Saturday, February 5, 2011

You never know what you are going to get!

You never know what you are going to get when you are living with growing kids!  I had a house full this morning and by mid day I decided I wanted to do something fun with the kids!

We ventured out and did a little birthday shopping for a good friend and then I did a small random act to surprise my kids and their friend and we went to eat at Johnny Rockets! (how are you doing on the challenge?)

If you've never been to Johnny Rockets their food is yummy and so much fun!

The kids were cracking up and having a great time singing songs from the 60's and 70's! It felt so good to surprise them with a fun day out and a great lunch! Ketchup Animals and Milkshakes for everyone!

As we were heading home every time I would pass this one truck the kids were cracking up! I couldn't imagine what they were doing but as I said - you never know what you are going to get with my kids!
I am still not exactly sure what the kids were doing or the faces they were making to the guy driving beside me but they were laughing so hard and it felt so good to know they were having a great time and enjoyed spending time with their mom! I mean I try to be cool and fun -  but face it I am mom and I know that all Tweens roll their eyes and think I am like 80 or something!

Today was fun! Pure Fun and it was such a great feeling to do something for someone else.

Again - I challenge you - do something fun, sweet, nice, random! It doesn't have to cost money or be big!  It's a great feeling and super awesome to see people smile!

Yes my kids are crazy!! But FUN!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Paying it Forward - This is a Challenge!

Wow the last two days in Tucson, Arizona have been crazy and we have been dealing with weather that simply just doesn't normally occur in our region (one reason I missed being on here yesterday!). Yesterday morning on my way to work it was 15 degrees!

I know some of you are freezing in Nebraska, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee! But I have to say that we just simply are not equipped in southeastern Arizona to  handle such temperatures.

I have had many friends lose water and gas over the last two days. They are without water and heat and it is still going to be cold tonight but not as cold. Unfortunately some very sad news is that there have been lives lost in Tucson due to the cold.

I want to take this time to tell you about my passion of providing kindness to others. I love random acts of kindness! I love knowing that I have done something for someone or did an act that brought a smile to someones face and they don't know who or why someone did this for them.

What is something you have done to spread kindness and happiness to others? With the recent events in Tucson it just re-energized my passion to do for others! I witnessed people going out of their way to help their neighbors, friends, and people they didn't even know to help them out in the time of need.

It's nice to give some kindness even when there isn't a time of urgency but doing it just because. It doesn't have to be big, it could simply be smiling at someone you normally don't, or holding the door open for someone, or even putting a nice note in their mail box at work.

Random Acts of Kindness really ties into Paying it Forward as well. When someone does something nice for you pay it forward to someone else. If you haven't ever seen the movie Pay it Forward - wow it is awesome and movie and I encourage you to take the opportunity to watch it.

One thing I am trying to give my children is the sense to help others and give back to the community and do nice things without wanting recognition. We have participated in Making a Difference Day, sending packages to our military, to putting care packages together for the victims of the earthquake in Haiti.

I want to do more! I CHALLENGE you to a very simple task. Do one random act of kindness each day for a week! It doesn't have to be big! Please comment back and let us know how your random acts are going and what types of things you are doing! My family and I will be participating also!

"Remember there's no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end."~Scott Adams

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Just A Second

How many times do you think you say - Just a second?  Hold on? Can we do this later?

Personally, I catch myself saying these types of things far too often to both of my kids.  From time to time I catch myself and think wow, I tell my kids I love them more than anything, I tell my kids they are the most important things in the world to me - And YES they are! But as a mom I often tell them how actions speak louder than words. What are my actions saying?

I know I don't mean anything negative by asking them to wait. I mean I am just trying to get so many things accomplished, trying to be the best mom I can be, the best wife I can be, the best friend I can be, the best person I can be. I mean we do have so many responsibilities.  But who is noticing my efforts?

Strike a Pose!

Cody, Haley, and my late Mamaw Doris

That is what Haley said to me last night - Strike a pose. I had no idea what she was saying to me and I was like huh? She proceeded to tell me about this preteen girl game where the girls will say Hey Haley Strike a Pose! Then they of course proceed with some fun silly girl dance and there are giggles all around.

When's the last time you giggled moms? I am super guilty of asking my kids to hold on just a second. But I am trying more and more to live in the moment and hope I don't miss out on some fun engaging opportunity with my kiddos!


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

What Did I Say??

I was so excited this morning about what I was going to blog about! I had it all planned out in my head and I wanted to share my excitement about my cleaning fairy coming today! (which let me add, for a mom's sanity it is the best thing ever and I have the best cleaning fairy ever - you know who you are!)

BUT..... while trying to get myself ready for work as well as my two tweens my plans just went flying out the window.

As I was trying to get out the door for work my oldest came walking down the steps and I said come on down. He decided to try to assert some independence and take a stand (or sit) by sitting down on the middle of the steps. I looked at him and said please come down here and he so kindly told me he didn't feel like it. Dilemma Dilemma!


Well at this point it was on. I was telling myself this isn't a power struggle. It is my house, I am the parent, he is the kid. If it was just that easy and that actually worked.

We were already discussing the fact that his Xbox would have to wait until he could bring one of his grades back up. But now I have an awesome Xbox 360 that I might just have to learn to play since it will have a new home in my bedroom.

The morning went from bad to worse when I realized while kissing him on the head goodbye that he hadn't washed his hair. In these moments I think what did I yell say? How many times have we had this same discussion? Don't get me wrong I am so happy and thrilled and I see the positive in the fact that my tweens like taking showers, they don't refuse, and it isn't a battle to actually get them in the shower. However, it seems to be an ongoing issue to get the shampoo from the bottle onto the hair (and to get the toothbrush to the teeth).

I took a deep breath and told him that I hoped he could wipe the slate clean and start his Tuesday over and have a Terrific Tuesday ( I am sure he was thinking the same thing to me), and we would discuss this mornings events later this afternoon (after he attended afterschool tutoring).

I try to remind myself it isn't their person vingeance against me and he is plotting some dirt covered, greasy hair attack against me personally. They are just simply tweens trying to find themselves, making mistakes, and thank goodness they have parents that are so willing to help them find their place when they have stepped out of line.

Who knows what this afternoon will hold and what the outcome will be. But for all of you moms that are struggling with attitudes, snubbed up noses, and kids that look at you like they want to burn a hole right through you - you are not alone. My sister often reminds me that if my kids are always happy with me, I apparently am not be doing my job. I love my kids and I love my life, I share this today because I know I am not alone in my struggles to raise 2 tweens and I hope my struggles provide you with some comfort in knowing you are not alone either.

Anyone know any fun Xbox games?

"If you have never been hated by your child you have never been a parent.  ~Bette Davis"

Monday, January 31, 2011

Squealin and Dealin!

Well I was planning on writing something that was unique and uplifting tonight after work but instead I can't help but want to share the awesome deals I got at the store. I dropped Haley off at gymnastics and the countdown was on to get everything done in an hour! Because everything is in a loop within about 2 or 3 miles of each other my plan was going to work perfectly!

I stopped at Safeway first. I had 4 manufacturer coupons for buy one Hershey bar get one free. Plus Safeway was having a sale of buy 2 get 2 free. So I ended up getting all 8 Hershey bars completely FREE!

Next I swung around to Fry's to take advantage of the sale that is still going on.

This is $142 worth of groceries for $34.63! I was so happy with my deals. Tonight I was able to get 8 Hershey bars, 5 Gatorade pre-energy drinks, an 8 pk of Gatorade, 12 Propel Waters, 4 different Fruit Cups, 3 boxes of Jello, 2 cans of Cashew nuts, a 12 pk of Dr. Pepper, 2 Ragu Sauces, 6 pk of Snapple, Snyders Pretzels, California Pizza, Dove Conditioner, Some sort of Ramen thing, Jet Dry, 2 Pace Picante Sauces, 2 TGI Friday Frozen Dinners, and 2 packages of Keebler cookies. 

Most of this was part of the 10 items save $5.00 but I also had manufacturer coupons and I stacked them with coupons from Target. Target has a coupon for buy 2 keebler cookies save a dollar, as well as buy 2 TGI Friday frozen skillet meals and save 4 dollars! Check it out and start stacking the coupons.

For my friends that does not have a Fry's check your local Kroger store for their deals. Fry's is part of the Kroger family and Fry's does have some of the best deal ever but the other Kroger family grocery stores have a lot of good sales going on as well!

Ok ok, I hope tomorrow to provide something more fulfilling than me just getting great deals! Haley was so excited that her and I split one of the Hershey bars (don't count the ones in the picture, there is one missing!) on the way home from gymnastics. 

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Bonding, Bickering, and Building Life Skills

Today the kids and I set out to pick up a few things and have a nice lunch together. Like most days with kids and plans it never goes quiet as planned. But overall we had a great day, nice lunch, and I hope I have placed another nugget of info and skills into their brains somewhere.

Over the last couple of weeks I have received some freebie offers in the mail or at the time of checkout. I have saved these coupons and I try to wait to get them all on the same day if possible to cut down on the cost of gas.  I also did my grocery shopping and actually did a little preparation today for some good shopping this week!

Today I picked up 2 birthday presents, 2 bags of Science Diet Dog Food, and a Victoria Secrets water bottle using the coupons I had.

The entire cost for these items was $4.16!  I had received a $10 off a $10 purchase at Kohl's when I did some shopping not too long ago and I was able to find the Leap Frog toy and Little Tykes truck on clearance 60% off. Those items would have ran me $29.17 but I only paid $1.29.  The Science Diet Dog food was on sale for $8.99 at PetSmart and I had a $5.00 off coupon for each bag (had to do 2 different transactions) and then I have a mail in rebate for both bags which end up being free. The Victoria Secret water bottle was $12.50 but I had received a $10.00 a $10.00 purchase so it actually ended up being $2.87. Not too shabby for a day out with the kids! Overall the cost of these items would have been $59.65 so I saved $55.49!!

While I was out in town I went "shopping" for coupons! Now I won't go far out of my way because then that is a waste of resources but if I am by a grocery store I will do a quick stop in to see what coupons they have in the store either via tear pad or pull coupons. (I know I am a dork but it does save lots of  money). This past week I went shopping and because of the sale they are having at Fry's I only spent $170.00 and saved $327!! There are other blogs out there that give some really great advice and I will try to provide some links to those later on. But for now this is how I do it!

My mess starts out looking like this.

With the sale at Fry's they are making all coupons a dollar and they are accepting competitor coupons I have to strike while the deals are good. I do cut coupons on items I may not normally buy but only if I would like to try the item I normally wouldn't because it is too expensive or if it is something we can try for free.  With Fry's they will let you "stack" coupons which means I can use a competitor coupon and a manufacturer coupon. So I try to find both and Target has great coupons on their website so I will print those out (on recycled paper, I will use the back of the sheets).  Here is an example below.

 So the Dog Food isn't on sale but with getting $4.00 off and then getting 3 cans of dog food with the third coupon, I can get a bag of dog food and 3 cans of dog food for about $3.99 or less! The second picture is for jello pudding. Right now it is on the buy 10 item combo and it is $.75 a box. With the target coupon they will make it a $1.00 off and then with the $1.25 coupon off it makes my 3 boxes of jello pudding FREE! I maybe wouldn't normally buy boxed pudding but why not get it free and it's a great snack!

I have another grocery trip lined up this week so I will share as I get the good deals! I have the kids help me out with the coupons even if it is just cutting them out in the hopes that they can see what a little hard work and preparation can save you.

If you hear of good ideas I always love to hear about them and I hope to pass the good deals along as well!

Bonding Time?

Another Sunday and another perfect opportunity to spend quality time with my Cody and Haley. Since Michael works every Sunday the kids and I normally take this opportunity to spend some "quality time" out in town together! (knowing good and well Cody would rather be playing XBOX Live and Haley hanging with a friend)

Nonetheless, We are all off to spend some time looking for deals and trading in some of our freebies we have accumulated!

I love some of my friends are eager to hear how I have been able to save so much this last week with the coupon deals at Fry's grocery and I hope this afternoon when we return I can get a post up to share of my the tricks and tips! I am waiting to get today's Sunday paper to see what coupons are in there and then I will see what other awesome deals are to be had!

For now we are off to get some free Bath and Body, Victoria Secrets, Kohl's and enjoy a nice Sunday lunch together! (with a coupon of course!).  Kids love getting stuff and I love FREE!