Sunday, April 24, 2011

I'll Take a 12 Month Old, Please!

Since Kinsey turned one last month, it's as if she suddenly became a real, live toddler.  She is all over the map as usual, but now she can entertain herself...it is AMAZING!  It started one Thursday this past month when I was off work.  It was like she woke up that day and could suddenly play and be content all day.  I couldn't believe how much more time I had to get things accomplished around the house, and I could also just chill out while she played.  I am LOVING this age.When I don't work, we spend a large part of our time outside.  I usually take her to the park in the morning and get a good walk in before we head to the swings.  Then I take her to the grassy area and let her explore or chase the ball.  She'll slide down the slide a few times too at the playground.  Then we walk home and hang out in the backyard for a while longer until she needs a snack.  I get my watering and rose trimming done, and also attend to the pool if needed.  We just bought a new solar cover for the pool so hopefully in a week the water will be warm enough for a swim!

She's about outgrown her 2 naps and is down to one.  Right now it starts at about 11:30 but I'm hoping to push that a little later so she won't have quite as long to go between waking up from her nap and bedtime, because it's a long time for her to go without sleep.

David and I had a double date last night after church so Leatrice watched Kinsey.  I really enjoyed getting out to socialize with another couple.  We went to Zona78.  I thought the food was just average but the company and the relaxation of the night more than made up for it.  Afterwards we went to Frost for gelato.  I had blackberry--YUM!

Today we went to Pam's house for Easter dinner and an egg hunt.  With all the stuff Kinsey got from Pam's family, you really would have thought it was Christmas!  Kinsey picked up one egg during the hunt.  She also thoroughly enjoyed drinking the water from their koi pond!

Here are the pictures from the past month.
Here are the pictures from Easter.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Six months ago, I didn't know that the term "couponing" existed.

Leatrice started me on couponing through CouponSense.com.  It's a website that lists all the sales at the grocery and drugstores, and lists coupons that match the sales items.  The idea is you buy items on sale WITH a coupon, so the items are deeply discounted or even free!  Couponsense costs $15 a month, plus the cost of a newspaper subscription. 

Then a few months ago I came across some websites that do the same thing as CouponSense, but for free!  I wish I had known there were all these free websites out there, because I never would have paid for CouponSense.  So now I use http://www.thecentsableshoppin.com/ but there are lots of good sites out there.  I like this one because it allows you to populate your own grocery list to print.  It also has all my local stores.  I "liked" them on Facebook so I stay updated on all the deals it posts and free sample offers.  You can google your state or city and the phrase "coupon matchups" and hopefully you will find a good blog in your area. 

It is easy to get obsessed with it, but if you follow these tips hopefully you will be able to do it sensibly and save yourself money! 

Some tips for those of you interested in trying this out:

1.  Get more than one Sunday newspaper delivered.  I get 2, and I use the Arizona Republic because the Arizona Daily Star doesn't send out as many coupons.  It costs me about $15 bucks a month but I make that back in one week easily.  Or, find someone you know that doesn't use their coupons, and ask them to save them for you...even better!

2.  Start by filing your coupon inserts from the newspaper by date.  I have an accordian file.  The websites tell you which coupon insert you need for a particular item, so you can go to your file and pull out the insert, then find the appropriate coupon.  If you get more serious, you can get a coupon organizer and clip coupons and organize by category or by alphabet.

3.  Don't buy an item that is deeply discounted if you're not going to use it or don't need it.  It's tempting to buy extra stuff when it's super cheap, but you'll end up spending money you don't need to spend.  However, if an item you don't normally buy is cheaper than an item you would normally buy, go ahead and buy the sale item if you can substitute the cheap item for what you would otherwise pay full price for.  For example, if you normally buy Hunt's spaghetti sauce for $1, but the Prego is on sale and you have a coupon, go ahead and buy it if the final price is less than a dollar, if you're okay using Prego!

4.  DO buy whatever is FREE, because if you don't use it, you can find someone who does or you can donate it!

5.  Don't drive out of your way to go to stores just for deals, especially with gas prices as high as they are.  Just pick one grocery store you normally go to, look up the deals, gather your coupons, and go once a week.  I also usually take one trip to a drugstore each week, but I try to go when I'm nearby rather than make a special trip just to get free stuff.  It's also best to go to the drugstores early in the week (Sunday or Monday) because they sell out of free and cheap items often.  You can get rainchecks, but I find that to be a pain.

6.  Read through each store's coupon policy before you start couponing, so you can be educated when you go to the stores.  Sometimes clerks will tell you the wrong thing, so if you know the policy (or print it out and carry it with you!) then you'll avoid spending extra or not getting items you were hoping to get.

7.  I also recommend reading a "how to" on one of the websites before you start couponing.  I like this one by TheKrazyCouponLady.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Jeremiah 29:11

I was just reading through some blog posts from a few years ago (have I been blogging that long??).  I miss the way I used to write before we started trying to have a baby.  I'm going to make more of an effort to write about my thoughts and any "aha" moments I have. 

David made a very wise statement the other day.  I was telling him how my life is not how I picured it would be.  He said maybe not, but this is the life God pictured for me.  Simple but profound.  I think of this multiple times a day sometimes when I find myself discontented.

Our pastor was talking on Saturday in church about how we always picture life to be easy.  We read Jeremiah 29:11 and imagine our future through rose colored glasses.  The reality?--No one in history...the Bible or anywhere else, went through life without enduring suffering in order to live a life worthy of their calling.  I don't know that I've heard anyone take that verse and say, God's plans for me are probably going to be HARD...awesome!!! 

He also said only one of the disciples is said to have died of old age...we all think that is going to be our life...coasting through until we're old.