Wednesday, May 25, 2011


So, I think I am officially the last person on earth to start couponing and definitely the last person to blog about it!  I just got really started back in March.  My friend Rebecca had told me about some great websites over a year ago and I would peruse them for ideas, but never really did anything with the information.  That all changed when my dad started sending me his Sunday morning inserts (kind of nice, right!).  Getting my coupons in the mails has become one of the highlights of my week.  The people at work enjoy it too because I pass the coupons on to them after I get the ones I want.

Anyway, I am so amatuer at this!  I only shop at Publix (haven't gotten into the drugstore thing yet) and I only buy the stuff when we absolutely need it or it is on sale (Publix has good buy 1, get 1 free deals each week). 

I think half the fun is the search for the coupons and the other half is waiting for the deals to come.  There is a thrill of handing the cashier my organized stack of coupons! 

Do I get the $90 worth of groceries for $10?  Um no, that is not me.  I am the one who is lucky to have one great deal week.  One deal that I leave the store saying, wahoo!  Like this week my good deal was cokes.  They were buy 2, get 2 free and I had 2 $1 coupons.  Other good deals have included paper plates , diapers, Shout, and dog treats.

I thought it would be fun to share the websites I reference and some of the other groups I have joined.  1)  This one is based out of Atlanta I believe and is good to list all sorts of good deals, not just limited to coupons.  They have a section that goes over all of the different coupon policies which is nice when I start to question what I can and cannot do.  2)  You may think this would only be helpful if you lived down here, but I think it could be useful for anyone.  They do list the stores that are "competitors" of each other and those stores may not be in your area but I don't really do the competitor thing (maybe I should).  They are good to list other deals as well too.  I also print coupons from Target and Rite Aid, both of which can be used at Publix. 

Since reading these 2 sites I have joined RecycleBank to get coke and yogurt coupons.  Recyclebank is pretty easy.  You just do little quizes to earn points and the points get your coupons.  I have also started doing the Swagbucks thing,  The jury is still out on this one.  You earn points by using swagbucks as your search engine.  Then you are rewarded points.  Sounds simple enough but it will take awhile to get anything that I really want.  I figure it can't hurt to try; I am wanting to get a Paypal gift card or maybe Target.  Finally, I do the Pampers Rewards, which I have mentioned before.  Both of the websites listed above are good about listing bonus point opportunities.  You really could not buy diapers and potentially get stuff (i.e. a Starbucks gift card) through these bonus points - kind of a neat concept.

Well, I guess that is about it.  Now to decide if I am going to go to the store today to take advantage of this week's deals since I won't be able to go to the store this weekend!

Happy Couponing!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Moving On Up

I feel like there hasn't been too much happening around our house other than sickness and this past weekend didn't disappoint.  Poor Paige woke up Friday with a 103 fever.  Our poor baby spent most of the morning sleeping and lounging around (lots of snuggles and couch time!), but luckily after eating a late lunch she was up moving around.  She still had a slight fever Saturday so we stayed all day.  Finally, Sunday arrived fever free.  We went to church and I don't know who enjoyed it the most.  Sunday night we had our end of the year cookout out for small group.  But, I was too busy visiting or chasing Paige around to take any pictures.

Enjoying some fresh air after being couped up.  Please excuse the outfit, she refused to change tops so the PJ top worked for the backyard.

I have been thinking about what in the world I could write about for the blog since there has been absolutely nothing going on.  All I could come up with were the few things I left out of Paige's 15 month post.  The girl has turned into a "Fresh Beat Band" fanatic.  The "Fresh Beat Band" is a show that comes on NickJr; it isn't even a cartoon.  It is a group of 4 kids/teens that are in a band and they do stuff and sing.  Paige LOVES the music.  I have been trying so hard to get a video of her dancing but it just hasn't happend.  I was able to catch her mesmerized by their singing and dancing.

Let's see - other exciting stuff...I forgot some of the words Paige is saying.  One of my favorites is Sarah.  Yes, Sarah, how random is that?  Are there any Sarah's in her class at school?  No.  Do we have any Sarah's in our family?  No.  The only connection I can make is that there is teacher at her school who is Sarah and Paige loves her (but Paige loves everyone at school).  Another one is bubble.  It is too cute how she will look at the bubbles in the tube and just say "bubble, bubble".

Also, Paige has kind of moved up to the next class at school.  They have been working on transistioning her for awhile now, but it hasn't been as much as I originally thought.  Well, yesterday when both classes were coming in from outside Paige decided she would just join the big kid class.  They tried to get her back in her class and she wouldn't have any part of it.  The move was scheduled for next week but I guess one week won't hurt her!  She is so ready to be with all of her old friends, Gray, Lucy and Beau.  Funny story about Beau.  Paige's new teacher, Ashley, told me that they were sitting next to each other at the table today and Paige said, "No, No, Beau Beau".  Gotta love Miss Bossy Pants.  Do you think she hears no alot? 

One more Paige funny from school, just to show that the girl's got sass.  Today she walks into school, marches to the room, almost plows another boy down to take his seat at the breakfast table to get to his leftover waffle.  The girl was on a mission and nothing was going to get in her way!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

15 Months

Paige you are 15 months old!! 
(actually you turned 15 months last week, but it always seems like I am behind.)

Gone are the days of taking pictures of you in your crib.  I don't think you would sit still for one minute even if we tried.

So, what are you up to these days?  Everything!!  You took your first steps the night before your 1st birthday and haven't looked back since.  Your walk has turned more into a run.  In fact, you have already worn out one pair of shoes and you got your first pair of real tennis shoes over the weekend, size 4.5 (boy do you look cute and so grown up!).  At school you would rather walk than ride when moving from room to room.  It is too cute to watch you move on along like a big girl.  You are also wanting to walk to the car now.  You know what bye-bye means and take off for the garage door and once in the garage you expect the garage door to be open and ready for you.  This presents a challenge for us because you do not like to hold our hands, but with a little persistence on our part you will get used to it.

Your vocabulary has really picked up.  Some of your favorite words are ball, book, dog (followed by your dog sound, not quite sure it is a ruff-ruff or woof-woof just yet), please, thank you, yum yum, outside (you say 'side'), dada, yes and no mam.  Speaking of 'please', we have all been working hard to get you to say please and thank you when asking for something.  Funny story from school - Ms. Melissa asked you if you would like a cracker, you replied, "yes" while moving your head up and down.  Ms. Melissa asks, "Paige will you say 'please'?".  You reply, "no" and refuse to say please.  We were all laughing because you would just not say it and you knew you were supposed to.  Lesson learned - momma and daddy needed to work more with you at home on this one and boy have we!  So much so, that when I saw Ms. Carrieann last week she told me you were one of the politess kids in the school.  She thought it was great that you would say 'no mam' (I wondered to myself if that was because that is what she hears all the time at home, either said to her or her fur sisters - ha!).  We love listening to you talk even when it is just babbling that we can't understand.

Over the past 3 months eating has not really been a challenge.  You would eat almost anything we offered anytime we offered it.  Maybe that is why you weigh 24 lbs and wear 18 month or 24 month clothes!  You are starting to develop a taste for certain things.  For instance you love peanut butter and you are starting not to like grilled sandwiches (including grilled cheese - what kid doesn't like grilled cheese?  I am hoping this will pass because I love grilled sandwiches.).  You and I have our "thing" with peanut butter and can eat it right of the jar together (I don't know if I should be admitting this on our blog as some may find it yucky that we eat it right out of the jar).  You continue to love fruits and veggies, especially bananas and green beans.  I love that you go for the green beans before anything else on your plate or that you will specifically ask for a banana for breakfast or snack.  You are drinking from a straw when given the opportunity.  We were a little reluctant to try this but when you get sweet tea on the other end, who can resist?  You are also learning that chocolate can help make boo-boo's better.

Books are probably your most favorite toy.  You will read on your own or you will bring one to us and want to sit in our lap to read together.  "Reading" normally consists of me reading the pages really quickly while you try to turn the pages.  I love that you have such a great interest in books and I hope it continues.  Balls are another favorite toy.  It doesn't matter if it is big or small, one you can hold or one you see in a book or on TV, you love balls.  I have recently learned that soccer may be in your future because you love kicking them so much...we will see where that takes us.

"Firsts" for the past 3 months include going to Willowbrook's high tech nursery (but not your first nursery experience) and my first time to leave you with your daddy.  I have left you before while I was with daddy but never without.  I think I was more affected by this than (isn't that the way it seems to work with kids).  Daddy did teach you one neat trick while I was gone and that was to say "cheese" when you take a picture.  "Cheese" includes the cute little smile along with you right up on the camera - see picture 1 of the post to know what I am talking about.  I love it!!!!

Words I would use to describe you -

 you love give hugs

Strong Willed
Daddy says you get this from me

Daddy says you get this from him

Giggle box
your laugh is contagious and I just love to hear it

there is never a dull moment at our house

No Fear
there isn't too much that scares you, including going down the slide head first, yes you have tried this

You are always on the go and on to something new

You bring your fur sisters their toys and chewy sticks, it is so sweet to see you share
Did you know that there is a new way to sit in chairs?

Happy 15 Month Birthday sweet baby girl!!!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Crazy Weekends

The past 2 weeks have been kind of crazy around our house.  I can't believe half of May is already over.

So, where do I begin?  Last weekend we had all these great ideas of what we could do for Mother's Day.  It was going to start with some shopping and dinner at Sea n Suds.  Well, we go shopping, phase I, complete, but then it was nap time.  Paige took an unusally long nap so we didn't make it out for round 2.  We also didn't make it to Sea n Suds either because poor baby had a fever (high fever at that!).  So, we opted to stay home and boy are we glad we did.  Poor Madi then got sick and by 11:30 pm she had blood coming out places where it shouldn't and it was off to the emergency vet for Madi and Brad.  Poor thing ended up getting diagnosed with HGE and had to spend 2 nights recouping and getting rid of the yucky bug.

With Paige's fever Saturday we didn't feel like we should go to church and expose other kids to whatever she may have.  When she got up she was fever free so we decided we could go on with phase 2 of Mother's Day weekend and that was brunch at Bimini Bob's.  It was our first time to go there for brunch and it did not disappoint!

Me with my sweet girl that made me a mom!

Sweet plate Paige made at school!

Our week was fairly uneventful, which we were all grateful for, but Brad was out of town for work for a couple nights (no biggy!).  I did have a moment where I felt like superwoman - Tuesday morning our morning started with getting Brad to Target to meet his ride at 6:30, then breakfast with the girls in the Chick-fil-a parking lot, then Paige to school, Ellie and Madi to doggie daycare, and then finished up at Publix at 7:25.  Pretty good I thought!

Then came Friday...

Paige had her 15 month check up (updates about that in another post, can't believe she is 15 months!) that morning and I decided I would take her on to school for the afternoon so I could run a few errands and get somethings picked up around the house.  Well, Ellie had other plans.  I am not sure if she got what Madi had, but it was headed that way and with the first sign that it could be the same I was calling our vet and getting an appointment.  Poor Ellie ended up spending Friday and Saturday nights at the vet's office getting fluids and resting.  Luckily we were able to pick her up tonight.

So, back to Sea n Suds...Brad and I had really been wanting to go and were disappointed that we couldn't go last weekend.  We told each other we would go this Friday or Saturday night.  After Ellie getting sick, Friday night was out.  Then Paige had a birthday party to attend Saturday afternoon and it didn't make much sense to drive down to Gulf Shores when we were basically on the Causeway.  Knowing that we made the right decision to eat closer to home, we were still disappointed and decided that today we would go.  We made it for lunch - yay!!!!  Let me just say that I absolutely love their shrimp sandwich.  This is the place where I learned to like shrimp sandwiches and it was oh so good, perfect little shrimp on a lightly toasted bun with just the right amount of tarter sauce!!  I am already ready to go back!!!  Plus, you can't beat making your own cocktail sauce.

Loving ball time at the Little Gym.

Can't beat a breezy sunny day at the beach!

In my mind I already have some relaxation plans for next weekend.  We will see if it really happens or life has something else up its sleeve.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

End of Year Program

It is hard to believe that it is close to the end of the school year!  The Neighborhood School puts on an annual End of Year program and since we missed the Christmas program we knew we had to be there.

Paige was very cute, of course, but didn't show out as much as I thought she would.  Ms. Melissa had told me how Paige loved dancing to all of the songs and was all about being with the big kids.  After Paige's part was done, she came and "sat" with me - "sat" meaning we walked all around the church and then spent some time in the lobby while the pre-K graduated (we didn't want to be "that kid", which we may already be).

Getting all dolled up before we leave

Patiently waiting to sing

Singing, "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star"

The graduate, Ella, with Myles

The program was so cute and so special, especially for those pre-K families.  It is hard to imagine Paige graduating, but I know these years will fly!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Easter Weekend - Part 2

Saturday afternoon we grilled out and spent time with Brad's family.

Paige enjoyed searching for more eggs.

 After lunch we hopped over the see the new addition at the Ready house, Cameron!!  He was so sweet!  It made me realize how much Paige has grown over the last year.  Kevin and Susan are going to be great parents!

Sunday we celebrated Easter at our old church, Willowbrook Baptist.  It was our first time to bring Paige to the nursery and let me say that was an experience (a great one, don't worry).  Willowbrook is so high-tech and child-oriented.  Each child must register on their first visit.  Brad, Paige and myself all got our picture taken and Brad and I got finger print, or something like that.  Then, we got this print out that had all 3 of our pictures on it, with the class name and everything on it (so neat!).  We gave the "in" slip to the teacher and we were off to the service with our pager.  Another awesome thing was how staffed this room was.  Our current church doesn't always have enough help and I sometimes worry about Paige.  Willowbrook was ready this Sunday!  They also have a neat little lobby in front of each room so that the parents won't block the hallway when they are dropping off their child (how cool is that!?!).  When we went to pick up Paige, we placed our pager on this thing - not really sure what it was - and got an "out" print out with our pictures again.  We gave that to the teacher and we were off.  I loved it!!!!

We were sad to go so early on Easter, but knew we needed to get back and get back to real life (this was going to be my first real time at home in 2 weeks).  Now, we are real life is here and it is off to work for us...

Monday, May 2, 2011

Easter Weekend - Part 1

What a fun and busy weekend we had!  We hadn't been to Huntsville since Christmas and just like the plane ride, we didn't really know what to expect from our walking little one.  I don't know which was better, the plane or the car.  Either way, I don't know that we will be traveling for awhile.  5 hours is just a long time for a baby to sit and it isn't that fun for her (I am sure all of our friends with young kids who are reading this are going to want to come and visit now - ha!), but we made it.

Geared up, ready to go.

When we go, we all go; including our fur babies.

Paige got to meet her first cat, Simon, at my dad's house. 

She also loved laying out on their soft rug, silly girl!

Saturday morning we went to Ben's soccer game.

Run, girls, run!  I guess they wanted to play too.

We tried to get a picture of the 3 munchkins, but it just didn't really work out.

Next was an Easter egg hunt with Billy, Rebecca, and Katie Lane.

We started with hunting eggs...

and moved on to playing with all of the awesome, fun toys!  I love the screened in porch at Willowbrook!!


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Tornado Relief

We down in South Alabama were not affected by the terrible tornados that hit our state last Wednesday.  I haven't blogged in awhile because I didn't really know what to write and didn't really feel right blogging while there were so many bigger things going on.

Brad and I really struggled with all that happened. 

1) Being from Huntsville and having so many family and friends there made us very concerned about what happened up there.  There were a couple of tornados that swept through doing damage mainly in the Harvest area.  Thankfully, that is not where we have any family or friends.  But, with all of the storms the entire county was without power.  From what we hear, they are slowly getting their power back today (you know, the official reports from facebook - ha!). 

2)  I don't know if it is because Brad works for a university or that we are big football fans or what, but we were both really affected by the tornados that terrorized Tuscaloosa.  I think back to our college days and how clueless we were and how that could have easily been us.  You never think it is going to happen to you.  Then I think about Paige, and I think about what those parents were going through.  That may have been what broke my heart the most.  The parents unable to reach their children, rushing to Tuscaloosa only to find that the tornado took their child's life or they were lucky enough to find the child's life spared.  Finally, there is the prespective of the professor.  Brad said he couldn't imagine losing one of his students.  It is just unimaginable.

As I said, we struggled with what we could do to help.  Did we need to go up and volunteer?  Could we donate supplies?  What exactly could we do?  We decided what would be best was to donate supplies through our church and we offered our house to our friends in Huntsville without power.  No one took us up on the offer, but a few friends came down to the beach.  We decided our way to "help" would be to have dinner with them (this is not helping at all, but we enjoyed the company!!!)

Friday night we had dinner with Dustin, Heather, Skyler and Heather's family at the Hangout in Gulf Shores.  If you haven't been there I think you should try it out.  It is a lively restaurant with something always going on - like waiters dancing on the table to "Cotton Eyed Joe" or triva games.  There is also a huge sand pit out back and other things for kids to do.  Just to warn you, and I may sound old for saying this, it is kind of loud there, but the entertainment was great.

**Sorry for the bad pictures - I left my camera at home and used the blackberry.

Enjoying all everything about the Hangout

Heather and P posing in the big Hangout chair

Skyler enjoying the sand

Saturday night we met up with Matt, Emily, Ben, Kate, and Matt's parents at Cosmo's.  Matt and Em had told us the liked this place and everyone in our small group loved it, but we had never been.  Brad and I thought this would be a fun opportunity and it did not disappoint.

The girls were so cute sitting next to each other at the head of the table!

As we enter into this week, we continue to pray for all of those affected by the tornados!