided us with our choice of wine plus numerous yummy appetizers while we put our meals together. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and will be going back on February 1st to do it all over again. They have all of their sessions and prices listed on their site. It cost me $215 for my 12 dinner session and that made each entree $17.90 with each serving being only $2.98. I did pay an extra $20 fee to have all of my meals split in 2, but that was well worth the expense.

Give them a try, I guarantee that you will love it. :)

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Well, where in the heck have I been??

Sorry for the lapse in between posts. Emerson kept us on our toes this past weekend and I have been exhausted. Poor guy threw up a gazillion times and you don't even want to know about his other issues. We went through 3 solid days of cleaning up yucky stuff all around the house. Luckily, Hayden never got it. Mom, on the other hand, did. Ugh. E's last day of sickness was Sunday. He never ran a fever nor did he have a problem holding down food on Monday, so I decided to take the kiddos to school on Tuesday. All went well except that I started feeling nauseous during breakfast with the Mom's Club. It wasn't too bad so I didn't think much of it. Heck, I have been feeling nausea since the beginning of December because I think that I have an ulcer. Anyhoo, I went to pick up the kids and everything was fine until I got home. Suddenly, it felt like I had been in street fight and lost. My body began to ache, my stomach was hurting, and my head felt like it had been run over by a steamroller. It is amazing how fast this virus took over my body. I took a nap while the kids did, but Clayton didn't relieve me from the kids until 7pm due to being in Atlanta all day on business. When he finally got home, I was able to take some medicine to put me to sleep. This morning I woke up feeling like the sickness had never happened. It was so weird. I couldn't believe that I had just spent the previous night laying on the cold bathroom floor in pain. Thank gosh it is gone. I pray that Hayden and Clayton don't have it now.

Last weekend I went to the grocery store and you will never believe what happened. I spent $.90 on over $47 worth of groceries! That is 98% savings!! I kid you not. In fact, the total was originally -$5.56 and they owed ME money to take their groceries out of the store!! Crazy huh? They made me grab a few things to bring the total up to a positive number. My store was tripling coupons that day for the first time since I have been doing the Grocery Game. Other Harris Teeters in NC do it more often, but mine stinks about that and so they rarely do it. I can see why now, lol.

Hayden's birthday is coming up on the 29th. He is sooo excited! We are going to celebrate with 9 of his buddies at Fun Depot. It is a fun place with go-carts, mini bowling, video games, a huge soft-play area, etc. It seems like his birthday is always so far away since he is the last of all his friends to have one. We have a group of friends where one child has a birthday in each month starting in June and ending in January. I am so thankful that it worked out that way. It is so much easier to buy one gift per month. Having the break between Hayden and Emma's birthdays is really nice. Hayden just hates having to wait patiently for his big day to roll around. Oh well, they say that you save the best for last, right?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

More snow pics from yesterday

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Clayton taught Hayden how to make snowballs. He thought that was awesome, lol.
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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Wow! We actually get snow in the mountains???

It snowed beautifully all day today. I have more photos to share, but I will wait until tomorrow to post them. ;) Posted by Picasa

Saturday, January 06, 2007

2006 Grocery Savings Report

OK, it is finally time to post the report to my blog. I am so happy to say that I saved a bundle over the past year thanks to The Grocery Game! If you are interested in getting more info. on the GG, click on this link. It only costs $1 for a 4 week trial. If you decide to give it a go, I would appreciate being your referral. :)

$2570-Amount spent at Harris Teeter from 1/1/06-12/31/06
$5492-Value of groceries

That means that I saved $2922 for the whole year! Mind you, everything I buy is name brand (except pretzels) and I shop in one of the nicest grocery stores in town. I love the GG!!!

I also do the GG for Walgreens, but I did not keep track of it the way that I did for Harris Teeter. I will say that I have gotten back over $1000 by doing their rebate program and using the list from the GG. Whoo hoo!!!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

December layouts for 3 Scrappy Boys

I had a fabulous time putting together these layouts using the December Cosmo Cricket kit from 3 Scrappy Boys. I had them done last month, but I just now found time to upload them to the ole blog. The pics are from 2005 because my 2006 pics haven't come in yet. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

My Silly Guy

Emerson found my favorite Abercrombie hat this morning and thought that he was soooo cool. I just had to take a few pics, lol. Posted by Picasa