Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Birthday Party Fun

Last night we had the kids party. It was a lot of fun. We had a few neighbors over and some friends. The rain held off, other than a few little sprinkles. All the parents sat in the garage and talked while the neighbor girls took care of four 5 year olds and four 2 year olds in the back yard. Tomorrow there will be one less two year old in the group!!

We didn't take a lot of pictures. Darin was in charge of the camera, so I blame him : ) Here's one of like 3 pictures that were taken.
Here's the cake. Tyson wanted "army" and Jori wanted "princess". It is hard to see, but Jori's side has a "J" and a "3" in sprinkles and Tyson's has a "T" and a "5".

This is the end of "Happy Birthday". We sure love our birthday boy and girl!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Look who's THREE!

Jorin DiAnn, we have loved you from the moment we first knew about you. What a precious gift from God you are. We first met you on Father's Day of 2006 and were most surprised by your chubby cheeks and how much hair you had. It wasn't a lot, but compared to your totally bald brother, it was kind of a shock!

We had a busy first year. You had to be fast to keep up with your big brother! We loved your curly hair, your huge smile and your big belly laughs.

When you were two, we spent a couple months in Africa. You loved sharing cookies with Amos, playing with your big brother and having all sorts of new adventures.

We are so blessed to have you as our big/little girl and thank God for each giggle!

Last link of the birthday chain

Trying to pull off her birthday shirt mommy made. Three might be a long year!

Look who's FIVE!

Five years ago today we received a most precious gift from God - Tyson Alan. You started out as such a little peanut, 5 lbs 15 1/2 ounces. You had the biggest eyes and such a tiny little head. Daddy and I were so happy when we were finally able to meet you.

Over the next year we watched you learn to roll, crawl, stand, and walk. Once you started moving, you never stopped!

The week you turned two, you became a big brother. You loved to hold your sissy and make her smile. You had your own little words for all sorts of things. Na-na-na meant garbage can, mo-co-co meant motorcycle.

Three was a very busy year for you. You went to school for the very first time. You loved learning new things and making new friends.

When you were four we went to Africa for 10 weeks. You loved all the sights and sounds. You made new friends, saw lots of animals, and spent tons of time outside. When we got back to Michigan in November, you started your second year of pre-school.

Now you are FIVE. We are so excited to see what this next year holds for you as you head off to kindergarten. Mommy and daddy love you so much. We are so blessed to have you and we thank God for keeping you safe this far!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Week 5 of the coupon madness

It is Sunday night, and I have already hit up three of the four stores I am planning on shopping at this week. However, as soon as I got home, I realized I have to go back to 2 of the 3 stores tomorrow. And I already went back to the 3rd store today-I forgot my wallet the first time I headed out and was at the register before I realized it. So I am probably spending all my savings for the week on gas.

First I went to Walgreens. I don't think I am going to become a Walgreens shopper, because their rebate program kind of freaks me out. I much prefer Rite-Aids program, where you buy your stuff and then they mail you a check with the money you earned.

Next I went to Meijer. I spent $34.47 and saved $38.10. That was mostly because Meijer is having some great deals on my favorite food category--junk food. I have such a sweet tooth, that I can hardly resist when I see sweets offered at a bargain price. I got Snickers and M&M ice cream treats for $1.19 each! My Keebler Grasshoppers and Fudge Stripe cookies were $0.75 each and I bought three other packages of cookies for $1.75 each with no coupons. I also bought 2 bottles of John Frieda shampoo for $5.75. Now really, that didn't save me money, because I usually just buy Suave for around $1, but it is fun to pamper oneself every once in a while too. Here's a pic of everything that I bought at Meijer:

I do need to go back to Meijer again because I meant to pick up some snacky stuff for Darin for when we are in Minnesota next week. He doesn't have a huge sweet tooth, but he loves Buffalo Hot Wing flavored pretzels and I have coupons for those very same things that have to be used this week!

After Meijer, I ran into Target. I had to make it quick because my ice cream treats were melting. Once again I was reminded of why I try to avoid Target at all costs. They just have so much stinking cute stuff, and it seems inexpensive, but if I bought one "inexpensive" thing every time I went in the store, which would be super tempting, my children would go hungry. They also have such yummy looking snacky stuff. For example, I bought these Key Lime flavored cookies tonight because they were on sale for $2.50 and after being in Key West last year, I really love Key Lime flavored things. Did I need another package of cookies?? No! I had just bought 6 packages of cookies at Meijer AND 2 at Walgreens! It is a sickness people.

I need to go back to Target because I forgot to get my free 2 liter of Diet Coke that I was supposed to get for buying a DiGiorno Pizza (with a coupon, of course). If I didn't have to go back to Meijer to look for snacks, I would just forget about the Diet Coke because with the cost of gas right now, it wouldn't make sense. So tomorrow while Tyson is at VBS, Jori and I will be heading to Meijer, Target and Family Fare so I can get my 88 cent eggs to make cake for my Birthday BOY and Birthday GIRL!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

When Daddy's away, Mommy and the kids will play!

This weekend Darin is in Chicago for his brother, Evan's, "Bachelor Party". I never went to a weekend long Bachelorette Party, but whatever. I know he is having a great time, even though the Cubbies did lose.

Yesterday was beautiful, so we took advantage of the sun and spent almost the whole day outside. we went to a park with a group of moms and kids from our church. After eating lunch at the park, we came home and the kids played in the sandbox for a while. Then we went to the big sand hill that's just down the path from us and they had a great time climbing, sliding, and building mini versions of the big sand hill. We came home and had ice cream, which brought the neighbor kids out : ) Then all the kids played in the sandbox making mud pies for a couple hours. Needless to say, the kids were pretty tired out and by 7 pm, they were both asleep.

Today was a little cooler and we had some rain. The kids played Spiderman and Spiderdog this morning (Jori was Spiderdog), then they watched a Davey and Goliath DVD that I had picked up at the dollar store. After lunch and some whining, we finally headed out for the big fun--PlayWorld!! This is an indoor play area with inflatable slides, bounce houses, ball pits and more. We were there for THREE hours. I was glad they were having such a great time. After playing, we went to Steak and Shake for dinner and they were both so well behaved. Seriously, I was amazed and SO thankful, because we have been having some struggles the past couple weeks. Then we came home, the kids got clean, we called Darin so he could pray with them, and then it was bed time. Jori has been sleeping for a half hour at least, but Tyson is not giving in. I hope he falls asleep soon because he is plenty tired and we have church tomorrow!

Darin will be getting home sometime tomorrow. He might be staying for another Cubs game, or he might be leaving soon after the rest of the wedding party heads back to MN. If I knew tomorrow would be like the past 2 days, I'd love for him to stay for another game, but we are all very excited to have him home again.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Shopping Week 4

This morning we went to K-mart. I would normally not go to K-mart because it is out of the way, but they were having a double coupon offer, and I had read about some pretty good deals. Mistake #1: I had the kids with me. This is a BIG No-No, especially when it is getting close to lunch time. (Seriously, what was I thinking??) Mistake #2: I went to the Holland K-mart. Their customer service was not so great and once we got in line it took forever. They also overcharged me, so I had to go back into the store with my crazy children, and then when I got home I realized the bill was STILL wrong. I also lost my cell phone, and I am pretty sure some K-mart shopper has it. Just not a fun experience.

I did get a few good deals though. I spent just under $30 the first time I was in the store. I got a $3 off coupon when I checked out. Then, when I realized my bill was wrong, I went back into the store and decided to get something with my coupon. I found a $2 off coupon by the Banana Boat sunscreen (thanks to whoever left it there!) so with that doubled and the $3 off, I got a spray can of sunscreen for a dollar and some change! For the $30 I spent the first time I got another spray can of sunscreen, 2 fun hair products that I would not have normally purchased, mascara and eye liner (for Evan and Jordan's wedding!), 5 deodorants, some sunless tanning lotion, Dove soap with a free sample of sunless tanning face lotion included, some Ziploc containers, cereal, toothpaste, and shower gel. A lot of these things I wouldn't normally buy, but they were things I have wanted to get, so I feel like it was a successful shopping trip. I saved over $50!

Tonight I went shopping ALONE to Meijer. First I stopped at McDonald's and got a FREE Carmel Frappe. It was my second FREE Frappe of the day. Gotta love those McDonald's coupons! I paid $80 for all of this:

This week, Meijer is having there buy 10 get the 11th free deal. You can mix and match all sorts of different items. I bought 3 bags of pretzels, 6 cans of chicken, 2 kool-aid 6 packs, 2 pkgs plastic bowls and 1 pkg of plastic plates, 2 cake mixes and two frostings (for the birthdays next week!), 2 bags of mini marshmallows, 2 4 packs of Kings Hawaiian rolls (I actually paid $0.25 each with my coupons!), and a few other 10 for 10 items. I got 2 packs of razors for $2.50 each, 4 boxes of cereal for $5 total, and I am too tired to figure out the rest. I saved $72.67 with coupons, promotions and non-coupon savings. Not as good as last week, but I am still happy with all the stuff I was able to buy and all the money that I saved.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Another Book, a movie and TV show

I just finished another book about AIDS in Africa called "We are All the Same" by Jim Wooten. It is about one child's life with HIV/AIDS. I would definitely recommend it.

I have read other books recently, but they must not have been that great because I can't remember the names!

If you are looking for a funny movie, check out "Night at the Museum". I know, it has been around for a while. In fact, the sequel just recently came out. Seeing previews for the sequel is what made me want to watch the first one. Darin thought it was funny too.

One of our favorite TV shows is back on for the summer. Do any of you watch "Wipeout"? We both think it is hilarious. Maybe we just have a juvenile sense of humor, but watching people run a giant obstacle course and fall down is funny to us. By us, it is on Wednesdays at 8 on ABC.

We taped this weeks episode and just watched it with Tyson and Jori. She didn't care for it, but Tyson thought it was funny. "Oh no, the sweeper is coming!" I am sure Jori will come around. After all, she's one of us!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

How do they come up with this stuff??

Tyson and Jori have said some seriously funny stuff lately. Tonight we took the kids to play on the sand hill behind our house. Jori got to the top and shouted out "I'm the King of the Jews!". Not quite, Bubba.

A couple days ago the kids came into my room. I was getting ready and they were just hanging out on my bed. Then I realized they had some interesting new "toys"--pads and a tampon. Tyson was playing with the plastic applicator and I asked him what it was. "It's the sword of the Spirit". Well of course it is!

My kids are ALL about the sword of the Spirit. We talk about how we can use Bible verses to "fight" Satan. Last night during devotions Jori said "God kills Satan with the Bible". I don't know if she imagines God beating Satan over the head or what, but I always love to hear how the kids interpret different things we teach them.

This afternoon I took the kids to the store. I bought a pair of latex gloves-the yellow kind you use for really yucky cleaning jobs. Tyson really, really wanted to open them. The kid LOVES gloves. I told him he couldn't because of some not so nice behavior at the store. He ran crying into the living room and said "But I love to open gloves because they surprise me!" I don't really know what that means, but it sounded so funny.

Tonight Jori couldn't find her "peep" (pacifier). She was crying and carrying on. Darin told her she would just have to sleep without it tonight and she said "But dad, I am not this many (holds up 3 fingers) yet, I am only 2!" Apparently she has caught on that her days with her precious peeper are numbered.

Having things to laugh at/about it such a blessing. Especially at the times when I am feeling like I am so DONE with being a mom. God surely knows that we've needed the extra humor around here this week!

Off to the Races!

On Saturday night, Tyson and Darin headed off to the Hudsonville Fairgrounds to watch the off-road derby. Tyson absolutely LOVES going to the races with his daddy. It is a special time, just for the boys. They were gone for over 3 hours! There were enough crashes, flipped cars and fires to hold Tyson's attention for that long. He was so excited when he came home. I couldn't believe how OLD he seemed. He was chewing on some gum and wearing a hat, just like his "best buddy", daddy.

I took this video when he came home. He was acting pretty silly. If you listen closely, you can hear him say "poop head". It drives me nuts that he has a potty mouth, but I do think it is funny how he tries to sneak naughty words in. Little bugger.

His head injury is healing nicely. He ran into some metal thing at Innotec when he was helping Darin fill the vending machines. Thankfully it wasn't any lower, or he might have done some serious damage to his eye.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Psalty the Singing Songbook makes a comeback.

Yes, Psalty, the big blue singing Psalter Hymnal. A couple weeks ago Tyson and Jori found a Psalty video at our church library-Kid's Praise 5! In case you don't remember, it's the one with "We're going camping now" and "I'm gonna hide God's word in my heart". When I was in first or second grade, our kid's choir at church did this little musical, so I have been singing along to those songs and many others! My kids favorite song is "Give the Glory all to God" (or "Glory of the God" as Tyson calls it), sung by Farley Mc Firefly. A couple days ago they both came running upstairs to tell me they had something to show me.

Hope you all enjoyed it!

More coupon fun!

Welcome to week three of my coupon clipping madness. Week one was fun, week two was a bust, and week three has me pumped!! The following two pictures show (almost) all the goods I bought tonight. The only thing missing is 2 24 packs of bottled water, which I got for FREE!

This top picture is all stuff that our family will use. I am so glad I had my handy coupon binder with me. There were a couple things on sale that I didn't see in the ad, like the 100 calorie packs, that I got for $0.50 each! Go me. The Dibs were on sale, but I didn't have a coupon. If my sweet sister Laurie remembers to mail me the coupons she told me about over the phone (yes, I called her to tell her about my grocery fun) I will be going back for more!
This picture is of stuff that our family will not use, although I did decide to keep a couple Crystal Lights. The rest will be going to a local food pantry. I know how badly the pantries around here (and all over) are hurting for food, and this is a great way to help them out and still keep our family budget under control.
So, the grand total for my shopping fun before savings (sales, in store coupons/promotions, manufacturer coupons) was $177.06. I ended up spending $79.63!!! Almost $100 in savings! If you live in the Grand Rapids area and want to start saving, check out Sarah's Blog!!! It does take some time, but this week made a whole lot more sense to me than the other two, so I am learning!