Thursday, April 30, 2009

Our First Forever Family Day

In the buggy at school
Waiting on our fried rice at the sushi bar
Yummy! I love my fried rice!

Going down the slide at school

Hello world!

Mini cupcakes with Caroline's initials

Dear Caroline,
Today, April 14th, we celebrated a very special day. It was our First Forever Family Day! One year ago, we went to the US Embassy in Guatemala City and you officially became our daughter. We went through hell and back to get you home and we would do it all over again for you! We love you so much and thank God every day that he chose us to be your parents.
Because it was your special day and you had school, I baked you mini cupcakes with your initials on it. I chose pink icing because of our "pink slip" that was issued to us by the Embassy. You were so excited to share your cupcakes with all of your friends at school. Your teachers made you a sign that said "Happy Gotcha' Day, Caroline!". What a special day!
After school, Daddy and I took you to your favorite restaurant, Umi's Japanese. You ate all your fried rice! It was so cute because you would say "Yummmmm" after every bite. We loved sharing your favorite meal with you!
We played outside all day and right before bed, you got to wear your new pink doggy pajamas. You were so excited and kept pointing to your stomach saying "woof, woof!". You slept so soundly after such a busy day!
Caroline, we love you very much and we can't wait to celebrate this special day for many years! Thank you for being such an amazing daughter. You make our day brighter each and every day. We love you!
Mommy and Daddy

A Day at the Park With Friends

We spent the day at the park with some friends a few weeks ago. The children had a great time as always!

I'm really trying...

I promise! I'm not sure when life became so hectic. I did go to Publix on Monday, but didn't take a picture (my mom was here and was very helpful in helping me put away the deals) because I closed Publix down at 10:00. That was the ONLY time that I had during the day to actually leave the house. My garden is finished and Caroline is enjoying watering it. Caroline had her 2 year check up this week (more to that later). Tim and I have been playing lots of tennis. I had a three hour singles match on Tuesday night. Boy, am I sore! I think I may be getting to old! HA! Tim is working hard on clearing out some of the brush by the lake, pray for no poison ivy.... Picture soon...I promise!

Monday, April 27, 2009

What a week!

Crazy, crazy, crazy....describes our week. I'm not sure if we stopped! We have had Caroline's "Gotcha Day", her birthday, and then her family birthday party. Tim and I have been playing lots of tennis, so my grocery shopping trips have been minimal, hence the no cooking. :( I have been juggling tutoring schedules around sick kids or parents and had several appointments this week for new clients. CRAZY! On Saturday morning, I participated in a neighborhood yard sale with a friend and then came home to finish with Caroline's birthday party. (more to that story and pictures later) My stepdad is getting my garden ready for planting later today and my mom switched out Caroline's closet to her summer clothes. This was a huge help because now I can actually see what we are needing. My mom has been busy sewing all new outfits for Caroline, which are SO CUTE! She claims some of them are purely play clothes, but they are too cute to get dirty!

I am going to Publix later today to get the freebies and the penny item (bottled water). So, I plan on posting a picture. Last week, I went to Kroger and got a ton of great deals on meat. No picture though because it was such a hectic week.

Stay tuned for pictures!!!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Free items at Publix this upcoming week

I have been so upset lately with Publix and their "extended" ads, not to mention their lack of coupon etiquette... But, I must say that I am a little excited about the possibility of some FREE and CHEAP grocery items.
Some noteworthy BOGO items... (prices shown are half off)
- Teddy Grahams $1.50 (Target Printable $1.00/1 Q)
- Starkist SeaSations Fish Fillets $3.00 ($3.00/1 Q 3/8 RP)
- Skippy Peanut Butter $1.25 ($.40/1 Q 4/5 Unilever)
- Hunts Ketchup $.88 ($1.00/2 All You Magazine)
I have never tried the Starkist SeaSations, but I am willing to give them a try since they are FREE! I also plan on stocking up on Teddy Grahams for Caroline because I have been catching Tim eating them! :) Tim is a HUGE fan of peanut butter and ketchup (not mixed together) and I can't seem to keep enough in stock for him, so I will be giving him an early birthday present. LOL!

Free Angel Soft and Barilla Pasta

This week at Kroger, 4 pack Angel Soft toilet paper is 10/$10. In this past Sunday's (4/19) Red Plum coupon insert, there was a 50 cent coupon, which doubles making for FREE toilet paper! We were all sad at the thought of buying toilet paper again, but Kroger has made us very happy this week!! I bought 20 packs this morning.
Kroger also has on sale the McCormick Grill Mate seasonings for 10/$10. Remember, you don't have to buy 10 to get them for $1 each. In this past Sunday's (4/19) Red Plum coupon insert, there was a 50 cent coupon, which doubles making it FREE! These are great seasonings and do not have to be used for grilling.
Thanks to the Thrifty Mama, I came home and saw that Barilla Pasta is on sale 4/$3.00. In the 3/29 Smart Source coupon insert, there are two 50 cent coupons that will double. this deal makes for FREE pasta PLUS OVERAGE!!! The coupons are for the piccolini and the whole wheat types. I have a TON of these coupons, so we will be stocking up! I also plan on making Caroline a 'pasta table' (similar to a sand table) to play with outside in a container. Why not, hey it's free!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Spring Planting Time

I am really excited about planting my first garden this year. My family is coming into town for Caroline's birthday and to help me get my garden ready. My stepdad is an awesome gardener (as well as my mom) and he has graciously volunteered to help me. We plan on planting tomatoes, yellow neck squash, cucumbers, and maybe some okra. I also will throw in some fresh herbs.
Having fresh produce right at your fingertips will be such a blessing! I LOVE fresh tomatoes and we (Caroline and I) will eat the tomatoes like apples. I have to say that Tim's father grows the BEST tomatoes, so I can only hope that we can grow some that are half as tasty as his!
Stay tuned for pictures in the next couple of weeks for our gardening progress. Wish us luck!

First Baseball Game

We took Caroline to the Opening Night for the Gwinnett County Braves baseball game on Friday. I can't say that she loved it (the sitting down part), but when we moved around, she began to really enjoy it.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Spaghetti Squash

I bought a spaghetti squash at the Farmer's Market and HAD NO IDEA what to do with it (I was going along with Tutti's recommendation that it was good)! She told me it was super easy and just to trust her. Boy, am I glad I did! This incredible veggie was YUMMY! I thought I would pass along how easy it is to cook (remember, I am a horrible cook).
1. Slice Spaghetti Squash in half
2. Scoop out seeds (reminds me of a pumpkin)
3. Put butter (I used 'I can't believe it's not butter spray') around the 'flesh' and in the middle
4. Salt and Pepper (I used garlic salt)
5. Bake in oven at 350 degrees for about 1 hour
6. Around 40 minutes into it, I added more butter
7. Once cooled down enough to touch, take fork and begin to 'shred' lengthwise.
8. Serve with fresh parmesan cheese and enjoy!
I was so impressed with the taste and the easiness of this recipe. I will definitely be making it again soon! can cook up a bunch and it supposedly freezes well. I plan on doing this when it is in "".

Friday, April 17, 2009

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Publix Shopping Trip 4/11

I ran to Publix Saturday night to take advantage of some sales and my expiring coupons. Obviously, I didn't buy anything healthy! I did buy a large semi boneless ham that is normally $9!

OOP: $3.51

Farmer's Market Run

Last week, I went to the Dekalb Farmer's Market for a fresh produce run with Tutti. I definitely went over my budget of $40/week, but because my stockpile is so plentiful, I basically went two weeks without having to go to the grocery! Isn't couponing amazing! I mainly bought organic veggies and fruit, but also bought some spices and ingredients for hummus. Yummy! I was going to list everything I bought but it looked to silly. :) Three homeruns were: almond slices (super cheap), spaghetti squash, and dried mango. I told Caroline they were candy and voila! instant favorite! They do have the texture of gummy bears and are a bit sweet, so she'll never know the difference. I also bought some agave nectar to use as a sugar substitute in my coffee. I tried it at Trader Joe's a few days ago and LOVED it!

On our way home...

Caroline sitting in first class with Nana
Family Picture in the Guatemalan Airport
Nana, Caroline and Me
Pitching a fit because she just found out that we (Caroline and I) may not make the plane home!!

It was a year ago today that we were flying home from Guatemala. Wow how time flies when you are having fun!! Tim and Nana were confirmed for seats on the plane, but since I was having to fly coach with Caroline (they were in first class), we almost didn't make it home..that day. I begged and begged and begged...did I say begged? to get on that plane. We made it with only one more seat available in coach. Whewww! :) I wonder why we chose the red/white/blue smocked dress to fly home in??? LOL!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Painting Eggs, Snacks, and Egg Sun Catchers...

Ruth and Caroline
This was a super sweet picture, but my camera was not fast enough :(. They were so excited to see each other, they hugged! Aww, sweet friends!

Don't you just love this smile!
Watercoloring an egg

Torbin pausing to give me a smile

Isabel showing off her beautiful masterpiece!

I love Thomas' concentration!
Tutti and Ruth

On Wednesday, we went to Tutti's house for crafts. She had some awesome activities planned for the kids. Each parent was in charge of a station. As you can tell from my pictures, I was in manning the watercolors. The children got to enjoy watercoloring, making fabulous sun catchers with sequins and ribbons, eating whole wheat biscuits and jam, and practicing fine motor skills. Great job Tutti!!

Sticker Easter Egg Hunt with Friends

Snack and story time
Ruth enjoying her snack
Torbin loving his canteloupe
Ada is calling for extra reinforcements during the egg hunt
Hey guys! I think there are some eggs in the dog bed!
Are there any eggs in the bathroom?
Thomas is on the hunt for eggs!
My cutie Caroline!
Let the hunt begin!
What?? No candy!! :)
We hosted the Easter Egg at my house on Tuesday. We had planned on having it outside, but mother nature had other things in store for us...such as the coldest day of spring! We moved the egg hunt inside the house and the kids couldn't have cared less! Caroline and I had such a great time hosting our friends. But, we do need to work on sharing (we, as in Caroline) our toys!!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Spring Break Update!

We are on spring break this week and we have had TONS of fun! We had an activity planned for each day of the week with our friends. Look for pictures later today!

I also went to the Farmer's Market and bought a TON of organic vegetables and fruits. We are going to try the organic diet. I'm not sure how this is going to fit in my budget of $40/week because I spent two weeks of grocery money last night. BUT...I do love the way my kitchen table looks like right now. (I haven't put them away just yet!) Stay tuned for a fresh picture...

We are running behind, so I will update more with pictures later. I think I may go to Ikea today and pick up some birthday presents for Caroline and some cheap glassware. However, with it being Easter weekend AND the end of spring break, there may be some major traffic. So, I may just go next week when no one (hahahaha...we live in Atlanta) is on the roads...

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

More Semana Santa Pictures from Guatemala

Here are some more Semana Santa pictures from Guatemala last year (see previous post for more). These pictures show how heavy the floats are and how much incense is in the air.

I like this picture. Not really sure why, but maybe it's because a father and daughter.
Two men at the back of the Women's Float. It really shows the weight of the floats.
Sheer determination...

The Women's Float
The destruction of the sad!

The band either follows the raft or proceeds it.

A view of the top of a raft

Some more sheer determination...

One of the more larger, heavier floats

Another view

The crowd gathering for the parade

Children carrying flowers proceeding the float. I also like this picture because it shows one of the simplest forms of a carpet.

The parade begins. Notice the heavy incense in the air!

One of my favorite carpets. You can see the many carpets in the background. Beautiful!

Just another view of the parade route.

Not really sure what was going on but it was some sort of theatre play.

Some more theatre in the streets

Theatre in the streets