Fandango Ticket for $4!!!

If you want to snag this deal you need to sign up for Groupon. It's free! And I have totally loved it. Everyday they have a new local deal that you can snag if you want! Check it out, I'm serious.
So right now--there's a sweet national deal if you ever go out to see movies. Richard and his friends are always wanting to see one movie or the other so this deal is perfect for us.
A National Deal---Buy ONE Fandango.com Movie Ticket for only $4 (a $12 value! One one can be purchased per person) good thru February 28th, 2011

So, First you need to sign up for Groupon Here
Then, go here to see the Fandango deal!


Phones And Guns

I am so amazed how you can pick up any object and turn it into a gun. Drool and spit fly from your lips as you make a shooting sound. It's rather disgusting, really. We've tried to teach you a different shooting noise that just uses your voice, but you seem to revert to the vibrating wet lip-smacking shooting.
Just today, we were outside playing next to the Baptist church next to our apartment. You found an interestingly shaped bark from a tree. You started poking at it, saying "8-9-10-11". Then you perched the bark against your ear like a telephone.

"Hello? Hi Chris! Yah? Okay bye."

First of all, I find it very funny that whenever you make imaginary phone calls, it is usually to Chris and Jonette. I know you really like these guys, but they are friends of Mommy and Daddy. I just wonder why you don't ever make phone calls to your nursery friends. Is this because they are too young to have phones?

I guess imaginary phone calls aren't the only calls you make. You love playing with Daddy or Mommy's cell phones whenever you get the chance. Yesterday evening you got into my Recent Call tab on my phone, and made a call to the missionaries. I heard you talking, but was extra surprised when I heard someone responding. According to the call log, Elder Peterson was humoring you for at least two minutes. Was he offering you some advice on how to be the best missionary you can be? I hope so.

Anyway, after you finished your imaginary conversation with Chris, we spotted an airplane flying overhead. Immediately, this bark transformed from a phone to a gun. You perched it up to your face, aimed the bark at the sky and began to shoot wildly. Spit flying. Drool dripping until the airplane was out of sight. Then the phone was back in your hands and the conversation with Chris started all over again.

"8-9-10-11. Hi Chris."

Imagination. I love watching it bloom.


Freezer Cooking Day

I decided to take part in "Freezer Cooking Day" inspired by Money Saving Mom. I had a lot of fun figuring out what meals I could prepare in bulk, freeze, and have ready-to-go when needed. I spent just a couple of hours during two days preparing what I could, and cleaning as I went. For as much as I was chopping and stewing in the kitchen, it stayed very clean. It was very nice.
I didn't prepare as much as I'd like, but this is what I did:
Mozzarella Cheesesticks-battered and ready to fry!
Turkey and Veggie Wraps (These took the most time, although they are good, I need a better system to prepare them more quickly.)
2 lbs cooked brown rice
Zuchinni Bread
Ready grated pepperjack cheese
Ready diced green peppers
Ready diced onion
Few pounds of cooked, shredded chicken

I will be buying more produce when it's on sale and chopping/dicing it so it's ready to throw into my recipes when I need it. And freezing brown rice-genius! Considering it takes 45 minutes to make, now I can just warm it up quickly & it tastes just as good.


Have you tried using coupons recently?

I'm curious dear readers, HOW MANY OF YOU HAVE STARTED CLIPPING COUPONS OR SERIOUSLY CONSIDERED DOING SO, and what motivated you to start doing so? Comment please! I'm very curious.

I recently received an email from a lady at church who will not be working come next month, and needs to find a way to help pinch her pennies. She asked if I could show her learn how to use sales and coupons. I was WAY excited at this email, and look forward to teaching her the basics of coupons, and showing her the resources I use. Is anyone else interested in tagging along? I'd be happy to share! I think the biggest thing though is just getting in the mindset of being a little more thrifty with what you already have, and keeping your mindset on being smart with purchases with or without coupons. Secondly, getting organized with bills, meal planning, budgeting is important.

Anyway, I want to highlight one thrifty deal at Rite Aid. Have I ever told you that I love Rite Aid. I used to not care for it but then they started their wellness program, and Single Check Rebates, and they are one of the best places to shop for non-food purchases. This month there was a great deal on a night guard. Months ago the dentist recommended Richard get a nightguard to prevent grinding teeth which usually causes massive headaches for him. The dentist gave him an estimate of making a mold at the office. ($350+) WHAT? He said store bought ones could probably do the trick. So, cross your fingers! Less headaches = :)
If you had just walked into the store and bought these without logging in your receipt online for rebates you would have paid: $33.97
Here's what I did--think you can follow along?
Doctor's Night Guard
Sale Price: $19.99
Coupon: -$5.00
Single Check Rebate: $10.00 by mail
Qualifies for Oral Care Rebate = $5 gift card by mail

Sale Price: $5.99
Coupon: -$3.00
UP Reward: +$1 to use on future purchase

Sale Price: $7.99
Coupons: -$1.00
Single Check Rebate: $7.99 by mail

Applied $5 off/$25 purchase
Applied UP rewards from previous purchases of $2.00 and $1.50.
Total OOP Purchase Price after tax: 19.22
I paid $16.39 with gift cards that I received in the mail from last month's rebates paying only $2.83 OUT OF POCKET
and will receive a check from Rite Aid for $17.99, and a $5 gift card, and have a $1 coupon to use on anything in their store in the future.
Did you read that whole thing? I'm proud of you. =)

Seriously-tell me that doesn't make you even consider clipping a coupon, or signing up for programs that give you rebates for purchases you were going to make anyway.


I'm a blogger

I like blogging. And I like my son. So, I have started a new blog-a daily diary for Michael. I try to keep a scrapbook with lots of pictures, but I feel like a lot of journaling falls out (which makes sense, because I'm already a year behind and forget things). I write in my journal regularly, but that's about a lot of things, so I wanted to have something set aside that was just about him and things he does on a daily basis. Because, he does and says a lot of funny things, and just keeps growing up!


Forgiveness: My Burden Was Made Light

I cried like a baby watching this. I like the part where someone states that Chris had made his decision to forgive others early in life. So, although it wasn't easy later when such a tragedy struck, this decision probably made forgiving seem more attainable.
Forgiveness: My Burden Was Made Light



We have been working on Michael's expressions. These are some shots that I could get tonight, but I definitely plan on trying to do these shots again with a better setting & lighting. Photography friends, please don't mock. Isn't he just adorable!?!?
Posted by Picasa

Summer Water Fun!!!

Aunt Lisa and Uncle Keith Schenk invited our family to go water tubing with them a week ago. I think this was the most fun thing Philip did his whole visit in WA, and definitely one of the best things I've done all summer! We had a blast!Philip stayed on the tube as much as he could, although he had quite a few flips. His only injury was one of his braces catching his lip causing it to bleed. See the photo above, on the bottom left? Bye-bye Phil! Even Michael went on the tube, but at a low speed. He loved it!

After our afternoon fun, we went back to the Schenk's for a tasty salmon dinner. Michael gobbled the salmon up! And even Philip had quite a few bites. I just took a few bites off Phil's plate. It was good, but I still don't consider myself a salmon fan.
Look at the cheeser at the end of the table.

Michael was more social than he has been in a while amidst lots of new company. He loved Katie and Diane a lot, and just loved relaxing on Katie's lap and feeling the baby in her tummy, and showing off his tummy as well. We also got him to learn everybody's name, although he wouldn't quit calling Grandma Hart by "grandpa!" because he was getting a good laugh out of everyone.



Michael has been requesting to say the prayers each night. His prayers are usually three lines long:
Heavenly Father, thank you day. Thank you Sawyer. Amen.

We laughed after this first prayer. I find it rather endearing that ever since the first day Michael started saying his own prayers, he'll always include his friend, Sawyer. Since then we've tried to teach him he can say he's thankful for anything. Here was his last prayer.

Dear Heavenly Father
Thank you day.
Thank you Sawyer
Thank you brush our teeth
Thank you Daddy brush our teeth
Thank you Sawyer
Thank you bike
Thank you bike and Sawyer. Yah!

In June, Michael went to Sawyer's birthday party which included riding their trikes. Proof here. I'm sure he was reflecting back on this moment. I just love my boy.


Card Crazy

Some of my recent makings. Which do you like best?

May be coming to a mailbox near you...

Philip's Visit

Uncle Philip, Diana's brother, Richard's brother-in-law--you get the point--is here in Seattle. He only has a few short days until he leaves, and despite being here for over a week already we have very few pictures to prove it. On his second day here, I buzzed both Michael's and Philip's heads. I think these two look so alike. I keep mixing up their names. "Mich...uh, Phil, come here!" or, just as much the other way around, "Phil...Rich...MICHAEL!" It's still kinda crazy to me that my littlest brother is 13 now.
Today, after church, Richard fell asleep on Philip's "bed" aka the couch. Philip wanted to nap too, so he found a way. A rather weird and strange position, but what can I say?

Matching Game

I noticed late in the day that we were all wearing the same colors. So, I had Philip take a picture of us. Nothing fancy-but here we are, together.
Making angry faces, because Michael was feeling upset.