Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year=New Look and Music

Obviously, you can see the new look for our blog. I also added new music as well. I suppose I was craving some classics, meaning Frank Sinatra. As I was adding some music, I decided to add Michael Buble (after all he is Ol' Blue Eye's spawn) and I added a funny song for Tim.

Story behind the Brad Paisley song "I'm still a guy"...Our Sunday School class has been studying the differences between Men and Women over the last several weeks. Last week, we were discussing women's love languages, which is about 10 compared to the guy's which is 3. Ummm....wonder why??? :) Anyway, one was Affection. Not to be confused with sex (as in the men's). I started laughing and then piped up "When a backrub means just a backrub" (from the song if you aren't familiar with it). Almost every girl in the class started chiming in lyrics. Oh, well, it's now a funny joke in our this just a backrub??? ;) This song is for you Tim!

My timing was a bit off!

I was reading on another blog about a free photo album. I thought it would be fun to create one for Caroline to put on her bookshelf. I downloaded all my photos, arranged them in the book, added lots of text so it would read like a book and then went to enter my codes. EXPIRED! I was about miffed as I spent a couple of hours total on this elaborate free book. I have never fallen prey to these free gimmicks, and now I will never do it again! Or...I won't spend as much time on it next time. Lesson learned!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Target Deals and Kroger Trip

I went to Bath and Body Works today to pick up some goodies and then ventured to Target to get some cheap steak. BUT...I was sidetracked because Target had just marked their Christmas stuff to 75% off! I picked up some wrapping paper, tissue paper, a new pre-lit wreath and some decorations to go on it (leaf picks, ornament balls, and some pears). I also got my mom a new tree skirt and some giant bells for her mailbox. Definitely worth a trip!

I also went to Kroger to take advantage of some deals and expiring coupons. I spent $21 and got the following:
-1 bag of salad
-1 onion roll sandwich bag
-5 Cottonelle Toilet Paper
-Cat food
-Cascade Dishwashing Detergent
-Bounce Dryer Sheets
-2 gallons of milk
-2 Herbal Essence Shampoo/Conditioner
-1 Pantene Shampoo
-1 Pantene Hairspray
-1 Cover Girl Foundation...(Far cry from my Christian Dior Foundation) but FREE...have no idea if I'm going to use it

Not bad, but was hoping to spend around $10. Great thing is that I don't have many groceries to buy for next great deals at Publix or even CVS. I will be spending less than $15 for groceries next week. I am also stocked up on diapers, so it will be a cheap week.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Wonderful Sales!

This week, I wasn't too impressed with the sales at my beloved Publix or Kroger. I am not an expert at the CVS Extra Care Bucks, but did pretty decent this week. I didn't take pictures because I went before church on Sunday and put away my goodies before Caroline rolled out of bed. I had several coupons for vitamins, candy, and toothpaste. I purchased:

10 bags of chocolate (perfect for baking cookies)
2 Pantene shampoo and conditioner
2 Colgate toothpastes
8 spools of curling ribbon
4 bottles of Vitamin C

I paid 23 cents and the vitamins were for my mom who paid $3.96. Great deals!!

I also went to Walgreen's (had a horrific experience on Sunday night) walked out with nothing. I then went to my normal Walgreens today and got 5 Robitussin cough syrups and received $20 back in register rewards. I also used $2 off coupons. The register rewards, I will use at Publix next week for my groceries.

Tim found a cute little boutique up in Duluth, so Caroline and I ventured up there to have lunch with Daddy and do a bit of shopping. We only bought one dress at the boutique, but will be going back in the next couple of weeks. They will be having a monster sale if you're on the mailing list. I will be looking for Christmas dresses and winter outfits for next year! Thanks Daddy! After having lunch, Caroline and I ventured over to the Forum to do a little more shopping. We went to Gymboree, Harry and David, and then to Trader Joes. We love TJ's!!!

We had a great day and plan on staying around the house tomorrow. We are going to Bath and Body Works tomorrow to pick up some wallflowers for my mom and my Aunt Janie gave me a gift card to there. I love this time because it is their semi-annual sale. I stockpile my gift cards for this sale! I also have to go to Wal-Mart for a quick errand, but we will playing with our new kitchen and blocks.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Pollo Campero Update

It took us exactly one hour from our front door to the entrance to Pollo Campero (chicken heaven!). As we were sitting at the stop light, we noticed that they had a Gainesville Sheriff patroling the parking lot. Pretty funny! I quickly pulled into the drive and into a parking spot. As I whipped my SUV into the spot, the Sheriff walked over to me and began talking...

"Excuse me, mam. Do you know what you did wrong?"
Obviously not..."Um no sir, but I feel sure that you are going to tell me."
"Come with me so that we can discuss your wrong doing."
What are you serious??? I can smell the chicken calling my name... "Yes sir."
"You see those yellow lines? You crossed over them without even batting an eye."
"Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't see another entrance and no one was coming. I thought that I was able to enter."
"Ma'm it is a law everywhere that you can't cross over double yellow lines. That is ticket worthy."
"I'm sorry sir. Thank you for pointing that out and telling me my wrong doing. I won't do it again."
"I'm going to let you go, but don't do it next time."
WHEWWWW!!!! Okay, can I go now???? There's now a line of 30 people!!!!

What would life be without reliving Guatemala without a brush with the law??????

Okay, so the food was AWESOME! I had the Rosa de Jamaica, white rice with black beans, chicken, and tortillas. We also ordered the fried sweet plantains...excellent choice! I am already craving it again! It tasted just like the Campero in Guatemala. The only difference was that the menu and the waiters spoke English and I was certain what I was ordering! The lines were steady and the manager said the day before the drive thru was backed up 7 miles! The Gainesville Police had to ask them to shut down the drive thru for an hour to clear up traffic!!

So, who's ready for another road trip??? YUMMY!!!

Christmas Night

Friday, December 26, 2008

Pollo Campero in Georgia

Tomorrow, we are driving about an hour to go eat at my favorite Guatemalan Restaurant...Pollo Campero. I am SO excited! I called them tonight to ask if they serve my favorite refried black beans and naranja (orange drink). Of course, they are too new to serve them, but the man said that they will be there soon. He told me that yesterday a family traveled 14 hours to eat there! WOW! He also said that they have LONG lines so bring a lawn chair!!! I can't wait! Stay tuned for pictures!!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Morning

Caroline woke up and was a bit overwhelmed at the toys that Santa left for her in the night. She sort of eased into the toys while staying on my lap for several minutes. The toy that finally won her over was the basketball goal that counts her baskets and plays music. She really had a great time with it! She then loved on her babies that she's been wanting from Wal-Mart. It's a good thing that Santa took note of her love! :) Finally, she played with her jumping Zebra and then her blocks. Santa also left her some goodie in her stocking...a pocket Dr. Seuss book, Teddy Grahams, a chocolate snowman, Holly Hobby spinbrush toothbrush, Little Bear toothpaste, and a new sports sippy cup. As you can see, Santa thought Caroline had been a very good girl this year (I guess he won't hold it against her that she hates him!!). We have our Christmas dinner and present exchange with my family tonight. Stay tuned for more pictures.

Christmas with Tim's Parents

I am a litte behind on my pictures. Tim's parents came this past weekend to celebrate Christmas early with Caroline. Caroline loved her new toys, especially this cute train. It moves and plays music. She adored it! She also got a cute baby doll, an ABC book, a handmade baby blanket for her dolls and a puzzle that makes musical sounds when you insert the pieces. She had a great time!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Bring the Rain

As I sit on my couch looking at my beautiful Christmas lights, I was thinking of what I was going to write tonight. I had a two funny stories (one involving watching a television show that made me lose brain cells and another one that involved the kidnapping of Annie from Little Einsteins), but I got sidetracked. I somehow clicked on a new blog and my whole perspective changed.

In all my adoption trials, I experienced such fear...fear that one should not ever have to experience. But, I never experienced the birth or death of a child. Yes, you read correctly...death. The death of a child, one thing I hope that I never experience. I keep typing the word "experience" because it's real. For the last thirty minutes or so, I have been crying my eyes out reading about another person's heartache. I am no where near being finished with her story, but I am now out of kleenex. I admire her faith and courage and can only pray that if faced with the same experience that I would handle myself in such a dignified manner, one that brings glory to God. When you have some time and kleenex, please read...Bring the Rain Look on the left sidebar and click on read the beginning of Audrey's story. You won't regret what is about to change your life.

"Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings your glory
And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain"

Mercy Me, "Bring the Rain"

Sunday, December 21, 2008

CVS Trip at 7:30 AM!

This week, CVS had some awesome sales for ECB's (extra care on a receipt) and with my coupons, I was going to have an amazing time! Since my CVS isn't a 24 hour store, my sale should have started last night. Armed with my coupons, I headed out to find that my sale wouldn't start until tomorrow at 7AM. So, I set the alarm and got there at 7:30 to discover there were other hard core couponers already there! One lady was in town from Tampa!

I worked so hard to match my coupons with the best deals and had three ultimate scenarios to spend $2.00 oop. hard work didn't pay off because some of the products weren't there, so I spent more out of pocket than I had planned. But, I did come home with great deals and I have about $25 ECB to spend for my next trip. I am getting low on diapers and wipes, so it may be the time to "wash" my ECB and spend it on something that's not on sale, but desperately needed. I didn't take pictures, but here's what I got:

2-L'Oreal eyeshadows
2-Arm and Hammer Essential Starter Kits
4-Hello Kitty BandAids
1-Excedrin Express Gels
2-Gillette Fusion Razors
2-Gillette Body Wash/Shampoos

I may have gotten some more, but I can't remember!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Check List...

1. House decorated...CHECK
2. House cleaned...CHECK
3. Laundry done...CHECK
4. Grocery Shopping completed...Half check
5. Presents wrapped...NO
6. Order Honey Baked Ham...NO
7. Complete J's Order...NO
8. Find Caroline a stocking...NO
9. Rest...CHECK!! (took a power nap instead of tennis)

So, I'm almost done with my checklist. Tim's parents will be in today and my mom is coming in on Saturday. We are praying that Caroline stays healthy for all of our visitors and especially for Christmas.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Tired...That's Me!

You know the wall that you see coming right at you? The wall that seems to be getting closer and closer but you just can't seem to avoid hitting it? Yeah, I think we all know that wall... That wall just hit me upside the head. I am officially tired. We had Caroline's photo session this morning. I gave her a bath, lotioned her up and put on her smocked Nativity dress. She was in a perfect mood, until the camera came out. All of a sudden, she started screaming and crying and refused to have anything to do with Kelly. We decided that it was my presence and she would come back tonight when Tim was here. I was going to leave the house and do something else while she attempted to get the perfect picture. As she was leaving, Caroline waving goodbye, her mood instantly changed. Kelly managed to capture some of Caroline's funny moments and cute smiles (outside of my doorway). Little one decided that she didn't want her picture taken in front of my tree, but instead next to the $2.00 Wal-Mart trees outside! How funny!

Last night we had Bunco at a local Mexican restaurant. I know some groups play for gift cards or presents, but my group...we play for dinero (money)! After we ate, we played a Secret Santa with ornaments and then played Left, Right, Center. It's a dice game that is super fun and the winner from last night ended up with $60! No, I didn't win, but I normally am very lucky and usually win! So, in other words, I went out last night and didn't clean...

To top it all off, Caroline is getting sick again. I think it's just a cold (due to it now being 74 degrees). I have a HUGE headache from the outside pressure, so I'm sure that we are suffering from the extreme weather changes.

Now with all that said, do I stop my craziness and begin cleaning (we have visitors coming tomorrow)? No, I now made a tennis date to play this afternoon. I arranged a babysitter and then off to hit some balls. Oh, how I love wacking those balls!!!!

So, off to collect my newspapers (after all it is Thursday), then to play tennis for an hour or so, and then back to cleaning. I'll leave you now with some pictures of Caroline from yesterday. I was trying to do a practice run for the photo session today. Too bad it didn't help! :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Tour of Homes

Obviously, this is my mantle. I normally decorate it a bit different, but since I was running out of time, I threw it together. Notice that I only have 2 stockings. We are still looking for the perfect one for Caroline. Don't worry, she'll have one before Christmas Eve!

This is my snow table in the entryway. I have a small UK Christmas tree on the table with special UK ornaments.

My favorite part of my decorations is my tree. I collect glass ornaments and each one of them tells a story. As I hang them up, I fondly remember when, where, and why I chose that specific ornament. This is the top half of my tree.

This is a more complete view of the tree.

A somewhat close-up of my Angel tree topper decorated with poinsettas, holly, and ivy.

This Wedding Ornament is one of the first ornaments that I bought after we first got married.

We got this ornament at our first Sunday School Christmas Party here in Georgia.

My new ornament this year and I LOVE it. It's not my traditional glass ornament, but after this past year, this ornament sums up our life. God has shown us amazing amounts of GRACE...

My Christopher Radko Kentucky ornament. I love the details!

The garland hanging in my doorway into the dining room. No, I still don't have my table decorated yet! :(

The other doorway into my dining room decorated with garland.

There is an amazing website called BooMama who is hosting a Christmas Tour of Homes 2008. She's gotten a HUGE response and has been doing it at least for two years. I thought it would be nice to participate this year, but with all the craziness around here, I wasn't able to get my decorations up in time. So, I thought that I would post a few pictures of my decorations and then give you the link to see hundreds of other houses. I am really going to step it up next year in anticipation of the 2009 Tour of Homes. Hope you enjoy a sneak peek...