Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Time is Near

I cannot believe that Christmas is just 4 days away! It seems that the time passes more quickly each year. Here are some of things we have been busy doing this Christmas season! I really do love this time of the year.
We went to see the Nutcracker. It was amazing! Both of the girls loved it and we had awesome seats! We were in the upper box seats that were hanging right over the stage!
The ballet school where dd takes lessons puts on The Nutcracker each year. The leading lady in white was her first teacher, and the gypsy looking lady is her current teacher.

Friday we spent the day baking. Some friends came over and we made sugar cookies. After dinner we made our first ever gingerbread house. That was lots of fun!!

Yesterday we finished up the last little bit of Christmas shopping. Today I've been doing more baking; getting goodies together for DH to take with him to work tomorrow and some for our cookie swap that we attend each year. Tomorrow I plan to make snowflakes with the girls.

How have you spent your holiday season?

PS -- Our poor gingerbread man is now slightly mamed. Atleast she only took one small bite ;-)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Ornaments & Traditions

Do you have any special holiday traditions? We make a birthday cake for Jesus, we count down the days til Christmas, we do the nativity story What God Wants For Christmas, & we've made it a point to be at our house for Christmas day. We've taken that last one a step further this year and have decided to just stay home this holiday season. Travelling is such a burden with kids in an already stressful time of the year so we've decided to lessen the load!

I mentioned last night that we have been making reindeer ornaments for the last several years, but beyond that, ornaments are a big deal to me! I love how opening the big box of Christmas decorations will bring back a flood of memories.

We try to remember to buy an ornament each year when we go on vacation. This one is from our honeymoon. We spent a week in Savannah/Tybee Island. It is one of my most favorite ornaments on our tree.

Other vacation ornaments include a big Hershey kiss that we got at the Hershey store when we went to Niagra Falls, a sand dollar with a snowman and a seashell made into a Christmas mouse from 2 differnt trips to Myrtle Beach, & a panda ornament from our trip back to Savannah/Atlanta for our fifth anniversary.

We also get a new ornament each year. The girls have first & second (even a third) christmas ornaments. Last year we picked out ornaments from different places that fit the personalities of the one getting the ornament. DD1 got ballet slippers, DD2 got a doggy ornament, DH bought me a starbucks ornament & we picked out a spiderman ornament for him. This year we each picked our own from Hallmark (several coupons helped lessen the expense of this splurge!). Here are pics of the girls' first Christmas ornaments.

This last ornament is one that I ordered last year for baby Joslyn, she still holds a place in our family (& on our tree) even though she is with Jesus. It is a silver cradle with her name & birthdate engraved.

What traditions does your family have?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Rudolph the Red Nosed Billydeer

Tonight DH and I made ornaments with the kids. Since we moved into this house 3 years ago I started making foot/handprint reindeer with the girls. Its so much fun and very easy to do.
Making this year's reindeer.

DD1 with her collection of reindeer.

DD2 with her collection of billydeer.I guess that I didn't want to wake her the first year we were here because she doesn't have a reindeer, but she does have one teeny tiny 4 month old foot angel. Its precious. One night at Home Depot she said she was watching the billy goats. DH told her they were reindeer. She's a bit confused and billydeer they are.

Its so neat to see how little they were when we had our first Christmas here. My oldest was 2 and the youngest was 4 months old that Christmas. In order from left to right, 2006. 2007, & 2008

Rehanging the ornaments ...

Here is a view of the tree from DD1's bed. She likes for us to shut the door though so she can see all the little lights dancing underneath. Sweet dreams!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Why, yes, they are fake

Christmas is very quickly becoming my favorite holiday! Easter has long held the top spot because I love me some sweet tart chicks and everything is green and Jesus is risen, but I think the joy that comes from my children with every new thing we pull out of the box, the nativity scene, the ornaments, the little bear that plays jingle bells, might be what kicks Easter to second.
We bought a little fake tree a few years ago after Christmas at Target for like $2. Its gone up in the hall outside of the girls' rooms with all of their little homemade ornaments attached. I love that tree! Its so much fun to put up. The girls & I put that tree up today.
They helped fluff the branches,

DD1 put the top on,

they took a break while I strung the lights,

DD1 stood on her tip-toes (on a chair) to turn on the star,

and then they posed in front of their fully decorated tree!

It was great fun! All the while we had a children's christmas cd blaring in the background and we rocked to Frosty the Snowman and Rockin Around the Christmas Tree. Good times indeed!

This past Sunday we put up our family Christmas tree. I have always said I would have a real tree. I like going to look for them and the smell and all that. This year, however, Black Friday changed my mind. We bought our 7.5 ft prelit shute fir at Home Depot at 6 AM Friday morning for $50! I was excited. You can't even tell its not real. After stringing the lights on the small tree today I was all the more thankful to have a prelit to lessen the burden. It smells good, too. A few cleverly placed cinnamon scented pine cones work swell. Its my favorite Christmas tree out of all the ones we've had in 7 years!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Sewing is a past time I wish I had more time for ...

You know those people who get an idea in their head and you can't change it for anything once its there? I'm one of those people. Especially when it comes to crafty type things.
I got an idea to do pillowcase dresses with cute leggings. I saw a really cute one online but the material had to be ordered and was expensive, so I headed for plan b. First I would find leggings and then find material. No one had leggings! Finally Target got these cute ones in and that got the ball rolling.
I bought the material and made the dresses in one night. My super talented and very crafty friend, Winnie, monogrammed the dresses for me. I had a hard time finding the ribbon to tie them with but finally found that at Hobby Lobby. I bought it all :)
Button cover kit courtesy of WalMart and my feeble attempt at hand emroidery birthed the hairbows.
We are offically ready for Christmas!

Back to blogness ...

So I took an unexpected hiatus from blogging for the month of November. Not sure why really. I had actually thought about having my first ever giveaway and had planned it to correspond with my 100th post/birthday. But, that didn't happen. I'll work on a new give away in the future.
I'll have pics up soon of what has kept me so busy, in the mean time here is my trip to Publix yesterday. I saved $112 and spent $2.28 out of pocket. My total before coupons and a $25 gift card that I got for having a $5 presciption filled was $100.49! Best trip yet! Sorry I don't have a picture, I always remember as I'm putting away the last bag of groceries.

1 box kellogg's frosted flakes
1 box kellogg's special k
3 coffee mate creamers
1 loaf sara lee bread
4 cans spaghetti-os
4 cans ravioli
6 cans starkist tuna
1 pouch starkist tuna
10 martha white muffin mixes
4 knorr sides
2 bags publix chips
2 lbs bananas
2 boxes orville popcorn
1 publix cheese pizza
4 boxes quaker oatmeal to go bars
2 bags fresh express salad
1 box ziplock freezer bags
1 nesquik chocolate powder
2 kraft bbq sauce
1 gallon milk
4 glade candles
1 pack goody headbands
2 packs dixie paper plates
1 cover girl concealer
1 20 oz dr pepper

Store Coupons - $47.72
Vendor Coupons - $25.25
Advertised Special Savings - $34.24
Advantage Buy Savings - $5.69
Savings At Publix - $112.90

To see more Publix Super Savers visit Sarah at Fiddle Dee Dee

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A very happy mail day!

I love when good things come in the mail! I love it even more when there are not only good things but no bills either! That was what I found today. In my mailbox was a large yellow envelope, a check, a gift card and a magazine! Woo-hoo!
We'll work our way backwards:
The Magazine - No Greater Joy by Mike & Debi Pearl, I love to glean from their wisdom.
The Gift Card - $10 from one of my favorite stores because my birthday is just weeks away.
The Check - A $10 rebate from Kelloggs from the promotion they did at the beginning of school. By the way, I also got $15 in gift cards from Target during that same promotion for buying Kelloggs products!
The Yellow Envelope - A free book!! A Tip A Day with Ellie Kay It came from Moody Publishers. My super dh had heard about the promotion on Moody Radio and let me pick the book of my choice. The book is about how to save money. Not only on groceries, but clothes and utilities and more! I am excited to learn more money saving tips!

What came in your mailbox today?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Publix 10/27 (i heart publix)

I got a few things for free or very close!! My favorite freebie tonight was a pound of chicken tenders from the deli! Is it just my Publix or do all Publix do a banner item give away every 30 minutes? I actually remembered to sign up on my way in tonight and imagine my suprise when my name was called over the speakers! Have you had their chicken tenders?? YUM! They became part of a most excellant chicken salad for our dinner tonight!

2 bags Fresh Express Spring Mix (rain check BOGO, -2 q, $1 bag)
1 Publix Santa's White Christmas Ice Cream
1 dz Publix eggs
2 Promise Active Super Shots
1 24 pack Kraft Cheese (free b/c of pricing error)
3 bags Publix Potato Chips
2 boxes Betty Crocker Brownie Mix
4 boxes Publix Pasta Shells
2 boxes Huggies Clean Team Washcloths (free after publix q & manu q)
2 bottles Hidden Valley Ranch Ranch Dressing (rain check BOGO, -1.75 q, $.67 each)

1 bottle Publix finger nail polish remover
8 cans Campbell's Chunky Soup
4 cans Muir Glen Orgainic Tomato Sauce (33 cents,8cents can, after publix q & manu q)
1 bag Publix cotton balls
1 pack Huggies Wipes (free after publix q & manu q)
1 gallon Publix Milk
1 bottle Gerber Fruit Juice (free after publix q & manu q)
1 loaf Publix Bread (1 cent mystery item)

Store Coupons $21.41
Vendor Coupons $16.05
Advertised Specials $15.78
Advantage Buy $1.78

Total Out Of Pocket: $28.30

To see more Publix Super Savers visit Sarah at Fiddledeedee!

Monday, October 20, 2008

What to do with things you get free ....

Ever think to yourself "What am I gonna do with all this free stuff?" My husband asked me that when I came home with 4 plastic pumpkin pails yesterday. My answer, "give it away!" 2 of those pumpkin pails became gifts for our pastor and assistant pastor's families today.

Publix 10/20

1 12 pack Cottonelle Ultra
4.33 lb boneless/skinless chicken breast
2 loaves Sara Lee Bread
2 packs Fast Fixin Chicken
1 bag baby carrots
2 packs of YoPlus Yogurt
1 Pedigree Good Bites
1 Bag Chex Mix Chocolate Turtle
2 Coffee Mate creamers
3 cans Campells Select Harvest Soups
2 frozen Welch's juices
2 cans Muir Glen Organic Tomato Sauce
1 box Publix Oatmeal
2 Cheddar Chicken Salad Finishers
2 Boxes Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa
4 Boxes Kelloggs Frosted Mini Wheats
1 Chocolate Chip Cannoli (yum!)

Store Coupons: $16.33
Vendor Coupons: $29.43
Advertised Special Savings: $33.98
Advantage Buy Savings: $0.70
In-Store Special Savings: $2.98
Total Out of Pocket: $29.24

For More Publix Super Savers visit Sarah at Fiddledeedee

Boo In The Zoo

We went to Boo In The Zoo Saturday night! We had so much fun! My oldest dressed as Princess Presto and the youngest was a kangaroo, aka teekaroo.