Friday, January 28, 2011

Thankful Thursday: Snow

Yes, I know it's Friday. Yesterday was spent on the sofa with frequent trips to the restroom. YUCK! My stomach hated me all day yesterday. So today I am thankful for a happy(er) stomach! Yay!
What I was originally going to post about was SNOW! I'm sure that seems a little silly, but after living in warm climates where it never snows for 8 years, I am thrilled with the snow!

Winter postcard
Photo courtesy of redriverocks on Webshots
(I would be sharing my own photos but the camera is also dead & I haven't yet figured out how to get the pix off my phone and onto the computer)

The wonder and excitement on my children's faces when they saw snow for the first time this year was priceless. We had just pulled into a rest area in Ohio on our trip up here. That huge storm that hit the middle of the country, the one that caved in the Vikings roof, was just getting started. There were big, fluffy, perfect snowflakes. The kids tried catching them with their hands and tongues. It was a beautiful sight.

Super Savings

I am LOVIN' my new stores here in NY! (If I knew how to make those little heart icons, I would make one now.) I've shopped with coupons for quite some time now, but because of the limited number of grocery stores in south Texas (thanks alot, HEB!) I wasn't seeing very good savings from all my hard couponing. Walgreens was much better, but the cashiers were cranky upon seeing my coupons. From what I read, this is due to cashiers being uneducated on their own store's coupon policy.
Anyhooo, I now have multiple stores, some double coupons, some give gas rewards and they all have loyalty cards. I still didn't think I was going to do any better because most of the groceries are priced much higher here. However, just from the beginning of January until now, I have bought $237.31 worth of groceries & household items (including pull-ups) for only $104.94. That's a savings of 55.78%! This is better than I could ever get in Texas.
This is mostly thanks to Rite-Aid. I heart Rite-Aid. (Darn it! Must learn how to make adorable little hearts!)Remember those pull-ups? Amazingly enough, that was my best shopping trip so far!

I got $35.94 worth of products for $1.28, for a savings of 96.44%!!!
And, I have $13 in UP+ Rewards (Rite-Aid money) for my next shopping trip!
Did I mention I heart Rite-Aid? Um, yeah. We're like best friends now.

Please don't think I do all this by myself. No, no...there are many much more smarterer people out there in blog land that do all the heavy lifting. I simply have to visit their sites, decide which deals are best for me, locate all my coupons & go shopping! Here are some of my favorite sites:
There are about a bazillion more & I hope you find them helpful too! If you have a favorite money saving website, store, or idea, please share it. :) Thanks!

Happy Saving!!!

Store Locator

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tuesday's True Confession: Google Reader

Okay, I admit it. I just don't get how to use Google Reader. I have it and I have many blogs that I subscribe to, but don't understand it. I still have to jump to the blog or website to read the entire post. The same summary is available on my blog dashboard. It just makes more sense to me to visit the actual blog/website. Of course, I didn't get the whole idea of Facebook when one of my BFF's convinced me to sign up about 5 or 6 years ago. Now you can't keep me off of it!

Can somebody please tell me how to use Google Reader effectively???

Thank you!


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Football & Cheerleading 2010 Part 8 - Homecoming

Homecoming is fun & funny all at the same time. We make & buy & do all this stuff to make our little kids look and feel like high school homecoming kings and queens. It epitomizes Texas football. Of course, the girls love it. The boys pretend not to. :)

Please excuse all the overexposed pictures. The sun was ridiculously bright that day. And hot. I believe most of our games took place on days where the temp was well above 95 degrees & felt much hotter because of the humidity.
Well, that just about wraps up the 2010 football/cheer season. The only thing I have left to post is the cheerleading competition. I know I'm way behind so that's why I posted a bunch today to catch up...please keep reading so you don't miss any!

Football & Cheerleading 2010 Part 7 - Western Week Parade

Sometimes the Western Week Parade falls on the same Saturday as the Pop Warner homecoming and some years it does not. This year, obviously, it did not so the kids got to participate.
Here are my little cutie pies riding on their float!
 Can you spot the BeazHive babies big kids?

Football & Cheerleading 2010 Part 6 - Lil' Trojans Night

Every year the high school football team has a Lil' Trojans Night when they invite all the young football players and cheerleaders to attend the game for free & get recognition at halftime.

Bug waiting to run through the tunnel!

This picture of Lil' C didn't turn out so well because they performed their cheer in a different place and time than we thought they were going to, so I had to hurry to get over there & this was the best shot I got. For some reason they didn't let the girls run through the tunnel this year, even though they had every other year, so this was disappointing. Nevertheless, they had a good time.

Football & Cheerleading 2010 Part 5 - Regular Season Games

Here are some of the fabulous things that we take pictures of at football games. Like Bug getting to be one of the captains for the coin toss, or Lil' C turned around or with pom-poms in her face, or Pinky Lee screaming at Lil' C because she didn't share the ring pop, or Boo trying to eat discarded peanut shells from the bleachers! I've spared you the pictures of clouds and people's feet. You're welcome!

Shiny New Pretties

I have finally arrived to the party. I'm a little late. Okay, a lot late. What party you ask? Why, the smartphone party of course! Check out this cute little phone I got last night:

The Motorola Citrus (it's powered by Android)

I've sort of resisted the whole smartphone thing because I really just wanted a phone that made phone calls and maybe a few texts to the hubs. Last time I got a phone I got the Samsung Alias (now called the Zeal, for whatever reason) which had this ultra cool keypad that rotated...but not on a touchscreen. I really liked it. Then the day after we arrived here in New York it fell out of my pocket & I ran it over with the car. Suprisingly, that caused little damage. A few days after that Boo put it in a glass of water. That caused quite a bit of damage. My really cool keypad no longer had images and the phone turned itself on and off randomly. I had to try to dial from memory, and we all know how great my memory is! Then, sadly, the battery died in the middle of the night a couple weeks ago & I never could get it to turn back on. :(
So I've been cell phoneless for awhile. It hasn't been all that bad. I was holding out until my upgrade came available which luckily was just a few days ago, so we went phone shopping last night. I was also really considering waiting for the iPhone. Guess what the best part of this new phone is? Guess, guess! I bet you'll never guess!

It cost $0.00 for 2 phones!!!

I know, right? Oh, so exciting! That totally beats the $299 iPhone! (I had no idea the iPhone was going to cost that much until I got there last night). Only problem is they just added the new plan to my old plan instead of replacing it, so we need to get that fixed.

So for all you smartypants smartphone users out there: How do you access your applications (i.e. games) on Facebook??? :)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Other People's Craftiness - Valentines

In lieu of my own craftiness :(  I would like to share a fabulous blog that I just found that is a plethora of awesomeness all in one place! Today's Top 20 shares all the cool stuff from blog land in one place. I am particularly smitten with these adorable valentines from Style Crush. "You are the cheese to my macaroni" had me laughing hysterically for several minutes. I just found out that's a quote from the movie Juno, but since I've never seen that movie, I didn't know. I find it terribly funny, though.
Peptogirl Valentines

Speaking of Valentines, I'm a sucker for cute and original. No more store bought cartoon characters for us. Not that we give out a whole lot of Valentines anymore, but hey. Check out these awesome iPhone Valentines from Living Locurto:
They are actually covers for candy heart boxes! So clever! She has lots of cool designs on her site.

Hopefully soon, I will have my own craftiness to share. Until then, enjoy these other talented people!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tuesday's True Confession: I Forget...

Thanks to for the graphic.

I confess, sometimes I kids names!!! What? It's true. More often than not, it's not the actual name I can't remember, it's who the name belongs to. It's really not uncommon for me to go through all four names at least once before I either get it right or just point and say "you!" This usually happens when I'm stressed, looking at one child but speaking to another, or they are all running around and making other words, pretty much every day!
This really shouldn't happen though, because we went to great lengths to ensure that each of our children had special and unique names that were perfect for them. I'm not talking about the special and unique names you find in professional sports, like the NFL, either. Alge? D'Brickashaw? Plaxico? Although, maybe I could remember better then?
No, with my kids, each of their names has a special story. Wanna hear? Of course you do! With Bug we probably started searching for names from the time we learned I was pregnant. I wore that baby name book out. I knew that if he was a boy his middle name had to be my grandfather's name, so we had to find a first name that went well with the middle name. A little backwards, but hey. In the end, DH was ready to give in to just about anything, but then we found the perfect name. We'd never really heard of it, but knew it was perfect. Then the night before Bug was born we went to the movies and ran into a friend who told us that some guy we had gone to school with had just named their baby that! Oh my! Now, it is a very popular name, although nobody else spells theirs the same. I don't think.
Oh, Lil' Coconut. What can I say about this one? Well, the name she has now is not the name she was given upon her birth. We were having debates about what to name her right up until she was born. When she announced her arrival at the top of her lungs, DH and I agreed that she looked like a "Lola Grace", and that was the name we gave her. Apparently, I was the only one smitten with this name. The hubs was a big fan, but had some ideas about it conflicting with future baby names(imagine my rolling me eyes here). However, it was the screaming voice through the phone that I could hear from several feet away, indicating that Lola sounded like a hooker's name, that really hurt. Everyone else was more gentle, but obviously weren't fans. I was heartbroken. The hospital wouldn't let me leave until I filled out all the paperwork including her name. It took two tear filled hours to finally write down the name she has now. I still called her Lola for days. DH felt really bad & said we could change it. After only 3 days, they said it would have to go to court!?! So, I was stuck. It annoyed me to no end that I hadn't followed my heart, but over the years its grown on me. Lil' C has named her pillow pet Lola Grace and that helps. LOL
Pinky Lee was born in Hawai'i, so her name is Hawai'ian. I thought maybe we should name her Liliokalani after the queen, but got out voted there too. Actually for her, we made a (short) list of all the names we liked and then let everyone vote. We even had a poll online. I don't remember what the online poll said, but we went with the one that Bug & Lil' C liked the most. It fits her perfectly. It's beautiful and feminine & totally complements her boyish middle name. :)
Boo Boo Bear's name has the shortest & funniest story. We were a lot less serious & just kicked around a few names here and there. There was one name I really loved, but DH didn't want it as the first name, so we were back to having a middle name and needing a first name to go with it. Sound familiar? A few days before he was born we were watching a movie and one of the characters had this cute name, so we added it to the list. On the way to the hospital we decided that should be his name, and that's how our youngest son was named after a fictional character!
Good stories, no? So how could I possibly not call them the right names? I don't know. I do come by it honestly, though. I was an only child, yet people were forever calling me by someone else's name. Go figure. Thankfully, my children are not usually upset by this. They even try to help me out sometimes. Isn't that sweet? :)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Football & Cheerleading 2010 Part 4 - Hurricane Game

Have you ever watched a sporting event that took place in horrible weather conditions? Ever had to play in one?
Bug had to play during a hurricane! Technically, it wasn't really a hurricane. It was just the bands of the hurricane as it unwrapped itself down in Mexico. Still, there was torential downpour for days on end, yet they did not cancel Pop Warner football. We were even late because we had to navigate flooded roads. Luckily, they didn't make the cheerleaders stand in 6 inches of water and cheer so Lil' C was spared. The rest of us found a good parking spot & kept our bee-hinds warm and dry in the car! :)
However, this is what the boys endured:
Apparently there were ants and/or other bugs floating in the water & biting the boys as they drifted by.

 Every time they ran on the field, the water just shot in the air. Tackles were like water cannons. It was rather entertaining.

 My tough guy after the game. :) He totally enjoyed it!
Umm, yeah...I made him strip down completely in the back end of the van & change before I let him in the car. We had to wring out his clothes! What? I wasn't the only one!
The best part? The next time we played at those fields I noticed a sign (that had been there the whole time) that read
 "Do not use fields when wet"

Thankful Thursday: Unconditional Love

*special THANKS to Elle's Studio for the graphic!*
On Tuesday I let out all of my pent up emotions about not being able to live up to other people's expectations of me & how that prevented me from doing certain things like posting every day & showing true emotions. Today, I want to share what I'm thankful for (and what keeps me from throwing in the towel altogether): Unconditional Love.
That love only comes from one place. My heavenly Savior, God! The rest of us just aren't capable of it, although we should never stop striving for it.
I'm thankful that God loves me just the way I am, flaws and all. I'm also thankful that he loves me too much to leave me that way. There's this nifty little guide book called the Bible that God gave to us to show us how we should live. It also tells us just how much God loves us. Yeah, I said us, because he loves YOU too! Sometimes its hard to imagine that anyone who knows everything we've done (and I do mean everything), could possibly still feel any love for us. But He does, and it's not just a smidgen of love, He's CRAZY about us! Check this out:

Beloved, let us love one another,
for love is of God;
and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
In this the love of God was manifested toward us,
that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world,
that we might live through Him.
In this is love,
not that we loved God,
but the He loved us and sent His Son to the propitiation for our sins.
Beloved, if God loved us so,
we also ought to love one another.
1 John 4:7-11
Isn't that awesome? Who of us would ever send our only son to die in order to save all of mankind? I'm guessin' nobody. God did that for you and for me and for everybody in the world. It's His special gift to us. He won't force us to take it, but all the angels will stand up and sing if you do! If you haven't already received God's special gift, please take it. You won't be sorry. You'll never have want to stand in a return line! If you have any questions about it, my customer service line is always open. :)
In the past, I never would have written this post because I would be too afraid of what other people thought, but because God is constantly nudging me to be better I am embracing this verse:

O my God, I trust in You;
Let me not be ashamed;
Let not my enemies triumph over me.
Psalm 25:2

Sometimes those enemies are inside of us and trusting God is the only way to triumph over them.

I realize that this post has probably been offensive to some, but I make no apologies for it. I only seek to offer what I believe is the best. thing. EVER.
And just because, I'd like to leave you with this quote that I find fascinating, although I have no idea who said it:

I'd rather live my life as though there were a God and die to find out there wasn't,
 than to live my life as though there weren't a God and die to find out there was.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tuesday's True Confession: The Trouble with Posting

If you haven't read Twelve Crafts Till Christmas, you really should. The idea is simple: craft one Christmas gift each month so you're already done by the time Christmas rolls around. I love it! Also, she does this thing called Tuesday's True Confessions. I don't know if it's a thing that lots of bloggers do or just her, but I find it refreshing to know something real and true about someone on the internet. It's easy to pretend like you live in perfection when hiding behind a computer screen. Being real is really nice. Really.

So here is my first ever Tuesday True Confession:
You see, I WANT to post nearly every single day. I do, really. I have a million things I want to blog about. (okay, maybe a million is stretching it a bit, but it's a LOT). The problem comes when I start thinking I shouldn't. I shouldn't be blogging because I should be doing something more important like teaching or playing with my kids, or cleaning, or cooking, or couponing, or sewing, or crafting...and the list goes on. I mean, that's what I'm supposed to do, right? And I definitely shouldn't be blogging if its not about my kids. That would just be totally wrong.
That's probably not true at all, but that's how I feel most times. The real problem is that I'm too concerned with what other people think about me. I have spent my whole life trying to win approval from the people in my life. Usually from people who are incapable of it. Do you feel like that? Like no matter what you say or do, nothing will ever be good enough? You can never measure up to this person or that person?
I find myself feeling that way in blog land too. Although it has much more to do with the my real life people than my fellow bloggers. I'm always amazed and inspired by the bloggers who aren't afraid to tell it how it really is. I was reading this post from A Year of Slow Cooking where she confesses that she storms from the table saying she will never cook again & might have also stuck her tongue out at her family in the process. This is real life and how some of us feel sometimes. However, if I were to ever admit that I had done that, I would probably be fielding a dozen calls admonishing my parenting skills (or lack thereof) and quite possibly a visit from social services.
For those of you who have been faithful readers (thank you, thank you, thank you) you might remember this post about the Wright Brothers Museum. You'll notice that it's the "revised edition". I don't really remember what I wrote on the first edition, but i do know I express disappointment and annoyance at not being able to spend more time at the museum because the kids were ready to go. Apparently this was rude and upsetting to certain people who wasted no time in telling me so. In an effort to please I revised it. It's all very polite and smiley now.
Now let's talk about how I really feel: That day totally sucked! We only got to see about 1/4 of what was at the museum because everybody else just zoomed right on through & then wanted to leave. Some of the things in my pictures I didn't even get to see! When we visit places (especially places we're not likely to ever get back to) we like to take our time and explore everything they have to offer. If we had told our kids that the ocean would still be there later and we were going to have fun at the museum for awhile, they would have agreed and enjoyed themselves. But we weren't given that option. Then we went to the lighthouse where none of my pictures turned out which totally bummed me out. I would have loved just one semi-good picture of my kiddos in front of that lighthouse!
That's how I feel. It's over and done with & can't be changed. Please don't call or e-mail with nasty comments. Let's just be willing to accept that sometimes it's okay to be all polite and smiley. Sometimes it's okay to be really honest. Really.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy 1-1-11!

Happy New Year everyone! I hope 2011 is finding you well. As you know 2010 was an eventful year, but then again, aren't they all? :) We managed to trek our way from south Texas to south New York, survive weeks in a motel, find a rental house (which seem to be in VERY short supply here) & get a Christmas tree up just in time for Christmas Eve. Christmas was small and simple but centered on family and the all important gift of Jesus' birth. A few days ago we finally got our TV, internet & phone all hooked up. About 1/2 of all the boxes are unpacked and we're starting to get settled in. I'm thankful that my children are able to deal well with change. They've dealt with all of the ups and downs of this move really well.

New Year's is typically a time for making resolutions. I can't remember ever really following through on any resolution I've ever made, so I quit making them a few years back. I have ideas about what I'd like to accomplish in the year ahead and may set some goals for those that are really worth pursuing. Last year I had a goal of reaching 100 blog posts. I fell a bit short (although I might have made it if I hadn't taken a, so I'm going to set that goal again this year. To reach 100 post in a year, I only have to blog an average of twice a week. That seems doable. And I certainly have a lot of catching up from last year that should definitely help the count!

I want to say thank you to everyone who has stopped by my blog in the last two years! I really appreciate and enjoy knowing that you find (at least part of) my blog interesting. Please feel free to leave comments & suggestions because they totally make my day! I want this blog to be interesting to YOU, not just me. :)



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