Coupon Queen

In the past month or so, I've become quite the coupon clipper.  Blame it on boredom, write it off as a stay-at-home mommy thing...I don't know.  All I know is that I've always loved a good deal, and now I'm in love with coupons! 

Before now, I'd see coupons, think, "Oh, that's great!" toss them in my purse, and find them 4 months later, crunched and expired in the bottom of my huge purse.  Now I get a sad feeling when I find a coupon that has expired and I haven't been able to use, and think of taps playing as I toss it in the trash. 

Here is my coupon organizer...yes, I have one.  I'm a dork.  How else am I supposed to be able to use them all before they expire!  I sort them and put the ones I plan to use that week in the front pocket.  One group for Target, and one group for WalMart.

Now, my Sunday night ritual is to sit down at the computer, go to and find out what kind of deals I can get and plan out what our menu for the week will be!  Target also posts coupons on and lists their flier on line so you can see what's on sale.  Love!  The ultimate thing is to find a Target coupon and pair it with a coupon...that's a stacked coupon, people!!  Or, see something on sale at WalMart and find a coupon for the same item or two different coupons for the same makes me smile, ya'll!  I've even coerced Jeff into taking the coupon section in the paper that is delivered to the station...we don't get a Sunday paper and I NEED those coupons!  :)

I also have been following these two blogs that are soooooooo good and post new deals and even ways to stack your coupons to save the most.  A Thrifty Mom is great and so is Money Saving Mom.  They post coupons for specific stores and ways to save the most with coupons.

This week, one of my best coupon deals this week was a $6.99 Cutter citronella candle for....wait for!  Oh yes.  And a free pack of hot dogs for our neighborhood party in a few weeks.  I saved $25 at Target this week!  And no, I'm not buying random crap that I won't use.  And no, you don't want to be in line behind me. 

I am a little famous for going through we'll see how long this one lasts, but for now, you can call me the coupon queen!

Makes me want to cuss...

I was just telling my mom about my cute little strawberry that had turned red over the weekend, and she said it's probably ready to eat!  So I went outside to pluck that adorable berry and taste the goodness God had gown in my backyard, when I found this.  

Dang animal!  I'm about to put some type of cage around it...

On the up side, I've got more tomatoes!  

Family Reunion

This weekend, we headed back to Palestine for a little family reunion on my dad's side.  My great uncle and his wife passed away in the past year or so, and the family hosted a memorial service this weekend.  It was good to see cousins that I'd never met before!  Cousins from Oregon, Hawaii, Vegas, Montana...what a fun time. 

We spent a lot of the weekend out at the lake and it was Jack's first lake water experience!  We were totally prepared. 

 Speedo?  Check!

Floatie?  Check!

Daddy?  Check!

Pool in case the lake isn't a hit?  Check!

Mommy to help dry off?  Check!

Grandpa?  Check!
(notice Jack throwing his gang sign in the bottom right pic)

High chair that my 35 year old cousin used when he was a baby and was passed down to me and my sister and now lives at the lake? Check!

Family picture?  Check!

Hangin' trailer park style with Grandpa and Barbara?  Check!

It really was a fun weekend.  We laughed a lot, ate a lot, played a lot...and Jack stayed in his new "bedroom" at Grandpa's house.
Yes, that's the pack n' play in the bathroom.  Jack is too noisy to sleep in the same room!  He tosses and turns, moans and groans...and I must say, he slept very soundly in the bathroom!  And we slept pretty darn soundly in the bedroom next door. 

Good times!

Bed Head

So, Jeff and I walked in Jack's room after a nap last week and found this....

Jack's first concert....

...and yes, I'm a little embarrassed. 

I love music.  Love live music, was a big local concert goer in my day!  Of course, Jack would be the same, right?

Well, have you head of this little show called American Idol?
Jeff and I are fans...I'm a little embarrassed about it, but we watch every week, get excited (or annoyed) about who gets kicked of...we're a little into it. 

And so is our neighbor!  Like I've said before, we live in an older neighborhood.  Older homes, and older people.  Our 75ish year old neighbor, Wacel, is the youngest older person I've ever known!  She recycles everything, mows her own yard, takes painting classes, walks like a million miles a day and even has a compost pile in the back yard.  And...she loves, LOVES, American Idol!  And her favorite has been Casey James.
Oh wait, she swears he performs better when he wears his hair down...:)

Anyways, Casey is a Fort Worth guy, and since he's in the top 3, they did a hometown visit which included a 3 song concert at the could we not ask Wacel if she wanted to go!?!?!?!? 

It was pouring down rain Friday afternoon when the 4 of us piled in the car and headed down to the Stockyards.  Thankfully, my sister works at Billy Bob's and had the inside scoop as to the rain plan.  We got there, and headed in the direction of the concert and Wacel got a FRONT ROW SEAT  to the big show!  Love her.  She was snatching up the signs they were passing out, bracing herself against the pole support as to not get knocked over by the throngs of teenage girls vying for Casey's attention.  She had a blast!!!

And this is how Jack sat the entire time. 
Laaaaaid back, feet propped up, chillin'.  He's not phased by semi famous people! 

As a side note, I think it would be best for Casey to not win....he's more of a John Mayer/Gavin DeGraw type that really will sound better at a small intimate venue, rather than the American Airlines Center.  I'm just sayin'.  You've got your notoriety, go ahead and pray you don't win and have to jump through all of the hoops that winning AI entails....

Babyfood Fail!

Jack is 8 months now....8 months!  I can't believe it. 

Anyways, I've read at 8 months, babies can start eating meat.  Now, meat has a much tougher texture than other fruits and veggies they've been eating, so you have to either buy it in the jar (oh-em-gee, no thank you...that's like dogfood, ya'll!) or make your own chicken baby food.  I'm always up for a challenge, and really, how hard can it be, let's do it! 

So, like any doting mother would do, I went to Target, picked up some organic chicken, came home, boiled it up, put it in the food processor with some sweet potatoes and a little broth, and served it up!

And....Jack thought it was disgusting.  He gagged.  He even threw it up!  He was having no part in all.  I smelled smelled like chicken and sweet potatoes, not like something that should make someone barf up their noodles!  We kept trying....he started gagging as soon as the spoon full of the medley came remotely close to his mouth. 

Ok, fine.  I give up. 

No chicken for YOU!

Sad update...

I went out to the garden this morning and this is what I saw.
And then I saw this...
I mean, did he?  Could he??
You be the judge...
I'm just sayin'.

First Fruits

As my mother's daughter, I love gardening.  Today's my mom's birthday, so I must brag on her.  She is a wonderful gardener.  She has an eye for what will be beautiful, plans ahead to make flower beds right, and her yard always looks amazing. 

Last year about this time, my mom and I redid a large part of my backyard garden.  Our house is in an older neighborhood and we have like 8 huge oak trees in the back yard.  The people here before us did a great job on the gardens so for the first 2 years we lived in the house, we did our best to maintain!  There are a ton of beautiful large leaf hydrangeas, mature bushes, perennials popping up is a beautiful's a big part of why we bought the house!

One part of the yard had kinda become a drainage area, so mom and I set about changing that.  We built a huge 8x8 raised flower bed box, and installed some galvanized tin watering troughs for a few more raised beds. 
 It was quite a project....especially with me being 6 months pregnant!  Ok, ok, mom did most of the work...

Last year the boxes were pretty...this year it's just beautiful!  The perennias that we planted last year have come back and look gorgeous, and I planted some annuals that are so bright and cheery!  I love to have fresh herbs around, so I added cilantro, basil, thyme, curry, and Italian parsley to the evergreen rosemary, perennials oregano and lemon balm.  I also planted a tomato plant, a strawberry bush, and a hot pepper plant.  Now, if you remember, last year, I had a tomato...a lone tomato that met an early end...what I didn't blog about was that one day, I went to check on my lone tomato and it had been snatched by a squirrel!  If that happens again, squirrel and I will have words. 

And over the last few days, as I peruse the garden, I've noticed these
It's a pepper...
...and a tomato...
and a strawberry!!

My First Mother's Day!

It was great.  I wish I had more pics, but of course, I don't.  When will I learn!

Jack gave me some cool crafty things that I'll show you later, and he Jeff transcribed the sweetest card from him!  :)

At church they made these adorable Mother's Day crafts!  I know Susan was in charge...she's my craftiest friend.  PS I had some problems scanning scanner was being a freak and wouldn't scan the whole thing...that's why his name is chopped off...but you get the point...

Jack didn't have a great day on Sunday.  He was fussy to the max...those top two teeth are playing hide and seek and I'm about to have a throwdown with them.  So here's the non-blurry unhappy pic....
and here's the blurry happy pic.  I need to take more pictures.  And ignore the shine...I ran out of foundation, ok?

Reality is...

Do you ever think back on points in your like and think, "Gosh, I was so prideful, and just a selfish, rude person!  Man, I'm glad I'm not that way anymore!" and then really sit back and think, "Um, yeah I am," and sit further back and think about all the times that same day that I did stupid things, thought I was better than I was, acted like I owned the world. 

I'm just saying...thank you Lord for those wake up calls.

The only thing...

that made Jack happy yesterday was sitting in his high chair, sucking on a frozen apple and looking out the window.  So, guess what we for a large portion of the day.

We'll see how today goes...could be a lot more gazing out the window and apple sucking in our future!

Teething, take 2

Remember back here where Jack got his first tooth?  And it was so exciting!  And still is.  They're growing in and you can really see them!  I just can't imagine what he'll look like with a mouth full of teeth!  I'm kinda sad to see the toothless baby go, but teeth are, for whatever reason, an exciting milestone!

Anyways, we're working on the top two front teeth now...and it's been a beating.  Jack is such a happy baby!  So content...until teething enters the picture.  And this makes him a very unhappy baby.  Poor thing!  I can only imagine what it feels like to get teeth (thank the Lord we don't have to remember) but it's obviously very uncomfortable! 

The teething waves kinda come and go.  We're in the middle of the longest one yet for this set.  It started Sunday...and hasn't stopped!  I checked his mouth on Sunday (which is no small feat) and could see the white nub that I just knew was going to pop on through that day!  Well, I still see the white nub. 

I put him down for a nap at 8:45 and he's been struggling to go to sleep ever since...and as I type it's 9:45!!  Prayers for Jack, that he can rest and that that tooth will do it's job and get on out here!

Things I Love

1.  Peeking over the crib rail to see Jack's face light up when he sees me...even if he was fussing 3 seconds before!
2.  Listening to him learn his's loud, no doubt!  I think he'll be a talker.
3.  Watching Jack learn how to use new toys, and learn how to use old toys differently.  There are a few toys that he got for Christmas that he played with then, and is still playing with now, but he's totally figured out how to use them, where as before, he didn't really get it.  It is consistently amazing to see how God forms us.
4.  Watching Jeff be a daddy.
5.  Hugging and squeezing Jack while he laughs.
6.  Hearing Jack laugh at his daddy from the other room.
7.  Introducing him to new foods.  His latest and greatest is pasta!  I cooked up some whole wheat spiral pasta and he noms on a few spirals at dinner each night...and he loves it!!
8.  Playing peek a boo...his favorite game!  In fact, Jack loves to be startled!  We have his jumparoo in a door way that you can access from two halls.  So he might be facing one way when we walk out of the room and so we walk in the room from the other hall and say boo...he LOVES it!  Jumps up and down like crazy, screaming like a banshee!!
9.  Watching Jack squirm around on the floor, trying to figure out this whole crawling thing...
10.  Saying bed time prayers and kissing him goodnight.


Friday afternoon we packed up the house, put it in the car, strapped Jack into his big boy car seat (which I'm still not sure he loves) and started the 2.5 hour drive down to Palestine for the weekend.  I grew up in Palestine...the East Texas one...not like Middle East one...and you're probably only pronouncing it correctly if you live in Texas. 

Jack is a pretty good traveler, slept about half of the way and just played for the rest...which is a far cry from our first trip to Palestine back in October where he basically just cried the whole way.  Ugh.  Glaaaaaaaaaad we're past that stage!  

We had a great weekend hanging out with my dad, Barbara and Grandpa. 

Didn't do much, ate a lot, visited a lot, and went out to the lake!  Jack took his first trip out on a boat and watched Jeff, Dad and Barbara fish...ate some know, nothing big!  
He did a little contemplating...
played with some favorite toys...

and acted all cool in Daddy's sunglasses.

We had a great time, pretty relaxing, and Jack slept for 13 hours last night!  I woke up before he did!  That never happens...

 And PS, aren't those pic's cool??  I took them with my IPhone!  It's the hipstamatic app recommended by Beth and it's well worth it's $1.99 price.  If you don't have it and you have an IPhone you totally need to get it.