Thursday, April 30, 2009

Hubby's Birthday

This week we celebrated hubby's birthday. Unfortunately for me it was the sickest day I felt the whole week. I had a horrible sinus infection with a 100 degree fever. It was all I could do to muster up my strength and go out to dinner. We met hubby for dinner at a local Mexican restaurant. I had called that morning and was able to reserve his favorite table too.

Dinner was tasty, although a bit late since they messed up our order. We came home and celebrated with a cookie cake that Aly and I had made. Honestly Aly had made most of the cake herself. She made the cookie dough and added the m&m's for decoration.

Isn't the cake cute? At dinner KK told Daddy what a few of his presents would be. Oh well, she will learn eventually not to spill the beans. She was very proud of the table and his cake. She picked out the daisy plant for Daddy. Aly picked out the other one. The wine was provided by me, his favorite bottles!
I still think Daddy looks younger than he really is! Although I am not sure if he is feeling younger. He is starting to get more aches and pains. He is getting more grey hair too!
I was so sick that after our birthday celebration I went right to bed. I felt so bad the next day because I didn't get a chance to call my mom and wish her a happy birthday. My mom and hubby share the same birthday. So sorry again Mom, Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


On Monday we took the kids to the bowling aly. Just as a predicted KK only last three frames. After that Aly and Taylor bowled for KK on her turn. The kids loved going to the game room though. They spend over an hour playing a game where the claw tried to grab candy. It was a quarter a time but it would keep playing until they picked up a piece of candy. Sure provided cheap entertainment.
I felt pretty sick this day but I really wanted to see my friend. So I did what I could be be with them. The girls were happy to spend time with Taylor and Timmy. Aly was actually sick too. I brought her to the doctor in the moring and found out she has bronchitis and an ear infection. Normally I would keep her home but everyone really wanted to hang out so we joined them for bowling anyway.
For some reason my cellphone only sent me a few pics. When I get the pics I took of Taylor and Aly I will update this post.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

BBQ at our house

On Sunday the girls and I spent some time with Amy and her family shopping at the outlets. The girls had a good time hanging out with Taylor and Timmy. Their favorite thing to do was to ride all the little cars and things around the outlet. I didn't buy much, just a dress for KK and some hats for the girls.

Later that evening they all joined us at our house for a BBQ. It was a lot of fun although I have to admit I was quite sick that evening with an allergy attack. I managed to do fine hosting though. Tim had his three grown children join us here as well so it was fun. The house was nice and full. I really enjoyed having them over and I was so happy Tim's children were comfortable enough to come over.
We had a great dinner too! We had chipotle tri tip that was so tender and juicy! Hubby cooked it perfectly. We also had lasagna, garlic bread, and salad. For dessert I made brownie sundaes. It was great food and a lot of fun.

Check out Tanner and Teddy. Teddy is Tim's youngest daughter's child. He is 6 months younger than Tanner and will turn one at the end of June. Tim's oldest son Robert had a great time playing with the kids. I am sure he is going to be a great father some day!

KK and Taylor enjoyed playing with Mommies light savers! Thankfully no one got hurt!

My Best Friend Is Here!

This past weekend my best friend Amy from Montana came out to visit with her family. They drove the long two day drive and were in town from Saturday afternoon through Tuesday morning. Hubby knows that my life stops completely and will be revolved around their plans for the weekend. He didn't mind though since he wanted to work on the playset and the chicken coop.

On Saturday night all of us joined them at Round Table for pizza. Man KK sure knows how to eat Round Table. She at four pieces of pizza! It was crazy! Aly was so excited to see her friend Taylor. She was jumping and screaming, it was great!
See KK's cute dalmatian overalls? They are hand me downs from Taylor. They are KK's favorite pair of pants and she wears them all the time!
Check out Aly and Taylor. They were so happy to spend time together! Tanner was having fun at pizza too although I think he was a little tired!

Sacramento Zoo field trip

Aly's kindergarten class has a once a year field trip to the Sacramento Zoo and Fairytale Town. All of the children were so excited and couldn't wait for this day to arrive. They went on this field trip last Wednesday and unfortunately for all of us the weather was 96 degrees outside! Yes we went from cold mountain weather being used to around 60 degrees to scalding heat!

I rode the bus with the children on the way there. Boy was it noisy. Fifty one kindergartners sure make for a noisy bus! Hubby drove and brought KK along. I am sure his drive was nice and quiet! Alyssa was very happy to have Daddy and KK come. I think KK really is turning into Aly's best friend, it is so cute!
In the beginning Aly wanted to follow her classmates around. She had me take her picture on the queens chair. Then she was off with KK to another place at Fairytale Town.
Last time we were at Fairytale town Aly did not want to go down this shoe. This time she was excited and wanted to try it. The funny thing was that once she got to the top of the slide and looked down she wasn't quite sure if she wanted to do it. So do you know what she did? She told KK to go first! KK whizzed down the slide. This made Aly feel more comfortable so she took a turn too.
Look at the girls on Cinderella's pumpkin. So cute! Yes, they wore matching outfits again, but you know what, Aly loves it!
At lunch many of the girls started playing Ring Around The Rosie' was so cute. They were so good about letting the younger siblings in too! KK was thrilled to play with the big kids! BTW did you notice her hair? For the first time in her life I was able to braid her hair. To be honest I really didn't think she had enough hair but it ended up working out just fine!
After lunch we went to the zoo. Both of our girls were so hot and tired by this point that they had melt downs. We ended up leaving after only 30 minutes or so. The good news is they both slept the whole way home in the car.

Folsom Zoo

A week ago Sunday while hubby was working on the playset, I took the girls and went to The Folsom Zoo with my friend Meghann and her two children Bailey and Landon. We got to the zoo around 10:30 a.m. There were so many peacocks at the zoo! It think it was the girls favorite animal. It sure made me want a few peacocks at our house.
The zoo is quite small since it is just a rescue zoo so we were able to do the whole zoo in about 45 minutes. Afterwards we went to the park next door to the zoo. The park is big and the kids love it. The funny thing too is there are a lot of chickens running around near the park.
KK and Aly's favorite thing to do at the park was to be spun in these cones. They loved getting spun around and getting dizzy!

The girls look so cute in their matching outfits don't they? Aly really loves it when I have matching clothes for the girls. I like to try and give them matching outfits when I know we are going to public places so it is easier to keep track of them.
We ended up going to another park after this one as well. We got the girls so tired they both slept the entire way home!

Playset Day 4

On Saturday hubby managed to get the playset in the permanent spot he wanted it in. Amazingly enough he did it all by himself while I had the girls at dance class! He worked the rest of the day on digging and leveling the playset. He put concrete blocks underneath it so it would have a firm area to rest on. This is his progress for the entire weekend. Sunday he spent the day working on the chicken coop, cleaning it out, and fixing the door. After many, many complaints, hubby moved the chickens from our bathroom to the coop on Sunday. Mommy is so thrilled!

Playset Day 3

Well a week ago Sunday hubby worked on the playset. Sorry I am just now getting the pictures uploaded, it has been a busy week! On Sunday he was able to get the floor built for both the ground level and the second level. While he was building the playset we spent the day at the Folsom Zoo and a local park. The girls had a great time and got very tired from all of the play.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

KK's learning style

My favorite game that I currently play is an internet game called Who Has the Biggest Brain. It is so much fun! It has you doing timed exercises such as counting blocks, determining the heaviest object, calculating math facts, placing puzzle pieces, putting numbers in order from least to greatest, ordering objects, and playing a match game. The funny thing is KK loves to watch me play this game. She begs me to play it but I know she is far too young to play it.

Well last night I finally let her play it. I let her have complete control over the mouse. For most of the games I just told her the answer and she clicked in the numbers. The cool thing is she can recognize all of her numbers so that was a good learning experience for her. On one of the exercises I let her play it completely by herself! It was the memory game. The game shows you a set of cards with objects on it. It then flips the cards and you have to click on them to pair up the matches. I am o.k. at this game but you know what? KK is great at it! She has great visual memory! I was very impressed! She knew matches that I couldn't remember.

I already know KK has great auditory memory skills so it was fun to see that she has good visual memory skills too! Maybe she will get the best of both hubby and my learning strengths!

My next steps

My next two bills that I will be working on lowering is our car loan and our cell phone bills. I have been checking on car loan refinancing for the last few months and am finally seeing significantly lower rates. Our current rate is for 6.4% and I am hoping to get a rate for 5.15%..that is the rate they are advertising at the moment anyway.

Our cellphone bill I have began to work on. For some reason they had me in a contract with a remaining year term. I know why. They told me that a year ago when I tried to get cellphone reception at my home and tried out their service through the internet that it locked me into a 2 year contract. Well after 8 days we decided it wasn't working good enough for us so we returned everything. This was supposed to take care of our contract and put us back to not being in a contract. That didn't happen. So they are currently researching it and I will be working on changing to a prepaid plan.

If my calculations are right we should be able to get away with spending around $100 a year on minutes for each of our phones. That will be a $200 bill a year. We are currently paying $55 a month which works out to $660 a year. So that will be a savings of $460. So see already just modifying two bills would save us $1160.00 a year! I wonder how much I might be able to save on the car loan if the refinancing goes through?

After I accomplish those bills I will have to dig and see if there is anything else we can do. I know I can put effort back into our grocery bill and get that lower. I would love to find a way to use less electricity to lower that bill...that will be a lot of work figuring that one out!

Lowering our bills!

We did it! We got rid of our cable bill a week ago. I will be saving $45 a month which works out to $500.00 a year! You know what is even better? We are all watching less TV and now the only thing the children watch is PBS or DVD's we have. This means that all of their TV choices are good ones with the exception of PBS they are commercial free. Lord knows the commercials are very influential on children so I am so happy to be rid of those! They are also watching far less TV which is a good thing! Although I will have to admit now that they are playing more the upstairs playroom and their bedroom is a constant mess!

I am sure you are wondering how we did this and what we are doing for television now. Well we have a Sony PS3 which is a gaming system that you hook up to your TV. The cool thing about the PS3 is that it also lets you go on the internet, right there on your television. So before we decided to get rid of cable TV we looked up all of our shows that we watch to see if they were on the internet on their network sites and they all were! So now if we miss them on live TV we can download them onto our TV. Since we don't get channels like MTV, BRAVO, LIFETIME, etc., those programs we will always have to download to watch.

For me the only time I watch TV is pretty much on my treadmill. So I have a 17 inch laptop that I use to watch all of my shows. The cool thing is my treadmill has built in speakers to it so all I had to do was go to Radio Shack and buy a cord to reach my laptop. The only network I have found to be a bit difficult to watch while running on the treadmill is MTV. For some reason it kept having problems. So I can watch MTV when I am not running and can fix the problems easily.

I am also thankful that hubby was on board! Many of my friends say their hubbies would have never agreed to give up TV! The funny thing is now we are getting local politics channels and we still get two CSPAN channels. So hubby is content. He gets most of his news from the internet anyway. It has been nice to watch local political meetings too for both of us!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Diva Cup

OMG'D!!! Have you ever heard of The Diva Cup? I just heard of it for the first time right now. I was in shock reading about it. Sorry but I just don't see myself using it. Seems like the whole clean up process could be pretty disgusting. Besides it would make me feel like I am wearing a cup down there. Aren't tampons bad enough? BTW if you are braver than me and actually want to try one here is where you can apparently get the best deal: couponingcraze

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day

Wow, I learned something new today! Did you know you can recycle old crayons? Yes, old broken, unwanted crayons. So keep them out of landfills and instead send them here: crazycrayons

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Playset Day 2

Well last weekend hubby spent a day organizing the wood for the play set. So today, he started building it. He was able to get most of the main structure built. He still has to put the floor in on the bottom level and the second level but I am sure that part will go quick. He spent a lot of time drilling some of the wood and making sure he was putting it together nice and level. After he gets the floor in he wants me to help him move it to the backyard. I am not very optimistic that I am strong enough to lift half of that but I told him I would do my best to try! Tomorrow I will be taking the girls for a day out while he continues to work on it. He is hoping to finish the floors, move it to the backyard, and begin working the ground to get it level. He may also make an early morning trip to Home Depot to see what can help aide him in the leveling of it.

I am going to continue to take daily pictures of his progress. We want to show just what a big job it is and how long it can take to build such a large play set.

Aly gets her hair curled

This morning Aly saw a picture of her friend Taylor with curly hair. She wanted her hair curly too! So Mommy got out her herstyler and curled her hair before school. She was so excited and loved having the pretty soft waves in her hair. I thought she looked pretty cute. I hope she will continue to let me do fun things with her hair.

Easter Sunday

This post will have to be in two parts because at the moment all I have to share is pictures. Hopefully tomorrow or the next day I will get the video uploaded.
Easter Sunday started out shortly after 7 when Aly awoke eagerly. She did manage to have enough patience to wait for her sister to wake up. The Easter bunny brought a basket full of great things and hid eggs all over the living room for the girls to find.

For Easter the girls got a new Leapster 2, a game to go with it, glow bracelets, a puzzle, and a chocolate bunny. The eggs they found had some candy and money in them. The girls really love their Leapster 2's and got to try them out right away for a good portion of the day. At 11:00 a.m. we had to leave to take Grandma W to the airport so the girls played their Leapsters in the car. After dropping Grandma off at the airport we had to drive to Manteca to pick up Daddy from his brother's house. By the time we got home it was almost 5:00. The girls played their Leapster's on the entire drive. It was nice and quite and really good not to have to listen to them fight or whine!

Subbing Day 16!

On Thursday I got the opportunity to sub in Aly's class again. The kindergarten teachers had a preschool transition meeting to attend. Aly was thrilled and the day was super easy! It was a hlaf day job. I reported at 11:30, the kids were at lunch from 11:30-12:10. I sat around waiting for the kids to come. Then all I had the kids for was from 12:10-1:50. I got paid $65 for that half day sub job. It was great. In kindergarten a good portion of the afternoon is spent on socialization so I read a story to them, did a rhyming packet, and the rest of the afternoon was play. We even managed to fit in their favorite activity I do with them called the "Party Song."

Recently I have been trying to figure out my strategy for subbing next year. I was orginally thinking since Aly will be full day like the rest of the school I could start subbing a lot for the whole school. However, KK is still not thrilled about going to preschool after almost a year at the same school so I don't think I want to make her schedule unstable and unpredicatable. So I am thinking that I will just sub for kindergarten and first grade next year. That way I am still getting to know the school and allowing them to get to know me, but I am not putting KK in too much daycare......those are my thoughts for now. Things could always change though....

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Got old shoes???

I was reading an article this morning on cleaning up the clutter at your house! Lord knows I have more than my fair share of clutter to get rid of. I discovered a really cool thing. Did you know you can recycle your old shoes at select Nike stores? Yes, seriously, your old, disgusting, holey, warn out shoes. Apparently they take these shoes and break them down, melt down the parts, and reuse them to make new shoes. If you are interesting in finding a drop off location near you or want to find out more about the program click here.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Play set, get your votes in!

About a month ago we bought a play set for the girls from Sam's Club. My friends started making bets about when hubby would get the play set completed. Our friend Brian and I bet the end of May, Annette bet the end of April, and Kristi bet the middle of May.
Today hubby took the wood out of the four boxes to consider building the base. We were shocked at how much wood there was to build the play set! Hubby organized it by size so that when he begins building he can read the directions and pull the wood needed for each piece of the directions. For today that is how far he got. He took pictures of all the wood and told me to post it and take a poll to see how long it will take him to finish! Let us hope good weather is on his side! So, please help motivate hubby by leaving a comment with how long it will take him to complete it!

Jelly Belly Factory Tour

My Mom came to visit on Tuesday for five days. She flew in from Seattle where the weather was nice and sunny! Unfortunately for her our weather was going the be rainy for the rest of the week. So Wednesday morning when we woke up we decided to go to the Jelly Belly factory for a free tour! I had actually been wanting to go for years but hubby wasn't really up for it. So when I found out my Mom would love to go it was an easy decision to make.
When we first got there it was very crowded! Since it took us an hour and a half to drive there and it was close to noon we decided to do one quick activity and then we would come back after lunch for a tour. They had a sticker event going on so the girls were thrilled to go and try it out. They made cards with their stickers and even had stickers left over. We decided to go to Fresh Choice for lunch for a nice little break!
Once our bellies were full we had the patience to be able to stand in the line for the tour which turned out to be about 40 minutes long! We did get to sample a few jelly beans while waiting. KK was pretty tired at this point. Aly was quite excited though.

About half way through the tour KK fell asleep and believe me it was for the best! She was having hard time on the tour as it was a 45 minute tour. I think she was just a little young for it. At the end they gave us a small bag of 50 jelly beans to eat for each of us so we enjoyed our dessert on the ride home in the car!

Daddy and the girls build a birdhouse

Last weekend Daddy made a trip to Home Depot with Aly. When they arrived they saw a class for kids to learn how to build bird houses. Apparently they got there at the end of class but the people that worked there were so nice, they let Aly bring home two birdhouses, one for her and one for KK.
Aly was thrilled when she got home and insisted that Daddy help her build the house right away. They really enjoyed pounding the nails in on the house! KK's favorite part was painting the house. In the beginning Aly didn't want to paint her house but once she saw how much fun KK was having painting it she just had to join in.
Once the houses were complete Daddy hung the houses in our Cherry Trees. The girls have been checking almost daily to see if any birds have moved in!