Saturday, July 31, 2010


We haven't had a family picture taken since Lauren was a baby. That was almost 5 years ago! That means we don't have a family picture with Grant in it! Grant who is going to be 3 in a month. That's pathetic. I think I've put it off because -'s STRESSFUL! To get FIVE people looking at the camera - or at least smiling....nearly impossible. Then there's the wardrobe...I admit - I obsess about this a bit. I don't like to be matchy-matchy (been there/done that...not going back). I want to coordinate but not in an overly obvious way. Much to my husband's dismay, I can worry about this for days on end! And then there are the issues of cost and wanting to be thinner for the pictures (sigh).

Recently our neighbors had their picture taken by his cousin. We loved her style! I immediately contacted her to inquire about cost, schedule, etc. It turns out - she lives in Arizona! Bummer! BUT....she was coming back in August for a class reunion. YAY! So we booked our appointment with SARAH and today was the day!

I won't have the images until next week, but I did snap a few pics during some of Bailey's individual shots. I can't WAIT to see them! She took over 300 pictures! Stay tuned...I'll be posting them just as soon as I have my hands on them!

Thursday, July 29, 2010


I am a blog-reader...if you read my blog, you already know this about me. Craft blogs, parenting blogs, funny blogs, money-saving blogs, decorating blogs and cooking blogs. I LOVE reading new ideas from people way more talented and organized than myself. I've found tutorials that allow a non-sewer like myself to actually whip up something pretty fantastic. I've found step-by-step instructions on how to cook something delicious. And recently I've learned how to save BIG-TIME money on gifts! I can't thank Sara over at Sara The Savvy Shopper enough for alerting me to Target's Toy Clearance! She is such a blessing!!! Although it hurt a little to spend more than I normally would in July, it is going to save us SOOOO much money this year! 75% off people! Run! Don't walk! Get to your nearest Target TODAY! Before all of the crazy cart-filling women like me take everything!

My two little kids have birthdays soon. I purchased items for their birthdays, my nephews birthdays, a small stash for birthday parties my kids might be invited to this year, Christmas for my kids, my four nephews, my 6-yr-old half-brother (it's complicated) as well as a stash for Toys for Tots or sponsoring families at Christmas. I MAY even have enough to share the clearance love with Grandma or store a few things for NEXT Christmas! Can you say SCORE?! Can you imagine me doing the happy dance?

Here are two pictures of the loot (it wouldn't fit in one picture!!). And so sorry about the messy and unfinished basement in the background. I had to hide out from the kids while I was doing this!! Be sure to guess how much you think I spent. I'll give you the answer below the pictures. Don't peek....guess first!

Ok....ready to know what all of this is worth? Actually..I should say...the amount they normally charge for these things...because we all know this stuff is NOT "worth" the full price. Anyhew...I strayed off-track. Ok....normal price on all of these items is nearly $800! Insane, right?

Now....what did I spend? Are you ready to know? Drumroll please..........

Just a tad over $186. SUH-WEEEEEET!!!
Now...don't get me wrong....$186 still hurts...a lot....but you all know how quickly you can get to $50 or $100 on what looks like NOTHING! This way...although it stings a bit for July, we have covered birthdays and Christmas for our little kids AND extended family and friends that we buy for throughout the year. DONE! Finished! Not spending another dime on it! WOO-HOO!!!

If you see something in the photos and you are curious what I actually paid for it vs. what original price was....send me a comment..i'd be happy to tell you! This is fun!

A Note: My area Target stores went from 30% off signs straight to 75% off. Although I found a few 50% off items in the last couple weeks...the signs (and the majority of toys) never went to half-off...they jumped from 30 to 75% off!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Summer is busy...and hot! Who has time to cook dinner? Not me! So here's a look at one of our simple (and perfect if you ask me) summer meals:
Grimes Sweet Corn
A fresh garden salad with diced cucumbers (that I grew!)And don't forget some of these bad boys! Of course they won't just ripen together...3 here....5 there. Oh well...they are delicious...and I grew them! =-)And fresh canteloupe. I didn't grow this...but purchased from a sweet corn truck that day. YUM!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

I've posted this one before, but thought I'd post it again tonight as I'm practicing. I'm singing this at church tomorrow. There are a TON of great songs out there...but this one really touches me. Thanks to Jessica for introducing me to this one! Excited to hear the band guys play it...bummed there will be an awesome fiddle player missing from the mix. Here's praying a) the music and lyrics speak to more than just me tomorrow and b) remembering all the words would be excellent as well. Amen.

Friday, July 23, 2010

It's been a week already since the kids and I were on our mini-vacation to Illinois to visit family. Grandmas, Grandpas, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Great-Grandmas, Great-Grandpas...and most exciting...our brand-new nephew/cousin, Nicholas!! We packed in fun with both my Mom's side of the family AND my Dad's side of the family. The kids didn't nap for 5 days (that part wasn't so fun) and many adventures were had while fond memories were created.

I loved taking my kids to the farm. Letting them walk up the gravel lane, climb the fence to look at cows, run free and loud without the worry of disturbing neighbors or the danger of was nostalgic and relaxing. I'm not cut out for farm life full-time anymore, but I do appreciate the beauty and simplicity of living in the country. Someday I'd like a weekend/vacation home in the country. I'd like to say the farm girl in me could hack it full-time...but I know better. I hate mice (inevitable when surrounded by fields), flies drive me nuts (where there's cows, there's cow poop...and where there's cow poop...there's flies), and I sure as heck couldn't live an hour from the nearest Target. Puh-leeeeeze! That almost makes me hyperventilate just thinking about it!

But I tell only takes a minute in that farming area of Northern Illinois to see what an incredible slice of heaven it is. Absolutely the gorgeous landscape that only God could create. (Sigh)....relaxes me just thinking about it.
The favorite part of the trip was meeting Nicholas though. What a perfectly sweet baby! He's beautiful AND sweet-tempered. He's so perfect! After a couple days of holding and rocking him... I'm hooked. The bummer is....he lives in Chicago. A good 5-hr drive from here to a land where parking and hotel accommodations are pricey. My brother's even farther away...I can't even remember how farm Lexington, KY is from us...10 hours? anyway - too far to drive in a weekend with kids in-tow and too close/too small for decent air fare. I'm really starting to envy the families that live near each other. And when I returned to the farm it brought back all of those memories of family birthday parties where all of the aunts/uncles/cousins/grandparents gathered. I remembered exploring the farm with my cousins, fishing, playing outside all day. I remember aunts and uncles and grandparents coming to my school activities and how exciting that felt. I won't be able to do that for my nieces and nephews. (note: I don't actually have nieces...just 4 someone needs to get on that). And I tell you....that sucks....big-time.
Sure, we have cell phones, e-mail, instant messaging and even Skype....but nothing is as good as being able to actually hug your nephews....babysit them so your brother and his wife can get a much-deserved night away......cheer them on at a tee-ball game....go to his birthday party. Ugh...i'm sad.

Alright...enough of the pity party. More pictures of our trip coming up soon!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Happy Birthday to my Mom! She turned 60 (the new 40) on Saturday. I can't believe my Mom is 60! I mean...she looks great, but how can she be 60 when I'm still 25? ( I FEEL like I should be 25). Anyway - to celebrate we took her to her favorite restaurant
The kids were well-behaved (don't worry, they absolutely made up for that the next day) and we all had a wonderful time celebrating the best Mom/Mother-in-Law/Grandma on the planet. No one...I mean NO ONE loves my kids like this woman. She can sew better than anyone I know, is so creative when it comes to painting and creating, taught me the value of sticking up for yourself when you've been wronged and how to shop the clearance racks! She's a gem...and I'm so lucky she's my Mom. Happy Birthday!!!

Here she is with her birthday balloon and dessert, which she shared with all of us (except she told the kids no one could touch her whipped cream - ha!)
Here she is with the man of her dreamsAnd with Granddaughter #2:Here's Grandma and Lauren with the present Lauren chose/bought with her own money at a garage sale. She was soooo proud! Her first choice was a navy blue/marroon bathroom garbage can, but we steered her to a different table at the sale. =-)Me (who needs to apply powder and get a haircut) and my boy (who also needs a haircut) These eyes have NOT been photoshopped...this is the real deal....HUGE baby blues and long DO you say no to those?
Who is that nearly-an-adult beautiful girl at my table? Yikes! Here I am with daughter #1 and my little guy:
And my good-lookin' man w/his little girl:Beauty and the beast...oh..wait...that was the next day. This is Beauty and the big boy:

As they say, "A Good Time Was Had By All!"

Sunday, July 04, 2010

God Bless America!!