Friday, January 29, 2010

A day late & ten dollars short

Yall know those people who are "a day late and a dollar short?" Well, that was me yesterday.

Recently, Charon asked me if I knew how to play the coupon game. "No. How?" was my reply. "I wouldn't have asked YOU if I knew how," was hers. "Oh.".... Well, Charon had seem some pretty cool couponing moves from a girl in her Sunday School class and was wanting in on the MAJOR money saving action. Cool couponing moves just sounds funny, huh? Or is it just me? Probably just me....

Anyway, Charon emailed a couple days later and invited me to a small little coupon class. I went, and yall, said Sunday School friend, Jennifer, is AMAZING at saving some money. I was amazed. First, look at all this stuff she got for $3.77. Yes, THREE dollars and 77 cents. And it's namebrand, good stuff... The batteries alone would have been over the amount she paid for everything... all from couponing...

My question, of course, was, "you FEED people? like you buy food and spend this little? Not just batteries, Benevia drinks (by the way what is a Benevia?) and over-the-counter medicine?" And yall, she DOES. You should have seen some of the receipts she had.

Anyway, this story isn't about Jennifer's mad couponing skills. It's about being a "DAY LATE AND TEN DOLLARS SHORT....." (hence, the title...)

The class was two weeks ago and after leaving, I couldn't wait to get my hands on some coupons and start saving some serious money on my groceries. I've never been one to cut coupons because anytime I look, it's stuff we don't use. (Hello, Benevia drinks)...."They rarely have coupons for stuff we buy"... or so I thought... But after the class, I was totally in. DW works hard and a lot of hours every week to provide for our family, and if I could save some money by researching a little and cutting coupons, I totally would. (Plus saving money means that the money saved can go toward something else...see my thinking?!?!? If DW reads that, he'll be cringing...his thinking is that money "saved" is money in NOT spent...ha)

Yesterday was the big day. I'd scoured the Publix ad, got all my deals worked out, gathered my coupons and made my money saving list! I was ready. Yall, I had it worked out to where I was getting Luzianne tea bags for $.26 a box, Texas toast (the frozen boxes) for $.80 cent a box and a few other things, not to mention $10.00 off my total bill.

As I was gathering up my things, I noticed the expiration date on my $10.00-off-my-total coupon... was EXPIRED. Yep, it was good through January 27th. DANG it... But, that wasn't stopping me. I still had all those other steals and deals...the coupon grinch, AKA the expiration date, was not robbing me of my couponing joy. No sir.

When we got to Publix, I noticed there were different deals than the ones I had prepared for. I couldn't find any of the things that I had written down as sale items and had my coupons for. About my third attempt at one of the deals returning void, it hit me... that sales ad must have been expired, too. YEP, dang it.

and that was the story about the day my couponing dreams went up in smoke.

I may try again next week, but this much is certain... I will check the date on the ad BEFORE planning my trip....

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Painting, Painting, Painting...

I've started a few painting projects around the house, which would explain why a couple of the rooms around here look like a tornado hit them. Well, I guess you could say a tornado did hit them if you consider the damage that one 13 month old little girl can do!

Here's one of our recently COMPLETED projects...(we're hoping for some more "completed" things soon! Instead of all this half-done stuff! I swear if you came to our house right now, you'd diagnose me yourself as having A.D.D. I start one thing, then another, then another...that'd be great if I actually FINISHED the one thing before moving on to another! It's starting to take over not only my story-telling abilities, but also our house... I'm admitting the problem though, and "they" (whoever "they" is) says that's the first step, right?!?!?

Annabelle's Grandma (DW's Mom) gave her this baby doll cradle for Christmas.
She had intended to paint it, but didn't get a chance before the holidays.

Why, yes, that is BLUE carpet in our garage! It's actually the carpet that came OUT of Annabelle's nursery! I don't really know why we put it in there, but I think it was to help keep dirt out of the house? Is that right, honey??? All I know is that when we had to move part of AB's birthday party into the garage, that carpet came OUT! But when the party was over, it came back IN. I guess you can probably guess who likes it there and who doesn't! BUT, I know if he likes it there, there's a good reason, so I'm good with it, as long as we're not having "big" company! Ha...

So, I painted the cradle white a few weeks ago, then added a pink circle, and Belle's monogram on one end. I think it turned out so cute, and love the way the monogram turned out... I don't know why the colors in the picture are kind of weird... I tried to fix them in Photoshop, but that's about like me trying to use our big camera... I REALLY don't have a clue what I'm doing... I just push buttons and sometimes it turns out and sometimes it doesn't. Well, this time was a "doesn't".... but besides the colors being off, you get the idea!

Look who thinks SHE belongs in the doll cradle instead of her Abby doll! She loves crawling in and out and rocking in it... and giving DW and I mini-heart attacks...

Even baby Willie had to take a turn testing it out! "Little Momma" had to see about the baby and offer him a paci and bottle.. ha...
Our biggest project lately has been tackling our laundry room. I cannot wait to finish the cabinet update! I am so excited to see how they turn out! If it's as good as I'm hoping, I'll share soon! If not, then if you come to my house, you may have to start using the front entrance instead of through the garage... Ha... I'll keep yall posted!!!

Monday, January 25, 2010

A Saturday Picnic

I love home for so many reasons! One of those is the Florida sunshine. When it's been cold (and we've had record lows this year) and then starts to warm up, we always get the urge to get outside and do something fun!

Saturday we packed a picnic and drove about an hour over to Crystal River to have lunch at their "beach."

We had to fight the wind and seagulls for our lunch, but it was fun little outing.

Look at big girl standing on her own!
She even took 7 steps on Sunday! So we're thinking in the next few weeks we may have a full blown walker on our hands... we'll see, though... she's pretty fond of being carried around.

On the way home, we stopped by "Shrimp Landing" and bought some fresh shrimp to cook for dinner that night. They were so good...
Anytime we fry shrimp at home, I make cocktail sauce.
It's something we learned on a trip to New Orleans a couple summers ago. It's so easy yall, and so much better than out of the jar.

Here's what you need:

Lemon juice

Just squeeze a little lemon juice in your bowl, add ketchup and add as much horseradish depending on how spicy you like your cocktail sauce. We like ours spicy, so I always add a lot... just keep tasting it until you get it like you want! Try it, I promise if you like cocktail sauce, you'll love it!


Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Heavy Heart

It's been a while....

I was talking to a friend last week who has a lot on her plate right now. She posed the question, "do you ever feel like just giving up? like crawling in bed and staying there?" (She knows me well, so of course she knew my answer).

Um, HELLO... can I get an Amen on that one??? Boy have I ever!!! So many days I have felt like just throwing in the towel.

It's hard not to be "down" right now... this past week I've fought the "down" feeling hard. Our own country is facing such economic hard times which leaves us all feeling like we're sitting on the edge of our seats all the time waiting on the next ball to drop. But worries about our own country aren't the only thing we've all been thinking about this past week.

The devastation in Haiti is just that, devastating. It's heartbreaking to think of the thousands of people who lost parents, grandparents, children, brothers, sisters, and friends... It's heartbreaking to think of the thousands who don't have clean water to drink or food to eat. Heartbreaking and humbling.

I read somewhere this past week about how some of the Haitian people were saying that God despised Haiti. I could imagine that they might feel that way. What I'd tell them is that God is loving and merciful, but the world we live in is fallen. A world cursed by man's first sin. Bad things are going to happen. These things don't mean that God loves us any less.

There's so much pain around us. Our lives are filled with it and NONE of us are exempt from it. Our experiences with pain are not the same, but we all have them. One thing is the same though... and that is that as Christians, we have hope. We have Someone Who will never let us down. When everything around us seems hopeless and dark, He is our Light. We can depend on Him and He will give us the strength, mercy and grace to face whatever is thrown our way. I believe that with my whole heart.

"The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name will trust in you,
for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you." - Psalm 9:9-10 (NIV)

Life isn't easy. For anyone. But as a child of God, I have EVERYTHING to be thankful for.
Today I am so thankful for a God who has never forsaken me and who never will.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

She's a little bit country, She's a little bit Rock & Roll...

Don't hate me if you're singing Donnie & Marie duets all day....

Annabelle's not so much rock and roll, but she is a little bit country....and she's a lot bit cute, that's for sure!
I love having a daughter all the time, but there are some times more than others when the sweetness of it just about does me in....
Annabelle wearing these pearls is one of those times!

So girly and sweet!
It's hard to believe that the day before she was sporting this:
her Daddy who'd been hunting that morning, left his hat on the coffee table in our living room and she decided she needed to try it on!
Yep, she's a little bit country....

Sunday, January 10, 2010

BabyLand General

While in Georgia after Christmas, we took Annabelle (& Caroline, our niece), to visit the new BabyLand General (Cabbage Patch Kids) Hospital.
I'll never forget going when I was little, and loved it every time we went! My first Cabbage Patch baby was bought for me at Babyland General and on one of our trips, I even got to name one of the babies that was born that day!

We knew that Annabelle certainly wouldn't remember the trip, but they just opened the new "hospital" and I really wanted to see it... it's only about 15 miles from my brother's house, so we made a little mid-morning trip out of it....

The new hospital is just beautiful. When we pulled up Caroline yelled, "It looks like the President of the United States of America lives here!" Ha!

When you first enter the hospital, you have to visit the nurses' station and sign in. Then you can walk through the nursery and see some of the babies. There's lots of Cabbage Patch Kids in the nursery and nurses, too!

When you make it to the main part of the hospital...'ve made it to where all the action happens....under the Tree of Life...(I think that's what they called it...but maybe that's at Disney World??? Maybe it's the Cabbage Tree???) I don't know, but I'll get to that in a minute... First, you have to take a look around...There were scenes taken from the old hospital on display such as the school bus, the playground and the tree house!

I remember all of these at the old hospital!
There were also dolls everywhere
...just sitting in chairs, in cribs, even gathered around the Christmas trees!
All of the dolls had their name tags on them. We saw a Devin
And a "Carrie." DW had to take a picture of her for my BFF...
It's a red-headed 'Carrie'! Is that hilarious? (If you look close you can see her name tag...)
Caroline spotted a baby that she said looked like, Garrett!
Caroline & "Cabbage Patch Garrett"

And here's a pic of real Garrett...what do yall think? See a resemblance?

Back to the Cabbage Tree....
The little fairies that hang from the tree, sprinkle their magic dust on the mother cabbages and cause them to go into labor.

( FYI: Cabbages can also go into labor when a crowd of people gather around the makes them nervous and makes their labor start). Is that hilarious, or what?!?!? I asked one of the "nurses" when the next delivery was going to be, and that was the answer she gave me!!! I love it when people at places like this take their jobs seriously... it's just so cute... and let me tell you, if I lived in Cleveland, Georgia and was looking for a job, I think I'd work there! "Nurse Annie"... of course I'd want the job of delivering the babies! But, I'd make sure they got me one of those head piece microphones, though, because "Nurse Tammy" wasn't talking loud enough when she was delivering the baby we got to see.

First, she gave "Mother Cabbage" a big shot of "Imagicillan" (yall know that's cute!).

After the Imagicillan and a few leaves were removed, the baby was born!

The babies are taken straight to the Newborn Nursery to be weighed, measured and dressed. New babies can be adopted right then.
The adopting family takes the baby into one of the offices at the hospital where the nurse has them sign the adoption papers and say the adoption oath. It's just about the cutest thing ever! (Except for the fact that the babies who are delivered are the old school Cabbage Patch Kids (the ones with the cloth faces), and in the words of DW, "they're pretty scary looking." I have to agree, and I myself, prefer the updated plastic faced CPK babies.

On each side of the main room in the hospital is a gift shop.

How convenient... Ole Mr. Cabbage Patch is no dummy, that's for sure. They've got everything you need for your babies and there's no way to avoid seeing it! From outfits to sunglasses and high chairs to a 39 cents Pampers diaper! They've got all the Cabbage Patch merchandise one could ever want, conveniently located at each exit! They have it all out, too, so you can try it out....

We couldn't take the girls and not buy something... well, I mean, we could have, but they were both so good, that we let them pick something little....

Caroline already has some Cabbage Patch babies, so she chose a new rain outfit and umbrella for her dolls and since Annabelle doesn't have a Cabbage Patch yet, she got a "magic" bottle for her baby dolls.

I can't wait to take Annabelle back when she's really into baby dolls and of course, to keep with tradition, her first Cabbage Patch will have to come from BabyLand General!