Thursday, February 17, 2011

I never thought I'd say it, but...

I'm totally ready to start couponing. Like, the kind of couponing where you get 3 batches of the Sunday paper and organize a million coupons and spend forever figuring things out...but then get lots of stuff for free or really cheap.

I have been resisting it for a long time on the grounds that I thought I'd be couponing for a lot of stuff that I wouldn't have been buying or eating otherwise. Also that I was worried that I would spend money subscribing to newspapers and couponing websites and then not following through, so that I'd be wasting money instead of saving it. And third, I'm passive. I'm a people-pleasing, I'd-rather-die-than-put-anyone-out-or-get-dirty-looks-from-anyone type of girl. Marty, on the other hand, will go through manager after manager if he knows he's right (which he usually is) and he always gets his way! I just know that if I showed up in a grocery line, and followed all the instructions for getting 10 boxes of cereal for a dollar, and the clerk said I couldn't do it, I'd say, "Whoops, sorry." Even if I knew I had done it right. I know, how old am I?

Wanting to start this small lifestyle change comes at a weird time for me because I've been reading "Walden" and have been really into eliminating stuff and avoiding accumulating more stuff and thinking about how to live more simply with less stuff. But lately I've been feeling this tugging of the need to get more stuff, and that is in our food storage and emergency kits. I know our food storage just isn't good enough. Buying items here and there when things are on sale isn't cutting it. I keep raiding the food storage almost as fast as I can supply it. I know you aren't supposed to go in debt to get your food storage, so of course I'm not going to do that. But I want to just hurry and build it up a lot and then keep up with it, and I've heard from friends that couponing is how they were able to do that.

So that's why I'm ready. Any tips for me? Besides bringing Marty with me on my shopping sprees until I can learn to stick up for myself.... :)

More simple fun

My kids are always reminding me how easy it actually is to have fun with them. Like I've lost some of my yellow personality or something. Ok, my only mushy line for the post: What am I going to DO when I don't have little ones to play with all day long? Ok, I'm done.

Anyway, we rented a carpet cleaning machine from Fry's and cleaned all the carpet in our house except for our bedroom. We did most of it that night while the kids were sleeping, and when they woke up it was still pretty wet. That meant anytime we were going to spend inside had to be done in our room. I wondered how that was going to work, but I went out to the playroom, grabbed a basket of toys, dumped it out on my bed, and they played with those toys all morning long. These were toys that had been sitting around in the loft not getting played with all that much a couple days before, but maybe all they needed was a change of scenery! We all had so much fun up on that bed playing together. But eventually I had to get ready for the day, and eventually they did start to want to venture out of my room. So I went and got a box.

This box seriously bought me an hour. A box.

And by the way, we thought getting the machine from Fry's was the way to go. It was way cheaper, and it was nice to be able to go over some areas multiple times and just have more control over the whole process.

The day after that, I had to put the house back together, and I made six batches of sugar cookies for our camp fundraiser (I threw away the batches that weren't good enough - I didn't know sugar cookies were an art form). And to distract my kids that day, I dragged Brynn's mattress out to the loft and they played on the mattress all day long. A mattress.

Marty's a kid at heart. He had a lot of fun with the mattress, too. Perhaps too much fun. And as you can see, I hadn't gotten to putting the loft back together yet.

Brynn world. She was singing and her lyrics were really dramatic (can't remember what they were about now).

Then last weekend we set up the tent in our back yard as sort of a camping "rehearsal." We were trying to figure out if we could still fit our whole family in the tent, and whether or not the kids would sleep. SO MUCH FUN!!!!

The kids did great. It was pretty cold that night so Brynn sneaked up onto our bed, which was pretty crowded. So in the middle of the night, I did get up to go sleep in the house. But I could have toughed it out, I swear! That morning was going to be basically my only chance to sleep in in the month of February, so I saw the chance and took it. :)

We also blew up this little two man raft that was my family's when we were young. It had been sitting in my parents garage and we weren't sure if there were no holes or 100 holes, but it's in really good shape!

We also had a BBQ where we made s'mores (obviously). So we are all ready to go camping! We just need to find the time and place. :)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Enough is enough

Wow, we ate a lot of candy yesterday. A lot. It was blissful. Except the heartburn. I didn't feel that guilty about it, because it was Valentine's Day, and that's what you do on Valentine's Day. We got cute Valentine's Day packages for our cute family members sent from all over the country. We loved and appreciated it, and there was some GOOD STUFF in there. Can you tell I have quite the sweet tooth?

So then after Family Home Evening I told Brynn, "What do you want for your FHE treat? We have LOTS of treats still here for you to choose from!" She thought about it and said, "Hm, I want some carrots."

Marty's and my jaw dropped. I said, "Ok, then go get some carrots." So she went to the fridge, opened the veggie drawer and started passing out carrots to everybody.

Although I didn't expect that from her, I agreed. Enough was enough, it was time to scale back the candy. In fact, it felt so good to hear her say that, that this morning I went through every cupboard and pantry and put everything sweet in garbage bags. That's what the above picture is. I threw away candy, marshmallows, even some hot chocolate (although I put a bunch of hot chocolate in food storage - I won't be that tempted anymore since our "winter" is pretty much over anyway). Even chocolate chips (I have been known to sneak them). Who knows how long this will last, but at least we don't have any candy-licious holidays coming up to tempt us.

Speaking of holidays, I'm going to try to start doing this from now on. Going ahead and having fun eating treats that day, and throwing any left-overs out the next day. There are dentists around us that trade in candy for money the day after Halloween. My mom always stuffed our Christmas stockings with nuts and exotic fruits, I think I'll start doing that. And I was thinking I'd start making having yummy berries a tradition for Valentine's Day. This year I got the kids the EVER requested "Mickey Cheese." Still working on Easter.

Just more thoughts... :)

P.S. J&H, that s'mores sucker was the best. thing. ever.

Monday, February 14, 2011

It came!

Every year on Valentine's Day Marty has a heart shaped pizza delivered to my house for lunch. Then I get to be really selfish for an hour or two while the kids nap and I get to watch a chick-flick and gorge myself on my favorite food!
I love you, Marty :)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Oh no she DIDN'T

A little help, please. Here's the story:

This morning I woke up in a good mood. I made cranberry smoothies that Marty and I drank out of goblets. We studied our scriptures. Amazingly, the kids weren't up yet so I put their smoothies in the freezer and took a nice, hot bath. I'm thinking, "Could this morning get any better?" Then the kids woke up so I got their smoothies out and we all sat at the table together with our fun string of Valentine's day lights on. As I'm having a nice little chat with Brynn, I'm congratulating myself on the morning, and then Brynn responds to something I've said with:

"You're right, stupid."

She looks at me sweetly and innocently, like maybe she didn't realize she was insulting her mom. I came down on her like a hammer and demanded to know where she heard that, and she panicked for a minute and told me that HAMAN had said that to Esther! And I realized that all of those times I blamed my brothers for things like getting into my mom's make up, I SHOULD have been blaming a DEAD EVIL VILLAIN from the scriptures!

I never did get to the bottom of it, so maybe she really wasn't repeating something, maybe she really did put that sentence together on her own and called her own mother stupid. I don't know. Brynn is not a perfect girl by any means, but saying something like that is SO not like her. So now I'm having a change of heart and trying to figure out a plan for limiting TV time. I say I need a plan because if I just say I'll try to do less, who knows if it will really happen. In the afternoon, I often put on a movie for her in a dark room with a pillow and blanket for quiet time. What do your kids do for quiet time? I wonder if she'd go for just giving her a big stack of books? I also put on PBS in the morning sometimes when I'm getting ready for the day. I think I've started getting too relaxed on letting the kids pick out DVDs at the library. If I've never seen them, I almost always watch them with the kids, but I must admit that there are at least 2 or 3 movies Brynn could be getting "fun phrases" from and I wouldn't know it because I just didn't want to sit through them. Hmm. How do you limit your kids' TV time? And how picky are you about movies? Do your kids repeat phrases from those movies?

Just thoughts....

Thursday, February 3, 2011

THIS is why I don't try to teach piano while Marty is at work

I put them in front of a movie with a cute little bowl of popcorn and I come back to THIS.

DANCING on the popcorn. One of the munchkins found it, and to be honest I don't even suspect the four year old, so OBVIOUSLY they DUMPED it OUT, and started DANCING on it!!!!!!!
Why are kids SO...
...Why do they always....
Just...WHY? WHY!? WHY?!?!?!?!?!?