Saturday, June 28, 2008

What a Good Mother I Am!

Today was the church softball tournament. They started at 8:15am and finished around 8:15pm. It was hot but fun. I didn't take very many pictures because I had to monitor the two little ones most of the day. We came in third place. BTW, Jim is the one playing not me. They did a really good job. They lost two players in the middle of the day. One was scheduled to work. The other was called in.

I kept a safe distance behind the fence...
with my dirty kids...
who were eating ice off the ground.

Can't you see what a good mother I am? I monitor them so well. At least we knew whose cup the ice came out of.

Friday, June 27, 2008


One of the pictures I made from art canvas is posted over at Rocks in My Dryer. You need to go look at all the creative things that everyone made. I think mine is by far not the best but it held its own. I love the tree collage. Just go look and see for yourself.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Falling in to a Routine (Finally)

When summer started, I thought "OMG, what am I going to do?" I had all these plans of crafts, swimming, picnicing, swimming, movies, swimming, You get the picture! Anyway, the first couple of weeks, it seemed like madness had set in. We did swim a little but I was a nervous wreck trying to keep Maci Clare from falling in the pool and monitoring the chicken fighting. It seemed we had places to be almost everyday with endless appointments and obligations. So now here it is in the 3rd week of our summer vacation and things are finally settling down. We finally are getting into the groove. Our daily routine doesn't consist of much but it is glorious to have just a little (for a change.)

We sleep late. We never get up before 9am. Even Maci Clare is learning to go back to sleep after waking up at 7am. Then we hang out and do chores or run errands in the morning. Our errands usually consists of things like this. Who can resist Ronald McDonald?

Maci Clare liked him until she had to get close. Oh well, it was only for a minute.

Then after lunch, we all head for the pool.Zane and Jack clean out the skimmer basket because there are always "treasures" to be found (treasures that say "ribbit").

They love to put the tree frogs on heads and arms and bellies.

Jack loves to play ball!

While, Zane jumps!
while trying new flips and turns!
And making giant splashes everytime.
Gabe is just happy to be in and watch all the action.

And, me? I usually take several magazines and wait to rescue Maci Clare. She falls in about once a day. She has to wear her life jacket at all times. At least she floats when she falls in . (She will be taking a few swim lessons starting the week after July 4th.)
Anyway, summer is here and in full swing. And I am enjoying every minute I have with my children because before you know it, they'll be at school again.

Monday, June 23, 2008

A Good Shopping Trip

I had to go finish up shopping for VBS so I thought I would make a quick stop at Publix. Look at all I got.

My total before coupons was $39.18
What I bought:
2 bags of Friskies cat food
2 5lb. bags of Domino Sugar
2 bags of Eight O'clock Coffee
2 bottles of Hunt's ketchup
4 boxes of Zatarain's rice mix
2 bottles of Ocean Spray Diet Juice
6 cans of Chef Boyardee
2 bottles of Wishbone dressing
2 cans of Redi whip
3 bottles of SoBe Life water(I had to throw those in to be able to use my $5/$35coupon)

When all my coupons went through, I paid out of pocket $17.13
A total savings of $22.05
What a successful trip! I heart Publix!

Blog Comments

There is a guest blogger over at Musings of a Housewife and I thought her post was great. Go by and read it if you have time. It is all about taking time to comment on someone's blog.

Friday, June 20, 2008

I Am A Guest Blogger...

Come visit me here and here at Thrifty Mommy today. I am participating in a 24 hour blogathon for celebrate today (the longest day of the year.) So pop on over and see what is happening.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

International Village, Atlanta, Georgia: Day 3

Once again we woke up to Pop Tarts and cold pizza and then headed out to another site to pick up trash. This one wasn't near as nasty as the first. We went to an apartment building and some of the residents even came out and helped (mostly the children). I didn't really get any pictures because my hands were really dirty and I didn't want to touch my camera. While there, we did get to meet the on site missionaries. Their names are Tim and Catherine Palmer. Some of you who read, may have heard of Catherine. She is an author and writes Christian fiction. She and her family are very precious and they know exactly what God wants for them. Right now that is living in the "slums" of Atlanta to work with these international people who have never heard of Jesus. She actually gave some of us autographed books. I was excited because I love, love, love to read. Anyway, if you want to learn more about their mission work, she has a blog. Head on over and read her stuff and see what they are doing to help the people that live near them.

After the trash pick up, we headed to work with the kids for the last time. And we brought water balloons with us. The kids were so excited.

This little boy wasn't interested in the water balloons at all. He just wanted to kick the soccer ball. I played with him quite a bit. He was so cute but didn't speak any English.

I was so wet.
This is our group picture with the second group of kids we worked with. We were all wet and gross but everyone had a smile on.

We headed home about 4:30. We were stinky, nasty, and tired but we couldn't leave Atlanta without a stop here.
I was very glad to be home (11:00pm) and see my babies and hubby. I missed them a lot but it was a great trip.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

International Village, Atlanta, Georgia: Day 2

This morning started bright and early with cold pizza and Pop Tarts. We headed out for our Service project. We went to the soccer field (which is also where lots of Mexican men hang out and drink beer.) It was crazy. The only time I had ever seen anything worse was in the Dominican Republic. (If you have ever been there you know what I am talking about. They just dump all of the trash they generate on the side of the road.) We prepared ourselves with trash bags and latex gloves.
It actually started out okay. I even said, "This is not near as bad as I thought it would be." Then someone found a hot spot. As I walked down the bank this is what I saw.

It seemed hopeless but we kept plugging away until we had 60 trash bags full. I hummed praise and worship music to keep myself focused on the tasks. Because it was really nasty trash. And I had to remind myself why I was there.

Look at their faces. Don't they look thrilled.

After a quick lunch of ham and cheese sandwiches, we headed out for another hot day with the kids. I think I will just let the pictures show you what we did.

After a long afternoon with the kids, we headed back to take showers and get ready for a night out. We left about 6:30 and went to Medival Times. It was a lot of fun.
The entrance to the castleStanding in the mistThis was our knight, Jesse. He wasn't a very impressive night and he lost but we still cheered for him.
One more day and we are headed home.

International Village, Atlanta, Georgia: Day 1

On this particular Mission, we were smack dab in the middle of the International Village. This is where lots of different countries (and languages) are represented. When we arrived, the guy in charge of Whirlwind Missions, came and gave us a briefing on the area and how to approach this thing we were doing. After his speech, we went for a quick lunch and then headed into our mission field. Our first stop was an apartment complex in Chamblee. When we arrived, there were a few children hanging out and we quickly recruited them to help us find "friends." We walked all over the apartment complex gathering children to come "play" with us. I quickly realized the majority of these people spoke Spanish. So I realized I could communicate pretty well. I was so surprised at how trusting these parents were to us. If a group of Spanish speaking people walked up to my door and wanted my children to come play, there is no way I would let them. But they were more than willing to send children with us. Not only did we have school age children, we had lots of little ones. Anyway, our first day was a nightmare. We had no control over the children and they were rowdy and reckless. There were several older (middle school) children that seemed to be leaders. Even though we had several children who caused problems, there were several sweet children who really listened to what we had to say.

Just look at their sweet faces.
The second place we went, the children were much younger and much more controllable. And once again, the parents were eager for their children to go with us. At the second place, we had an empty apartment with a table so that helped a lot. We learned really quickly that we should separate the kids after the Bible Story to get the crafts and recreation done. So we did.
So the guys took a group to play soccer.

And the girls stayed behind to work on a Salvation bracelet.
Then we all came back together for a snack of PB&J. The kids really liked that. This little girl was especially popular with our youth. Even though she didn't speak one bit of English, she had them all wrapped around her little finger.
I am so surprised that right here in the middle of the Bible belt with a Baptist church on every corner, these people know nothing of Jesus. I guess it shouldn't surprise me. We probably have the same problem right in our own back door. They don't even know the simplest things, like the Christmas story and all about Easter. We as Christians are really not doing our jobs when it comes to the people in our own backyard. We are more than willing to spend our money on missions overseas and send money to children we have never met ( Don't get me wrong! I think these things are wonderful.) But we are neglecting our neighbors.
On this trip, we slept at North Peachtree Baptist Church on the floor in classrooms. When we returned to the church, we were hot, sweaty,and exhausted.
But it didn't stop us from roller skating! Skating is one of my all time favorite activities. So as tired as I was, I couldn't miss out on an opportunity to skate.

We didn't plan for near enough kids for crafts and snacks and what is a trip without visiting the local Walmart. So off to Walmart.

This was definitely a first. For those of you who live in big cities, you've probably seen this. But for us country folk, this was definitely picture taking material. And to make a lasting impression on Atlanta, we decided a ride would be in order.

Johnny was our guinea pig. We prayed it wouldn't flip and it didn't.

We finally made it back to the church and after a hot shower, I collapsed on my sleeping bag.

Monday, June 16, 2008

I'm Back!

What a whirlwind trip! I knew nothing about the trip when we left and it ended up being great. We worked in the International Village in Atlanta, Georgia. Very few of the people there spoke English. Most of the English speakers were school-aged children. So I got to use my limited Spanish skills (and I did okay if I do say so myself). But we were very busy. I will be giving you all the details later (with pictures, of course). I did not go on this trip with my church so I didn't really know the people on my team. But I am home with new relationships and I will be posting more about this trip as the week goes on.

Here is a picture of our team. All in our hot pink and camo! Don't we make a great team?

On another note, we made another trip to the ER tonight. Who was it this time? Jack, of course. Jack and Gabe were playing pretend football (whatever that is) upstairs. And this is what I heard:
Gabe: "Oh, Jack! Are you okay?
Jack: "Waaaaaaaa, I want Mommy! I want Mommy!"
So, off to the ER!

Poor Baby!

Waiting for an Xray! And the verdict is in.
He has a broken collar bone. He is wearing a figure 8 splint and he is in a lot of pain. But the doctor said it would heal in a couple of weeks. So no more pretend football. For a while, anyway.
I'll post more about the trip when things calm down a bit here.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Headed Out Of Town

Not on vacation but on a mission trip. I am going with a group of youth and 5 other adults to Atlanta. We will be working on a service project( Maybe painting over graffiti). and doing two backyard bible clubs each day. We will leave at 7am in the morning and return late, late Saturday night. It will be a short trip but a very busy one. I will bring my camera and post pics when I'm back. Please pray for a safe and successful trip. Pray that there will be many lives touched by this trip and that God will work in awesome ways to bring us and others closer to Him.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Long, Hot Day

Yesterday we headed to Greenville ( a 45 minute trip one way) so we decided to do lots of errands. Gabe had an orthodontist appointment at 3:00. We loaded up about 11:00 and went into our town. When we got there about 11:20, Gabe said, "Oh, I think I forgot my headgear." Since gas is so cheap, we turned around and headed back home. We hit the bank and CVS (of course) while in town.

At CVS, I left the car running (with air) and left all 4 children in the car. I'm a little paranoid about doing this but I was only going to be gone for a couple of minutes to pick up some cereal. I told Gabe (my responsible child), "Lock the doors and do not open them for anyone." While in CVS, a friend of ours walked up with her two girls and said, "How did you manage to get away from your 4 kids?" I quickly told her they were all in the car with instructions not to open the door. She responded with, "Let's test them." I agreed and stood in the doorway to watch. She went and knocked on the window and Gabe just looked up at her and waved. She kept knocking and trying to get him to roll the window down. He refused. I went to the car and got him to unlock the door. I was very, very proud and she commended him on obeying his mother.

Anyway, we finally made it to Greenville, after stopping to get Jim's Father's Day gift (can't tell you what it is because he reads this blog). We stopped by the movie theater to get a list of the free Summer movies. We went to CiCi's Pizza and picked up a reading form for the Feed Your Brain program. We finally ate lunch around 2pm at our local favorite, Taco Casa. After lunch, I ran through the drive thru at Dunkin Donuts and ordered my 99 cents Coconut Iced Coffee. Yummy! But I'm scared to ask how fattening these things are. Finally it was time to go to Gabe's appointment. Guess What!? Gabe is getting his braces off. I have to go back and get heavier wires and Gabe gets his braces off. No more head gear. You should have seen him run out of that office jumping and screaming. He is very excited and when we came home, he told his dad that his head gear was just a souvenir now. (I'll probably still have braces when Maci Clare is getting hers off.)

Afterwards, we headed to Publix to finish my grocery list. (Our Publix was out of some of the things I went to get.) The kids were great even though it was a long, hot (102 degrees) day. I rewarded them with a trip to Krispy Kreme. We love their doughnuts. They are the best. We bought two dozen (with a B1G1 coupon) and we got 8 free doughnut holes (coupons). The kids immediately dove into the sweet treats and we headed for home to dive into the pool.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Lazy Sunday

It is Sunday morning and we are just hanging out. Normally, we would be at church but Zane has been running a fever all weekend. I don't feel all that great either. And now Gabe is complaining with his throat. I thought I would be a good church member and not give this funk to everyone else. I actually slept until 10:30. The kids slept late too. It is already a hot day.
I'm sure we will be in the pool before the day is over. It is so relaxing to sit by the pool and watch the kids swim. It is not very relaxing to be in the pool with the kids. I'm thinking about doing a giveaway on my blog soon. I'll let you know if I decide to do this. By the way, did you know if you have a Starbuck's gift card and you register it online, you will get all kinds of free stuff. Starting with, a free cup of coffee. I bought a card on Friday. I will probably use it tomorrow while I'm in Greenville at the orthodontist.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

CVS deals this week

I thought I did really good at CVS this week. It seems I can never save enough ECBs to be ahead. Anyway, I still got good deals and wanted to go back for one more tonight but never got a chance. So....

1st Trip to CVS:
2 Dawn Dish Detergents $1.00 each
2 Listerine Smart Rinse $3.49 each
2 CVS Cotton Swab 500 count $3.19 each
Total before coupons = $15.36
Total OOP = $5.30 and received $11.98 in ECBs

2nd Trip to CVS:
1 8 Roll Bounty Paper Towel $5.99 each
2 9 Roll Charmin Toilet Tissue $4.99 each
2 4 Packs Duracell Batteries $2.99 each
Total before Coupons = $21.95
Total OOP = $4.71 and received $10.00 in ECBs
3rd Trip to CVS:
Pampers Jumbo pack Diapers $7.99 each
Pampers Wipes $2.99
2 Liter Diet Dr. Pepper $1.79 (We were headed out to Home Group and I needed it)
Total before coupons = $23.75
Total OOP = $7.19 and I received $5 in ECBs

All in all I think I came out pretty good and it was all stuff that we will store to use later. I love CVS. I think next week is going to be another great week at CVS. Check here and here for the deals.