Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Thanks for praying

I had my procedures this morning. Everything went well. The doctor didn't find anything suspicious, so now I have to wait til my follow up appointment to hear if the lab found anything abnormal with the tissue they are testing. I am so tired. I barely remember being rolled back to the OR, but I do remember that the wife of one of Darin's coworkers was a nurse back there. Next thing I knew, I was back in my room. Darin came and checked on me once, went back to work because I was so out of it, then came again an hour later and waited with me til I was ready to go home. We came home at 3 and I slept til almost 6. Now it is almost 8 and I am ready to sleep again!

Monday, September 28, 2009

K-mart and Walgreens

I decided to get out and snag some deals before my excursion to the hospital tomorrow. I had both kids with me, so after 2 stores I was DONE. I'll be sending Darin to Rite-Aid and Meijer in the next couple days before my coupons expire.

I did not take any pics today, but will just list what I got.

Our first stop was Walgreens. I did three transactions:
#1 Vaseline Infusion lotion. I paid $5.91 oop and received $7 back in RR's.
#2 2 Theraflu cold and sinus 6 packs, 1 Robitussin to go, 1 Herbal Essence Shampoo. I spent $1.29 oop after using the $7 RR, 2 $2 off the Theraflu from the Healthy Savings booklet, and $1 off the Shampoo
#3 Bounce Dryer bar and 1 bag of gummy teddy bears (which was supposed to keep my kids happy in K-mart, but they inhaled those suckers after we had been in K-mart for less than 3 minutes.) I spent $1. 72 oop after using $4 RR from the Theraflu and would have done better if I had used the $2 RR from the Shampoo and $2.50 from the Robitussin. Oh well. I have those left for next time.

So I spent $8.92 oop and have $4.50 in RR's to spend next week. What makes these deals even sweeter is that I used the $10 I got in the mail today from my Fuel for School Rebate!!

K-mart was having double coupons this week. I bought 2 45 ounce boxes of Cascade, 1 75 ounce bottle of liquid Cascade and 1 can of Febreeze for the grand total of $8.14! I am feeling pretty good about that and I am stocked up on dish detergent for a while. I tried doing the washing soda with borax, but it left our dishes kind of gritty, so I am back to using regular old dish detergent. I did have to go back into K-mart after I had the van all loaded up because only 2 of my 3 coupons had rung up. I was NOT going to miss out on that extra $2!!

So that's that. $17.06 for both stops and $10 of that was "free money" from my rebate and I got $4.50 back for next time!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Ride for Refugees

Last year, while we were in South Africa, Tim and Angie Sliedrecht and their 2 kids lived in our house. The Sliedrechts are missionaries in Uganda. Angie's sister, Mandy, and her family are also serving in Uganda. There are links to both of their blogs in my blog list over on the right side of this page.

Tim and Angie are currently back in Hudsonville as they are in the process of embryo adoption. Today, the Sliedrechts were in our local paper to promote the Ride for Refugees, which is occurring on October 3. Read more about it here.

Darin will be participating in this opportunity to raise money for the work that Tim and Angie and the rest of their team in Uganda are doing with these hurting people. He'll be biking for 15 miles! If you would like to support him, please leave a comment or email us at darinfey@hotmail.com.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Deals of the week

So, I have been laying off of Rite Aid lately, because the one by my house causes me undo stress. There are a few cashiers there who seem to not really care about all the coupons and such-they just ring them up, give me my receipt and I leave. There are others who make me feel like I am being interrogated and am trying to steal from them. This is a bummer, because I think Rite Aid's rebate program is way less confusing than Walgreens Register Rewards.

However, today I did venture to Rite Aid and this is what I came home with:
This set me back a little over $9, and I will be getting back $2.50 as a rebate. I would not have bought the 4th Frosted Flakes, but I wanted to order the little cereal to go cup on the box and I needed 4 "tokens" to get it FREE. I thought I might try it in Tyson's lunch.

Then I headed over to Walgreens, and for the first time, I felt like I got it. I made 4 separate transactions:

#1-$1.42 oop

#2-1.48 oop

#3-$0.63 oop

#4-$2.80 oop
For a total of $6.33 out of pocket!
I almost didn't get the toilet paper, but I wanted to use up ALL of my register rewards and I've realized that skimping on cheapie toilet paper does not really save money in the long run! There were a couple other things I could have basically got for free, but we didn't really need them, and ALMOST free, still means I have to spend money, and I really want to make sure that using coupons and all these different in store programs are actually saving us money, not causing me to spend more!

Then I went to Meijer and for the grand total of $31.74 I bought the following:

I saved almost $11 with coupons and just over $19 by purchasing things that were on sale. The only thing I did NOT have a coupon for was the parmesan cheese, but it was on sale. I tried to save money by getting my parmesan at Aldi, but I cannot get used to the flavor. I really like everything else I get at Aldi, especially there super cheap cream of chicken soup and canned veggies!

I also ran in to Target to get some bandaids. I ended up spending more than I needed too because I got all flustered and thought I needed to use up my whole gift card in one purchase, which of course I didn't! All the register rewards, rebates, and other programs have messed with my mind!

That was my shopping fun! I do need to run out to Family Fare for bread and some fresh fruit, but other than that, I am calling it good for the week.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Controlling the crazy

**Update: One of my friends who also deals with "the crazy" just pointed out to me that the crazy is still at work in my life. Either that, or I can predict the future and it looks like October is going to be a great month for me!!

Since writing this post I have been busy making appointments with various doctors to try and get the crazy under control. I am happy to say that September has been a much better month than October was. So much so that I almost cancelled all the appointments I set up! (I think that is part of "the crazy"-when things start looking up you, you start forgetting how bad it was. Good thing I can just re-read what I wrote on September 1 to remember WHY I made the appointments in the first place!) I did end up canceling and appointment that I had set up with a psychiatrist, not because I don't think I'll need his services, but because I have decided to try and figure out some of my hormonal craziness first!

On September 29, I am going to be having a D & C and hysteroscopy. Why?? Honestly I don't remember all the reasons why the ob/gyn thought this would be a good idea, but I do know my other options were switching to a new type of birth control (no thanks! I've tried that already) or having a procedure that would keep me from having any more babies.

When I first set up the appointment, I was totally nonchalant about it. Now I am starting to freak myself out. I've read and heard different things about recovering from the D & C and having any type of medical procedure done is not exactly my idea of a good time. I am just hoping that the doctor will be able to figure out what is going on and have a way to "fix" me.

So I'd appreciate your prayers for a really speedy recovery and for under-control hormones!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Tyson's second week of school

Tyson is loving school! This week, in addition to having school on Tuesday and Thursday, he gets to go on Friday as well. I think we will BOTH look forward to the weeks when he gets to go three days.

This week Tyson made a new friend, Kaitlyn. I couldn't even count the number of times today (since 4 pm) that he said "I promise, Kaitlyn is NOT my girlfriend". I asked him "who said that she was your girlfriend?" and he said "No one, but she is NOT my girlfriend, I promise". I just tucked him in and as I was walking out he said "I am going to talk about Kaitlyn in my bed. She is my best friend". He is now singing "Kaitlyn, Kaitlyn, Kaitlyn, Kaitlyn..." to the tune of 1 little, 2 little, 3 little indians. Kaitlyn is in the other kindergarten class, but they play together at recess. "Kaitlyn says 'There you are Tyson!' when I come outside". We are so thankful that he has already made a special friend.

After getting off the bus today he told me to look at his ear. I did and was not sure what I was looking for. "It's perminal marker" he said. Apparently he accidentally wrote on his ear with permanent marker during art. I so love my boy!

Tomorrow is computer day! Tuesday is library day and this week Tyson checked out a Batman book, which he gets to keep for one week. I have the whole story line memorized and it's only Thursday. Each day Tyson has 2 "specials", either music, art or gym. The most amazing thing to him is that he has 3 recesses every day. "Why do I have three recesses every day? THREE. Did you know I have 3 recesses every day? I have recess when I get off the bus, after snack AND after lunch." The first one isn't technically a recess, but I'm not going to tell him that and ruin his joy.

So, he just came out to tell me the "Two little blackbirds sitting on a hill. One named Jack, one named Jill" poem thing. He is going to change it to Tyson and Kaitlyn and tell it to her tomorrow. He is now practicing in his room. How cute is he???

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Click here to check out the albums I recently uploaded. I am ALL caught up!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Pray for Ruby

I recently removed the "Pray for Ruby" button, but there is a link to the TenHakens blog on the right side of the page you are reading right now. They have just had some very disappointing news and can really use your prayers. So click here or on "Thought from the TenHakens" on the right.

While changing into my pj's in the presence of my 3 Year old...

Jori: Mommy, you forgot a brell.

Me: What?

Jori: Your brell.

Me: What is a brell?

Jori: For your tummies.

(I say nothing, but look at her in confusion)

Jori: For these! (Lifts up her shirt) For your bumps.

So, after the second time she said "brell" I knew what she meant, but I wanted to see how she was going to explain it to me. She has poked my "tummies" before and asked "You got a baby in there?" Nope. No baby, and I obviously need to start teaching her about the human anatomy!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Heavenly Hairbows

I just added a new blog to my list. My sister-in-law, LaShawn has been making hairbows and other creations for a couple years. Jori gets a lot of "pretties" from her Auntie and loves to get all dolled up. Check out her site and encourage her to keep adding new items to her blog! I know she is going to be selling those really cute crocheted hats with the flowers on the side. So adorable!
So head over to my blog list, or just click here to see some of her products.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

First day of school!!

Today was Tyson's first day of school. He is a kindergartner at Park Elementary. His teacher is Mrs. Weiss. He has been looking forward to school for such a long time! Last night before we prayed, I asked him if he was excited or nervous about school. He said "I'm nervous that my friends won't be my friend". So sad for a mommy to hear.

Sissy sneaking in the first day of school picture

This morning I dropped him off at school. He will be riding the bus home this afternoon and taking the bus the rest of the year, unless I am running late or discover that he is being corrupted by the older elementary kids on the bus! It was too early to leave him in his class so I took him out to the playground. As soon as I opened the door he took off running and never looked back. No good-bye. Not even a little wave. I was left standing there with his backpack in my hand. I am so thankful that he is so eager about school, but I was kind of sad that I didn't get to give him one last hug and tell him one more time that I love him and that Jesus is going to be with him all day long.

Standing under his "star" (it's the orange one above his head)
At about 3:45, Jori and I walked to the bus stop. We waited, and waited, and waited. I wish I had taken my phone along so I could see what time the bus actually came. I didn't mind waiting today because it was beautiful out, but on a cold day--not so much. The bus did finally come and after 3 "big" kids, my little Tyson hopped off. The bus stops on the other side of the cross street, and the kids cross at the back of the bus. My neighbor and I were not such huge fans of this because the bus driver can't really even see the kids crossing and even if she did see a car coming, she wouldn't be able to do a thing about it. Thankfully our neighbor boy had gotten off first, so I hollered to Tyson to wait with Ian and NOT cross the street alone!

After school. He ate his oreos on the bus because "they made me eat my lunch too fast at school".
It is now 5:30 and I have not been able to get much info from Tyson about how his day went. His favorite thing was recess. There wasn't anything he didn't like. He was very hungry when he came home and was eating the leftover parts of his lunch on the bus and the walk home. He doesn't know the names of anyone he played with and he says he didn't sit by anyone all day. I am hoping he'll say a little more to Darin. He did come home with an art project and a paper that he says is NOT homework, but I am not so sure about that.

*After Darin came home, Tyson told him that he had art class and music today. He has been singing "Fiddle dee dee, Fiddle dee dee. The BEE has married the bumblebee". I said "Isn't it the FLY has married the bumblebee", but he has assured me that his way is correct.

**The kids did great in their beds last night. Jori did fall out and was stuck between her bed and the wall, which explains why her cry was so muffled! Darin moved her bed over a couple more inches and we stuck a pillow in the gap and she stayed put the rest of the night. Tyson also did great. This morning at 6:45 he called me into his room to ask if I would turn on his light so he could make his bed : )

*** I tried uploading the video I took of Tyson describing his first day, but it wasn't happening. I am trying to get it on Facebook now (mom, call me and I can help you log on).

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day

I told Darin that I think this is the first time I have ever "labored" on Labor Day. We had a very busy day around here!

This morning, while Darin and Tyson were off filling the vending machines, I singlehandedly took down Jori's crib and moved the bed that Tyson has been using into her room. Did I mention that I did this all by myself?? Guess I am not as weak as most people think!

Here is Jori's new set-up:

She is really excited to be sleeping in her mommy's old bed and loves her quilt that my Oma made. We are just hoping that she doesn't fall out of bed tonight!!

This afternoon we headed to Walker to pick up the bed that we bought for Tyson off of Craigslist. We didn't tell him about it until he came home from vending and found out he no longer had a bed in his room. (He cried. Poor kid.) He perked right up when we told him we were going to pick up his new bed.

Here it is:

This desk is part of the set too. It fits under the loft, but we are leaving that space open for Tyson to play.
I am already wondering if we made a wise purchase. Have you ever put sheets on a loft bed?? This one was even harder to work with than my college loft.

Both kids are sleeping soundly in their beds. Even though it was a lot of work, I am glad we did it all in one day.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

One year ago today.

*Sorry for the lack of pictures. Blogger wasn't cooperating : (

One year ago today we were on our way to South Africa. You can read this post to see how I was doing a few hours before take-off. We got on that plane and started on a journey that would exceed all of our expectations. Our time in South Africa was so much more than what we could have dreamed possible.

We were able to experience some amazing things as a family, like petting elephants, bungee jumping (if you want to relive my "near death" experience, read this) , traveling to Cape Town with my parents, living in a beautiful home that was surrounded by an abundance of God's creation.

Our ten weeks in South Africa gave us so many opportunities to grow closer together as a family. Tyson and Jori LOVED having their daddy around so much. We all loved going on walks, heading to Derrick's to ride on the quads or eat dessert, go across the road to play with our friends at TYB. We didn't have a TV, internet connection or telephone to distract us from each other.

We were able to get reacquainted with many old friends, like the Hardings, Derrick and Pixie, members of Temba Baptist Church and Fenna and Francois, and meet new friends as well, including Amos, Mama Rebecca, and Mama Cathrine. These are people that we still think of and pray for and wish we could see often.

Being here and not really knowing what is going on back there is hard. Sometimes I feel myself growing distant and trying to not feel so attached to the people and places that we grew to love. While we were in South Africa, it was easy to think of all the things we could do to help Mama Cathrine, but now that we are here, these things are not so easy to carry out. There are financial costs involved and while we would be happy to send stuff to her, we don't have any guarantees that it would have arrived. Communication is sporadic, at best. Sending money is a whole big process.

Will we ever again have the chance to spend an extended amount of time in South Africa? God only knows. I love being close to family and friends, having reliable internet access, getting to know our neighbors and discovering new things about where we live. Yet I really miss being in South Africa. It is more than just the place itself. It's the people, and the whole way of life. It is a struggle to live life differently here in Hudsonville when you are surrounded by the latest and greatest everything. It is hard to live simply, when thanks to the wonder of couponing, a person can buy so many wonderful things that they don't even really need for so little money.

We don't know what the future holds for us, but we do know that we continue to be blessed by the journey that started a year ago today.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

New clothes for Jori

I know I eventually need to go back and fill in some posts that are missing, but that'll have to wait. My precious little girl has been so blessed to have cousins and friends that love to share clothes with her. Truly, being able to use other people's clothes is a huge blessing and also just plain smart! Every once in a while I pick something up for Jori, but it is usually at a garage sale. A quarter here, fifty cents there.
Well today, Jori got some new duds! I actually picked the first batch up yesterday at Carters, realized I had grabbed the wrong sizes on a couple items, and needed to bring them back today. However, before bringing them back I stopped at Target. Uh oh!! Let me just show you what I started with and what is still in our house right now.
Here are the Carters clothes. 2 pack leggings ($10) shirt ($10) BOTH the wrong size. The other item is a dress that is WAY cuter than what this pic shows. It was more than $10.

Here are my Target finds. 3 shirts and 2 pairs of pants-$3.50 each. Brown dress-$9. Is she not the CUTEST!!!

Here's my dilemma. I REALLY want to keep the Carters dress, but I can get ALL of the Target stuff for a little more than that one dress. And if I keep the Carters dress, I need to get some tights as well, which set my back $9!! I am so not a spender that it is causing me some grief. I already brought back the other stuff from Carters, but kept the dress and bought the tights.
Stress!! Really, if you had seen me at either of these stores I was pretty frazzled. So we'll see what happens. I am REALLY hoping someone has a cute pair of shoes she can wear with the dress or dresses so I don't have to go out an buy those too. Otherwise I might just have to bring it all back : )

Thank you

I appreciate all the kind words and concerned phone calls I have been getting. I really am doing ok. I mean, I'm obviously not, but I'm a work in progress. I met with an ob/gyn today to talk about some different options. Some are surgical, some are not. Some would mean that Darin and I would have to decide if we want to have more children. So I have a lot of information to sort through, but feel like this guy was really listening and really wants to figure out the best way to try and fix the craziness that is my cycle, and in doing so, hopefully lesson some of the craziness that inhabits me during my cycle. I also have an appointment with a psychiatrist at the end of the month and I am really glad I am going to see him (thanks Sarah). My regular doctor is great, but he knows that he has limited knowledge in some areas and wants me to get the best help that I can.
I really do appreciate the concern, just don't feel like this needs to be the center point of conversations we have. I guess I just like to know that I can open up on here a bit and maybe even show a glimpse of some of the ugliness that is in my life. Then when I say that I am having a hard time with a particular issue, people will know what I mean by a hard time. We all struggle, but there are different areas we struggle with and our struggles do not all happen in the same way.

Kmart and Meijer

Even though I haven't been posting as much, I have still been shopping and trying to get some good deals, but just haven't been posting them for various reasons. I am looking forward to my $100 plus rebate check from Rite Aid to come in the next couple weeks. Here are a couple of my recent shopping adventures.

For some reason the picture wants to be sideways. Anyways, this was my K-mart trip. I bought bounce dryer bar, 2 midols, mascara and a frappuccino, which is a word I do not know how to spell. All these goodies are going to set me back a grand total of 52 cents. Hooray for me. I ended up signing up for the sears card after the guy told me $10 is deducted from your first bill. I just tried to stick as close to $10 as I could, so in a few weeks I SHOULD be getting a bill for 52 cents. If not, you better believe I'll be calling someone up to get it fixed! My original total, before double coupons was just above $26, so $0.52 is quite an improvement.

After Kmart, I ran to Target to get some freebies. However, the Target in Holland had been cleaned out of free stuff so I headed for Meijer. Koolaid singles, Snyder's Buffalo Hot wing pretzels, hamburger buns, dish soap, hot dogs, lunch meat, and cream cheese. I would have had 3 koolaids, but I gave one of my dollar off coupons to a lady who thought she was getting a deal buying the canisters for a buck. Oh no ma'am, the singles are FREE and that is a way better deal. I love to spread the coupon love.

I had a coupon for everything but the pretzels (which were on sale and a gift of love to my husband) and the hot dog buns, which I needed for dinner that night. I had a coupon on the dish soap AND will be getting a rebate on the dish soap for the full price! My original total was $28.68. After coupons and in store sales, I spent $13.25. The koolaids were free, and I'll be donating them to Love Inc because as of right now, my kids are still happy with drinking water and I don't want to mess with a good thing!

I think that I am going to take the advice of my friend Kara and open a separate checking account for all my couponing craziness. I want to have the money we budget for grocery and paper goods and toiletries to be in this account. I think it will make me a lot more choosy about what I buy and help keep track of how much we're really saving. Wouldn't it be awesome if I had money left over at the end of each month that could be used for some other plan??

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

When what I have becomes what I am

I suffer from depression. There are times when I forget, even as I take my purple pill each morning. Then there are the times where what I have overtakes me and and seems to swallow me up. I become depressed.

Today I am just a person suffering from depression. A few days ago, I was depressed and had been depressed for quite some time. The symptoms of my illness seem to be much worse when I am about to have a "visitor" and while this "visitor" is present. Some people refer to this visitor as "Aunt Flo(w)", and I will leave it at that. Unfortunately, since having Jori, I am a hormonal wreck and am often "visited" several times a month, even though I am on the pill. (TMI?? Sorry, but it is what it is.)

When I am depressed I have a hard time getting out of bed. I consider cleaning the toilets a MAJOR victory and don't even attempt to clean up any other part of the house. I will often avoid the people closest to me, because it takes too much energy to be happy. I cry. A lot. I stay in my pjs for much of the day, sometimes for the whole day if I can get away with it. My family eats a lot of cereal, sandwiches, and frozen pizza for dinner. These are the "minor" things.

The major things are that I have a very hard time feeling connected to God and my relationship with my family, especially my kids, goes down the drain. I become irritable, angry, frustrated, anxious, mean, tired, and sad. Because I deal with being depressed several times a month I don't ever feel like I really get any of those relationships right. I try, and sometimes make a some headway, and then a couple days later I end up back in my bed, wishing I never had to get up.

So, why tell you all ("all" being the 5 of you that read this blog) that I often feel like a total mess? For one, I know that several of you often feel this very same way. That makes it not so hard to talk about. I also wanted to kind of lay the groundwork for other posts that I may write (or have already written, but never posted) about what my struggle looks like. I have a feeling Fee Fey Foe Fum is going to be the next big blog. Depressing stories about my life and couponing, a pretty awesome combination!!