Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Anthony is here!

This morning my little sister Stephanie became a mom for the first time. Mom and Baby are doing great. Anthony was born around 10:20 this morning weighing in at 7 lbs. 2 oz. and 20 1/2 inches long.

Congratulations to Kevin and Stephanie!! We can't wait to come see him and hold him and give him lots of kisses.

Thanks to Aunt Patricia for the pics.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Fun with Family and Friends - Part 1

Yesterday...Jared, Jacob and I went to Concord Mills Mall in Concord, NC.  We met Grandma Swaringen, Aunt Bette Anne, her son, Eli, Aunt Renee, her kiddos, Haylee and Wade and Aunt B's friend Sam.  It was a great day spent shopping and talking with family.  Aunt Bette Anne got some great deals at The Children's Place for Eli.  We were later getting there then they were, so I missed out on spending any time there, but I made up for it at The Gap.  I got 4 shirts and a pair of pants for Jacob for only $15.95.  Babies grow so fast especially when they weigh in at 10.5 at birth!  Jacob is in 12-18 months right now. 

Three of the shirts are for next summer.

I forgot to bring our camera to take pictures of all the fun we had.  After a few stores we all went to the Food Court to refuel.   Jared could not wait to get to ride the carousel.  I told him we needed to wait until Haylee finished her lunch.  Finally the three of us got to ride.  I of course got dizzy while standing in between Haylee and Jared.  Haylee was so sweet to say, "Aunt Jen, you can sit down on that bench!"  I told her I would if I could.  Too dizzy to move.  They also pretended to ride the little arcade-type of cars.  It was very cute.  Gma said they had to leave because there were other children waiting who were actually paying customers!  We did some more browsing and shopping.  Good ole' Sam took care of sleeping Jacob, reclining the umbrella stroller everywhere we went.  Jared and Haylee are 8 months apart, so close to be the best of buddies yet fight like brother and sister.  It is hilarious.  Haylee is a very sweet girl who is going into Kindergarten this fall.  She may look like her daddy but definitely got her smarts from her mommy!  Just kidding, Chris ; ) .
Concord Mills is a really nice, clean mall.  I have only been there one other time when it first opened quite a few years ago when we were just visiting.  It still looks the same in my opinion as it did when it first opened.  There were lots of places to spend money.  The only sad thing was I wasn't able to use my BOGO free Auntie Anne's pretzel coupon :(

Friday, July 25, 2008

More Grocery Deals - Part 2

I love shopping especially grocery shopping.  What?! Did I actually just write that?  Up until I started couponing and saving big, big bucks, I HATED grocery shopping.  Just ask Mack.  I would beg and plead for him to go/come along with me.  Or I would simply order To Go meals. 

I wanted to share my deals from last week even though I don't have any pics.  I am not writing to brag but to give a testimonial of what the has done for our shopping budget.  I buy 2 papers a week, plus have a subscription to the weekend delivery for 1.33 per week.  Walmart sells the Sunday paper for .99 which is normally 1.50.  You can try the grocery game for 1.00 for all the stores in your area for 4 whole weeks.  After that it is 1.25 for the 1st store then .63 for each additional store per week which you pay every 8 weeks.  Plus for every 3 friends that you refer you get 12 weeks FREE!  Please try it out and use my email as to who referred you.  Thanks!!

I am saving all this money by having GG and buying coupons.  The more weeks you do it the more you save because your coupon file expands.

My savings last week...
Walmart - spent 3.06 saved w/coupons 21.00
                   10 packs of flushable wipes (Huggies) 1.64 ea
                    6 bars of kiddie soap (Johnsons) .94 ea
                    Small bag of jelly beans .50

Bi-Lo - spent 18.11 saved 24.65
             (2) 12 count boxes of Poptarts
              1 gallon of milk
              1 car freshener
              2 airwick refills
              4 glade refills
              2 glade aerosols
              1 glade candle set
              (I am addicted to smelly stuff.  I have an OCD, this clearance sale with coupons really satisfied my needs for a long time.)

Harris Teeter - spent 1.35 saved 20.41
              6 Kraft BBQ sauces
              4 Spray n Wash

CVS - spent 6.34  Total before sale and coupons and tax was 34.72 (got 6.00 back in ECB)
             3 glade candle refills
             2 Lysol neutra air
             2 oust air sprays
            8 packs of Trident (which were totally free b/c CVS sale was BOGO free and they accept manu. coupons BOGO free as well)

Baby Food Maker - An Answer to Prayer

I have been praying for sometime for a way to make baby food.  I have done research and read about making your own.  The cost for the jars and containers is a little high in my opinion.  I have been stocking up when the grocery store would have them on sale along with my coupons of course!  It was costing around 3.oo a day for the stage 2 which is not enough for him anymore, which doesn't figure in the cost for formula and baby cereal. 

I did make Jared's food in a blender, but don't have one on hand anymore.  Plus, the blender was so big and had to be cleaned constantly.  I had read to make large amounts in the blender then freeze individual servings in ice cube trays.  Well, there is not room in our freezer to do that, so...

I went to Walmart to see what I could find whether it be a mini-food processor or store brand baby food.  Well, I found something I love...

It blends, mixes and even purees!  The wand part twists off for easy cleaning.  Fruit, of course, is easy to puree.  Veggies and meat I add a little apple juice or water.  I just wanted to share my little answer to prayer.

Harris Teeter Triple Coupon Day

I have been waiting with much anticipation for the next Triple Coupon Event at Harris Teeter.  Well it finally came!  When we put Jared to bed he always asked, "Mommy, where are we going tomorrow?"   Last night I told him we were going to Harris Teeter. 

Well this morning came early here with Jared getting up at 6:20 turning on his bedroom light waking Jacob and me up.  Mack?  Oh, don't worry he was still asleep.  "Mommy, it's wake up time.  Can we go to Harris Teeter?".

After breakfast and showering we headed out to Harris Teeter.  See, Jared loves HT because thay have racecar shopping carts, which are the best things for 2 boys in which to ride.

Hey Boys, are you ready to shop for deals?
Yippee!  Let's go Mommy!!
(what I actually said to get Jared to smile was I would let him ride the "Harry the Happy Dragon" if he was a good boy!)
So...he got his reward.   Although, he was disappointed a little, because he thought it went up and down like a carousel ride.
Jacob was not feeling well today-slight fever from either teething or ear infection which he is on antibiotic.  When we got home I noticed he felt warm so gave him some Tylenol.
These are the deals I was able to find...
Deal List
5 bottles of Windex glass cleaner
1 bottle of Shout stain remover
1 Soft n Dri deodorant
5 bags of Utz snacks
2 small tins of potato sticks
(2) 2 packs of toddler toothbrushes
2 containers Hillshire Farm deli meat
1 loaf of Sara Lee bread
1 med. sz bag of M&Ms
1 pack of Kraft cheese
2 boxes of Luigi's water ice
Large bottle of spray starch
Suave conditioner
2 boxes of Uncle Ben's long grain rice
(not pictured-Nesquick ready to drink choc. milk)
(which Jared and I split on the way home!!)
I paid $5.05.  I saved $75.80.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Happy 30th Birthday Patricia

    Thirty years ago I became a big sister to Patricia Rose.  So many memories come flooding back of us growing up.  I was almost 2 years old when she was born.  We were inseperable, the best of buds.  My friends were her friends.  Where I went she went.  Of course, as we got older we didn't always get along.  It wasn't until I went to college that I really learned to appreciate her as a person more than just a sister.  There is a special bond between sisters.  We may not always see eye to eye but we would always have each others' back.  Patricia is one of the most beautiful, smart, and strong women I know.  I love and admire her so much for all that she has become.  I'd like to think I had a part in making her the woman she is today.  Of course it was our godly parents and strong faith in GOD that has made us who we are today. 

Happy birthday Patricia.  I love you.  

I love all my sisters.  This was taken at Mom and Dad's Christmas 2006.  I was sick in bed with the flu.

Aunt Patricia with Jared

March 2004

(Stephen and Marcie's wedding)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Diaper Cake

    Our friends from church, Ryan and Katie, had a baby girl Friday named Lucy.  I got a great deal on diapers from Food Lion.  The newborn size was on closeout for 4.99 (half price).  I received in the mail 2 coupons - 5.00 and 1.00.  So instead of giving them two packs of diapers I decided to make a Diaper Cake.  Thanks to YouTube I was able to watch a demo on how to make it.  It was sooo much fun to do. 

My supplies:

2 packs of diapers (spent 4.00)

2 8 oz bottles (spent 3.00)

small rubberbands (spent 1.00 for a pack of 500)

large rubberbands (already had on hand)

2 rolls of ribbon (spent 2.00)

silver tray (spent 1.00)

bag of candy (spent 1.00)

2 packs of floral pins (spent 2.00)

2 bouquets of flowers (spent 2.00)

double-sided tape (already had on hand)

    So I spent about  16.00, less than I would have spent on the diapers if they were regular price!!   If I would have remembered about my Gerber coupons for FL I could have gotten the bottles for free.  Grrr!  Oh well.  It took me 45 mins. to assemble including the 5 minute tutorial. 

Monday, July 7, 2008

Jared and Jacob

Here's some pics from our visit to Grandma and Grandpa Swaringen's house on 7/5/08...

They're not professionals yet - here's Jared smiling, Jacob looking away...

...and Jacob smiling and Jared looking away,

so here's a Photoshopped combination of the two.

July 4th Parade

Jen, Jared, Jacob, Grandad, and Grandmom enjoyed the B-I-G July 4th parade in Lattimore.

Mayor Alton Beal in a Mercedes convertible.

Jared scored more candy without getting run over.

Ambassador's "float" with Mr. Lockhart at the helm.


We enjoyed fireworks over Cleveland Mall in Shelby. Granddad & Grandmom Blondo & Joanna came from Lattimore, and Grandma & Grandpa Swaringen came from a mile down the road. Jared held his ears almost the whole time, even though they weren't really loud.

Jared & Joanna

Grandad & Jacob

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Nap Time

Jared and Jacob sometimes take an afternoon nap together, esp. Thursdays since we get home late from church the night before. Here are some sweet pics...

Even Superheroes need a nap!!
Today, He was Batman and would not answer to anything else, so being the good playmate that moms can be, I humored him. Jared, I love playing with you, but next time ...can I be Batman?

If Jared is Batman, I guess Jacob is Robin... He was hiding since he was not in costume! He didn't want everyone to see his real identity.

I love this baby pose. He is such a sweet baby!

I was busy scurrying around the house cleaning and doing laundry, getting ready for our little weekend getaway to my parents' house for the 4th of July. I love this holiday and cherish our freedom. Happy Fourth everyone!!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Walmart Rollback Deals

We went this morning to get some deals on groceries, came home with some pretty flowers, too.

These are Angelines - 1.00 per carton. There were 6 plants per carton. I bought 9.

These are impatiens for 2.00. There are 18 plants per flat.
Impatiens spread so I felt that was all I needed for the flower bed we have.
Both of these flowers are annuals. The Angelines will bloom through the fall. The impatiens, I believe, just bloom through the summer. I have Zinnia seeds planted to fill the rest of the bed when they grow. My mom brought me back some packets from Erin's wedding. They were the wedding favors.

Here are the grocery deals...
5 Blue Bunny RW&B Bomb pops - 1.50 minus 1.00 off each w/Qs
Blue Bunny 1.75 qt - 2.50 minus 1.00 off w/Q
2 Stayfree Maxis were 2.84 - had a BOGO free coupon
3 Bertolli pasta sauce - 1.88 minus 1.00 off each w/Qs
2 OM hot dogs - 2/3.00 minus 1.00/2 off w/Q
The lunchmeat was free w/Qs which I had 4
It was a good day. I went first thing this morning at 8:30. Jared wanted to bring his "baby monkey" and push it in the umbrella stroller. I thought it would give him something to do so not to be bored. It was just more work for me. He kept telling me he had to keep moving "baby monkey is sleeping!" It was a perfect time to go, not too many people and ALL the associates were so nice. When we got home I put Jacob down for his nap then put the groceries away. Jared and I planted all the flowers, then played baseball then went for a short swim. The water in the pool was very cold.