Sunday, May 31, 2009

how we beat the heat......

So since the heat has officially hit here and our un-air conditioned house has become an oven we have started to think about ways to stay cool. So today we walked into the house after church to a sweltering 85 degree house. We ate lunch, threw everyone in the car and headed up to Mt. Hood for the afternoon. In the 2 years we have lived here we haven't made it up there yet and we have talked and talked about it. I thought the drive would just be too long, however we found that it wasn't at all! We had a wonderful time enjoying the scenery and the girls playing the back.

We made it up to the mountain and saw a sign for Trillium lake. Of course I forgot my camera but we decided to park and walk around in the campsite and try to make our way down to the lake. There was old snow packed up all along the roads in some places 2 to 3 feet high, even though we were comfortable in our t-shirts. The girls were so excited to walk along the snow and all of a sudden they spotted some "tracks". Dustin took a look at them and confirmed they were Cougar tracks.....and a really big one at that. I think it spooked us a bit later when we saw a flyer that had been put up warning people to keep a good look out for their kids as an adult male mountain loin had approached a campfire with people around it recently.

Anyway we made it to the lake alive and with our kids intact and here is what we saw......BEAUTIFUL! Oregon really does have some of the most breathtaking scenery ever.

We started walking around the lake and all of a sudden we came across such a fun surprise. The lake was FULL of these little guys.......SALAMANDERS! How weird?! We started looking in the water and noticing all these "lizards" under the water. We were able to catch one and realized that they were salamanders. The girls were in HEAVEN. We were catching salamander after salamander. Okay, I will admit that I didn't actually catch one or hold one, but I just wanted everyone else to have all the fun ;). We decided that they are a really kid friendly wild animal to catch. They don't have teeth or claws, and they are REALLY easy to catch. Lilly even caught one. They aren't fast at all! So we spent a good couple of hours walking around the lake and exploring nature with our little salamanders.

When we got back home the house had cooled off....a little, and it was time for bed, YEAH! I love these days though when I realize or just really hope maybe that we created a memory. I hope my girls will talk about that lake we used to go to and catch all those salamanders. I know I have random memories like that from experiences growing up and I just want my girls to have the same. I think my favorite part was that it wasn't really planned. It was just one of those magical, got lucky, everything worked out perfect, days that you just can't always plan. We have decided that we are DEFINITELY going back to visit our little salamander friends.

I hit the mother load....FINALLY!!!!

So I don't know how many have been checking out the website recently? I posted about it a few weeks ago. Well today the coupons refreshed again and guess what.........I HIT THE MOTHER LOAD!!!! I have always tried to get one of the big coupons and I never could find one or I would get there too late and they were always gone. But tonight......I checked it again......and I found the $75 off of a $100 purchase!!!! That is $25.oo for EVERYTHING!!! I seriously almost jumped out of my chair screaming with excitement when it popped up. Dustin thought I was really weird. BUT HELLO THAT IS A %75 SAVINGS!!!!

So anyone that gets this soon you might want to check the site out! I found the coupon when I clicked on the brown haired mannequin at the bottom holding the flag. A parrot flew out and I had to click on it like 3 or 4 times before it flew off the screen. I refreshed the page a few times until I got it. I don't know if the coupons are in the same place the whole time but give it a shot. Besides it is kinda fun and they still have $50 off $100 purchase and other good coupons available but hurry hurry hurry!!!


I used to give the girls a birthday party every year........and then I stopped. We decided to go to the every other year policy when it came to friend birthday parties. However I didn't think enough about it to spread them out, or do alternating years so that all three parties don't end up in the same year! So this was the year for every ones friend parties and Josey's was the last of the year. YEAH!

I told her that we would do a party before school got out seeing how her birthday is in July and it is hard to find people around. Last week I realized.......that school was almost out! So we quickly decided on Saturday as the day and started planning for the party. She decided to do another LUAU which I was glad for because we already had TONS of stuff from her last party and it worked with boys and girls.

It was a great hot day to play at the park and I think she had lots of fun. Here she is with all her little friends. There were a couple more girls invited but they couldn't come. It cracked me up that there were 5 boys and 1 girl at her party.....but when it comes to Josey that really isn't much of a surprise.Here are some of the decorations that she wanted to put up.This little boy sitting next to Josey is Gavin. He moved a few months ago and no longer goes to school with Josey. Josey was devastated. He was her very best friend and they played every day together. When he moved I told her to get his address and phone number and we could try and keep in touch. She wanted to invite him to her party and luckily he hadn't moved very far and was able to come. She was SO HAPPY to see Gavin and have him at her party.
Her cute cake. Didn't I do SUCH a good job? I really worked hard on this cake to make it look took me about 2 stores to find the right one.

It was so windy under the covered area that we actually had to pretend to blow out candles.

Then we got ready for these!

I literally spent about 2 hours blowing up water was torture! The skin on my pointer finger was about ripping off. But I got 250 balloons blown up and I am REALLY glad that I did. It was really hot and the kids had a ball playing all sorts of games with them. Dustin was such a good help. He always is at kid parties. We should seriously rent out his services. He can keep kids entertained for hours and has so much energy and they always LOVE him.

I really don't know why Dustin is making this face? Is the pinata too heavy for you?

Then we opened presents and my camera started only taking blurry pictures.

Here is her loot. It cracked me up and I wanted to take a picture of her presents because they are so random and diverse and perfect for Josey. She got everything from make-up to science activities to star wars. She was in HEAVEN!
We decided at the end to have a portrait contest while we were waiting for the parents. We opened up the chalk and everyone had to draw a portrait of the birthday girl and she would pick the best one to get a picture taken with. This was the winner drawn by her friend Madison.

I have to say I am SO glad that all the parties are done for the year! Partly because they are a lot of work and partly for the expense. Putting on 3 parties in basically a month gets EXPENSIVE! We will do something special for her real birthday in July and that will be fun. Happy "pseudo" seventh birthday Josey!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

She will be the death of me......

Lilly: (seeing a man with lots of tattoos) Mommy I want a tattoo!

Mommy: You want a tattoo??

Lilly: Yes I want to have a tattoo.

Mommy: Why do you want a tattoo?

Lilly: I want to be one!

Mommy: One what?

Lilly: A girl with tattoos!!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Hair, hair.....and more hair

So I will admit freely that when I found out that I was having my third girl one of the things that I was most upset about was the fact that I had yet ANOTHER head of hair to quaff. My older two daughters have amazing thick hair and they are really lucky and I am sure will love it as they grow older but it is not a mothers dream to have daughters who have thick hair and sensitive heads. I end up just picking my battle and my girls go around looking half-way homeless most of the time.

So when number three came along I was just overwhelmed with having to figure out how to bribe yet one more to sit still for 10 minutes and let me torture her by brushing the tangles out. Then as her hair finally started growing in and we realized that she was going to have these incredible blond ringlets I couldn't have been more thrilled. BECAUSE...... when your hair is curly you can get away with not brushing out every tangle. And you can haphazardly pull it up into a ponytail or a half ponytail and it actually looks great with a few little bumps here and there (this is what I have learned having a daughter with curly hair).

So the other day I pulled Lilly's hair up into two braids on top of her head for church. She looked so sweet and she actually kept them in until today. When we were headed out the door I took her braids out and this is what happened.....
she had PRINCESS HAIR!!! At least that is what she called it. Her hair is quite long but the ringlets always pull it up so high that she can't feel it down her back and she desperately wants princess hair. I had to take a picture because it was such an incredible mane of wavy hair.

And along with princess hair comes AT-TI-TUDE!

And speaking of in point.

And Josey wanted in on the action.

And after Maddy and Josey had taken a picture with their legs up on the house Lilly thought that was a great idea as well. Unfortunately I don't think it worked so well with her.

I sure love my girls! We had a wonderful memorial day even though daddy had to go into work. We ran into a few stores and then got lunch and took it to the park and played and played and played. We are excited to go to our BBQ tonight as well! I hope everyone else had a relaxing memorial day!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Old Navy and ice cream

So I am sorry that I didn't post about this before but today at Old Navy their flip flops are $1. So yesterday I was out there in Clackamas and stopped in at Old Navy. I wanted to beat the rush and get the ones I wanted. Then I planned on getting a price adjustment today when they were on sale. So I headed in today and can I just tell you it was AMAZING what people will do to get flip flops for a dollar! The line wrapped around the store and this was at 2:00 in the afternoon. I thought I would be able to leisurely go in at 2:00 and beat the lines.....uh no!

The police were even there. The checkout girl said that it was absolutely CRAZY this morning. So if you get this in time and you are willing to brave the lines for $1 flip flops head on in. Don't worry about getting your right size or color just grab 5 (it is limited to 5 per customer) and then head back on in the next time you are around and trade them for the ones you really want! I was able to get 10 pairs of flip flops for me and the girls for $10!

And after you stand in line at Old Navy you can go here and print this coupon out and treat yourself to all that hard work!

produce savings with coupons

So a lot of times I hear people say that "they don't really eat the food that you buy with coupons". Here is an example of how coupons can help you save on other foods such as milk and produce that most times don't have coupons.

So this week we have the WONDERFUL double coupons at Albertson's. I love love love these because there are so many opportunities to get things free or super cheap. So here are some transaction ideas that can help you save on produce.

There is a deal this week on Wishbone dressing. When you buy 2 Wishbone dressings you get an instant 2$ off of meat. However when you buy certain bottles there is a coupon for $.55 off of fresh produce. So here you go:

2 Wishbone dressings--5.00
1 cantaloupe--1.50?

2 $.75 off Wishbone here
1 $.55 off of fresh produce--found on the bottle
3 Albertson's doubles
automatic $2.00 deduction (you can add meat if you want too but it will still deduct the $2.00)

OOP: Free-?
depending on the size of your cantaloupe, they are on sale $.39 lbs.
That is an idea for anyone that is looking for savings on produce this week.

Another thing to keep in mind is that anytime you have a coupon that is going to give you any overage then combine that with something that does not have a coupon, like milk.

So here is another transaction for you:

2 Wheat Thins--$1.47 each
2 Bar S hot dogs--$1.00 each
1 milk-- $1.99

2 $1/1 coupon from here
1 $1/2 coupon from here
2 Albertson's doubles

Total OOP: $1.00

One more idea is to use those Kraft BBQ coupons if you have any left or can print more. They are still on sale for $1.00. If you buy those and double it then you have a $1.00 to put towards something else.
So here was my trip today, combining overages and coupons. The hot dogs were free....the wishbone was free...the wheat thins were free....most of the cantaloupe was free....and the cream cheese were $1 each after my coupons and doubles. Then I put the overages of my coupons towards my milk and cheese. The cheese was one sale for 7.99 and the milk was 1.99 each. The total for all this food was $8.00 even!

I hope that gives you some ideas of what to do with your overages and inspires you to put your own scenarios together!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Catch up....

So I haven't posted in a little bit because I have been SO sick! It has been terrible and it is getting passed around the family and now Dustin has it for this weekend. I am recognizing in myself though that when I get too stressed or have too much going on I inevitably get sick and that is how this last couple of weeks have been. Between doctor's appointments and talent show auditions and firm parties we have been so BUSY! I haven't felt like I have had time to breathe. So here is where we went last Saturday....mind you this is after the garage sale and the primary activity.....we headed to Pacific City for Dustin's firm BBQ. It was fun to be at the beach again because this is where my family loves to be but this time we checked out the famous Pacific City dune. And here it is..... And yes we hiked to the top. We got there and my girls asked if they could play on it and we said yes. All of a sudden they were like half way up and Lilly was trailing behind trying to keep up. I COULD NOT believe how fast they got up that thing! IT WAS CRAZY. So Dustin and I looked at each other and I said, "It doesn't look that bad." Boy was I wrong! That thing was a monster. For everyone step you took you slid back a little because it was sand. Maddy and Josey were literally up in 5 minutes.....I am ashamed to say that it took me probably a half an hour and I was really ready to give up about half way through. I was using Lilly as a crutch of why I needed to go so slow but really it's just cause I am OUT OF SHAPE!! The top was beautiful though. We hiked down through areas that had trees growing right out the sand it was crazy. I have never really seen forest on the beach like that.

Anyway, besides that there hasn't been a whole lot that is blog worthy but trust me when I say that I have been running around with my head cut off. And then full blown SICK. I even had to cancel my first coupon class that I was SO excited to teach. Hopefully they will reschedule it!! I did get into the doctor though and I get to start yet again another round of steroids......this will be the third in 2 months. This time I get to be on them for almost an entire month in preparation for my surgery on June 5th. I an really excited about the surgery but really really not excited about the steroids. Oh well.

And one last thing.....who else has been counting down to this?
I know I have been and now the wait is over!!!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A good parade

I have said it before and I will say it again. I love a good parade. And recently we were able to be IN a good parade. The Oregon City Children's Theatre marched in the Teddy Bear Parade that Oregon City had last weekend.

The Teddy Bear Parade is a parade that benefits the local fire departments and police stations (I think). Everyone brings a stuffed animal to donate to give out to children that are going through traumatic situations.

ANYWAY! It was really a lot of fun. The weather was GORGEOUS! And it was one of the best parades I have been to in a really long time. There were really fun floats and bands and lots of fun organizations participating.

Maddy got to wear her Michael costume and they even let Josey participate as well and dress up as a lost boy. She was THRILLED! Here they are at the beginning of the parade.

I don't know where my children are in these pictures or why I don't have more of them, but I was trailing behind with all the parents and was just snapping pictures as we went along. But Maddy and Josey were there somewhere, handing out as much candy as they could.

I thought this little girl had the best idea of where to carry her bear throughout the walk.
Dustin watched the parade with Lilly and I quickly snapped a picture as we went by. I wish that it hadn't turned out blurry. She loaded up with candy. Enough for everyone!
The parade ended at Clackamette Park where they had a fun carnival going on.
And they had this guy walking around. I wish that I would have asked him why he was dressed up that way. But he was SERIOUSLY tall.
It was really fun and I am so glad that were able to participate. We have signed up for a lot of activities over the years, basketball, soccer, softball, gymnastics, dance, karate, swim lesson, etc. etc. I think that this activity has given us the most bang for our buck that is for sure!
Dustin and I were both commenting on how the longer we stay here in Oregon City the more we have come to appreciate the great things and organizations this town has to offer. It has kept a small town feel to it even though we are only a half hour from the city.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Albies and Kraft

So Albies is having that great Kraft sale this week. And if anyone needs more coupons here are some! Just click here to get to the Kraft website and print off more coupons. You may need to register if you haven't already but happy Krafting!

Friday, May 08, 2009

Watch out riverdance...

This one really made me laugh! Thanks dad!

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Chiquita Ugly

My dad sent this to me today and I thought it was pretty funny/ugly. Where in the world did you even get that picture of me? Not that I wouldn't make that face but that is one UGLY face!

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Thursday, May 07, 2009

anyone hungry?

So this is what most of my tupperware gets used for. Look close........ no that isn't leftovers in there. This is Josey's personal terrarium. She loves bugs and snails and slugs and has to make them a home whenever she sees one. She absolutely loves beetle bugs as you will see later in the post as well. Sometimes after I see what my tupperware was used for I can't even wash it and look at it the same way again. It just becomes a permanent fixture in the backyard. I myself can NOT stand slugs. And that is a broken bird egg in there as well that she found somewhere. She is one of those kids that spots a bug or spider or slug or bird egg from like 50 feet away.

Here is Josey's attempt and taking pictures of Lilly jumping on the trampoline. I don't know why I like these pictures but I do.

And here is Lilly from this evening. We were sitting on the front porch waiting for Daddy and Maddy and Josey to get back from softball practice. She found the beetle that Josey had tried to nurse back to health and failed. Josey had left it on the front step and Lilly found. She was just cracking me up. Since she has turned 3 she has turned a corner. She is still feisty and definitely has her moments that make me want to pull my hair out but she has gotten SO much better. She is nice again and just keeps cracking me up with all the things that are coming out of her mouth.

Want to make money to grocery shop?

Here is a deal for you! If you can get your hands on some coupon inserts from last Sunday's paper then you can make money to shop at Albertson's this week! And I know that my local Fred Meyer, Safeway, Albertsons, and KMart sell them all week until they run out. Or possibly friends or family haven't recycled them yet?

Anway, here is the scenario!

Buy 6 Kraft BBQ Sauces -- $6
Buy 4 Kraft Easy Mac Cups -- $4
Use (6) $.75/1 coupons (-$4.50) (ss5/3)
Use (2) BOGO coupons (-$2) (Parade magazine 5/3)
Get promotion savings (-$3) (spend $10 on certain products receive $3 instant savings)
Pay $.50 OOP, Get $3 Cat & $1 Cat = FREE with $3.50 profit after coupons & catalinas!!(catalinas are coupons that will print at the register. For instance: a $3 catalina is a coupon that you can use to deduct three dollars off your next purchase.)
Remember, this deal will work starting Friday so don't hit your Albertson's until Friday and if you live in my area we can fight for the Kraft BBQ sauces!

Old Navy Weekly

So for those that like to pick up a few things at Old Navy I thought I would post about their new game/coupons at Old Navy Weekly . It gives new meaning to hunting for coupons! You literally have to "hunt" for coupons by clicking around the website to find the coupons. However if you are quick enough and smart enough you might be able to find the $75 off of $100! Now that is a coupon worth hunting for!
Word is they are reloading the coupons tonight so you might want to check later today! There is no telling when that will happen so just keep a heads up if you are interested!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Free Strawberries at Safeway!

So my friend Katie does such a good job of posting good coupons and deals she finds (you can check her blog out here) I thought that maybe I should pick it up a little and share some things as well! So for those that shop at Safeway there are free strawberries to be found! If you want a coupon for a free 1 lb container of strawberries or $2 off a 2 lb or 4lb container go here!

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Happy Birthday Maddy.....with pictures this time

We had Maddy's party this weekend. I finally gave in and agreed to a slumber party....very ....very ....hesitantly. We haven't had a slumber party of this magnitude ever and the last "sleepover" we had, which was about a year and a half ago, caused me to VOW NEVER EVER EVER to have a sleep over again ( I will have to elaborate on that later). But, I will say now that it is over, that it was not nearly as bad as I was thinking it would be and yes I think I might dare say I would do it again!

Maddy wanted a movie night party. And she was THRILLED at the results and really seemed to have a wonderful time that made the whole thing worth it. Here are a few of the decorations and preparations as we prepared for our guests.

Maddy thought it would be SO cool to have a red carpet for the girls to walk on when they came in. They also HAD to bring their "ticket" that was their invitations. She was very specific when it came to that.
So after most of the girls got here and dropped of their stuff and the screaming and squealing began I almost panicked and called all the moms and had them come pick up their daughters. I was thinking WHAT WAS I THINKING! Luckily the trampoline came to the rescue. At any given point throughout the party there was always at least two people out on the trampoline. It was great. And by the way that is confetti on the ground from the red carpet not just a bunch of dirt.....although I have that on my carpet as well.
Once everyone got there we ate dinner. And then I pulled out the make-up and make-up brushes and everyone headed upstairs to "get ready" to go pick out a movie. We then headed to Blockbuster and picked out a movie (Peter Pan with the real people that came out a few years ago. The girls wanted this one because and I quote, "Peter Pan is SO hot in this movie.") So scary.
Then we headed home to open presents and eat cake and ice cream. Check out Lilly's pose in this picture.
It is so funny how when someone is opening presents everyone just keeps getting closer and closer and closer. Lilly of course had to help Maddy open every present.
Her good friend Kelly gave her a tomogatchi which was what she wanted more than anything so she was very excited about that.
Here is the MASSIVE cake Dustin got for us! In his defense I called him as he was on his way home from work asking him to please get a cake because I had completely forgotten about that detail. SO he stopped off at Costco and picked this one up. I think we will be eating cake for a while.
While the older girls were busy watching a movie or playing the Wii or jumping on the trampoline or playing tribal cats.....yes I said tribal cats and shocker of all shocker my daughter wasn't the one instigating or even PLAYING this game, Lilly was upstairs busying herself with the makeup. She literally was in the bathroom playing with the makeup and brushes for about an hour!

Anyway, I wish that I had remember to get a picture of everyone in their sleeping bags but again I forgot. Oh well!

It was really quite fun getting to know some of the girls that Maddy talks about at school so often. And it was a pleasant surprise to realize how much older she is and that having a party is not as much work as it used to be! They all just loved hanging out and doing their own thing and I didn't have to completely entertain them with games and such. Who knew?!