Sunday, September 27, 2009

Prayer Request

I just wanted to post a quick update asking for your prayers. Our family is struggling with some church-related issues and decisions and would love your support as we seek out God's will. I don't want to go into detail because it's rather complicated, but basically we're unsure if we can continue to support the direction our church is going. My husband and I both have year-long commitments though (him as a deacon and me as a Women of the Church leader) so we are torn as to what our next step should be. Please pray for wisdom and guidance, especially for Avery, as he must decide what's best for our family.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Weekly Savings #12

- 2 packages of Huggies Snug & Dry diapers: $6.99 each (after two $2/1 mf coupons)
- 1 trial size package of Walgreens diapers: $2.79 (on sale from $3.99)
- 2 Glade scented oil candles: 50 cents each (after sale, two $1.50/1 coupons and a $1 RR)
Used $3 RRs on this transaction.

Total OOP = $17.05
Total Savings = $16.98
(RR Received = $1)

- 2 12-packs of Mountain Dew: $3 each (on sale 4/$12)
- 2 12-packs of Pepsi: $3 each (on sale 4/$12 with $3 ECBs WYB 4)
- honey roasted peanuts & roasted almonds: $6.20 (after $2/2 CVS coupon)
Used $10.99 in ECBs on this transaction. If I had been smart I would have rolled my ECBs and split this into two transactions, but I had Shiphrah with me and I never think well on my feet when I'm multi-tasking.
Total OOP = $7.29
Total Savings = $19.74
(ECBs Received = $3)

We had some extra breathing room in our monthly grocery budget, so I spent a bit more than normal on this shopping trip. Still snagged some good deals though.
- 2.32 lbs. bananas: $0.90
- 8 jars Beachnut baby food: $0.64 (after 2FREE, and two $1/3 coupons)
- Cheerios: FREE (after GM voucher)
- HEB potato chips: $2.19
- HEB 25-count paper plates: $1.98
- 3 boxes Gerber organic oatmeal baby cereal: $2.13 (clearanced for 71 cents each)
- HEB 1/2 gallon whole milk: $1.99
- 2 Trop 50 Orange Juice: $4.98 (on sale for $2.99 each plus a yellow $1/2 coupon)
- 2 boxes Kraft Velveeta Shells & Cheese: $1.54 (after $1.50/2 mf coupon)
- 2 cans Old El Paso refried beans: $1.38 (after $0.60/2 mf coupon)
- 2-pack Wholly Guacamole: $2.69 (after $1.50/1 mf coupon) --> this is the BEST tasting store-bought guac EVER!
- Lawry's seasoned pepper: $2.66
- HCF onion powder: $1.13
- Van Camp pork & beans: $1.59
- Pace Picante sauce: $1.74
- HEB American cheese: $1.67
- HCF cat food: $5.88
- Angel Soft 12-double-roll toilet paper: $5.47 (after $0.50/1 mf coupon)
- Pre-cooked thick & tasty hamburgers: $8.99
- HEB tortilla chips: FREE
- HEB Cola: FREE
- HEB hamburger buns: FREE
- Kraft deli-sliced Swiss cheese: FREE
- HEB French Onion dip: FREE
- Kraft shredded Parmesan: $3.59
- Barilla pasta: $0.30 (would have been free but I wanted the lasagna noodles)
- Barilla sauce: FREE
- HEB Premium mesquite bacon: $5.89
- Mission home style tortillas: FREE
- HCF shredded cheddar cheese: FREE
Total OOP = $60.92
Total Savings = $33.10

Total Weekly Grocery Spending = $62.69
($12.69 over budget)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Busy as a Bee

We've been a bit busy lately, hence the lack of substantial posts. Avery had a 3-day weekend this week, with Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday off. It was awesome!! We mostly lounged around the house, not because we were lazy, but because it decided to rain the entire time. Which, because it's so rare in South Texas, was actually very pleasant. Despite the rain, we did go to breakfast at our favorite restaurant, Jim's, and then walk around Bass Pro Shops for an hour or so on Wednesday. Then my parents drove down from Dripping Springs to join us for dinner Wednesday evening (they brought the pizza, I made the salad) and the next night we had dinner with some friends of ours. It also got downright chilly this week...dropping down to the low 60' we enjoyed opening up the windows and cuddling under blankets. It's back up in the 80's today, so I'll probably have to break down and turn the AC back on in an hour or so, but it was really nice while it lasted! (I think I was able to keep the AC turned off for at least four days straight.)

The kids are settling into more routines...Kirk has gotten on a pretty strict, two naps per day schedule, and we feel like the worst parents ever if we mess that up (he's a grumpy mess if he misses a nap even by a few minutes). He also wakes up precisely at 3-o-clock every morning, regardless of when we put him to bed at night. The doctor has told us that we can start training him to sleep through the night, but we're not sure how to do that, since letting him fuss wakes Shiphrah up (they're sharing a room for the first half of the night). After his 3-o-clock feeding, he sleeps until 6, and then until about 8. I never realized what a challenge it would be to have only two bedrooms. But we'll least he's finally sleeping a good 7-hour stretch most nights! We've also started adding another solid food feeding sometime during the day, although getting him to eat remains challenging. He really only eats well when he's hungry, and his nursing schedule continues to be a bit sporadic (sometimes he's ready to eat after 2 1/2 hours and other times it's 4 hours). I don't really care how much solids he eats, but the doctor was rather insistent that we try to get more in his tummy. He's dropped off the infamous "growth curve" and in the past two months has only gained about 14 ounces (he's right at 15 pounds) and didn't grow in height at all. But he looks perfectly chunky and doesn't act hungry, so I don't think anything is wrong. His sister also hasn't gained but about two pounds in the past year and has grown maybe an inch or two, so I'm pretty sure it's just genetics.

Speaking of Shiphrah, she continues to increase her vocabulary...and her independence. I've really been struggling lately with raising my voice at her because she just ignores me otherwise. Plus, when I'm nursing Kirk, it's a little difficult to get up and spank her for getting into something. Yelling seems to get her attention, but I know it's only going to make things harder in the long run. So I'm working on keeping an even temper and correcting her as much as possible. She continues to be incredibly stubborn when it comes to meals. She'll eat a lot of foods, but since she prefers certain things she likes to hold out and see if she'll get them (i.e. strawberries, grapes, and Wheat Thins right now). She still refuses to eat most meat (with the exception of McDonald's hamburgers) and pasta (with the exception of Velveeta shells & cheese). So meals are pretty standard for her...breakfast consists of a banana and either applesauce or yogurt (sometimes grapes or other fruit), lunch is PB&J or a bit of whatever we're having (and by a bit I mean maybe two bites), and dinner is PB&J or a ham sandwich. *Sigh* She'll eat pizza too, but we only have that every other week or so, and she'll eat grilled cheese or cheese quesadillas about 1 out of 4 tries. Any other suggestions for good toddler meals? She likes frozen peas and canned carrots (but the grocery store has been out of no-salt-added carrots for three weeks now) and she loves any kind of cracker. Oh, and she'll eat just about anything dipped in ketchup, but she'll usually use about 10 times more ketchup than she needs. I guess I'm kind of just waiting until she's a bit older and I can start using the "stay at the table until you eat your food" or "if you don't eat this now you'll be having it for the next meal" tricks. Right now though she's so tiny I just feel guilty depriving her of food, you know?

Anyway, not much else to report. Currently Kirk is "crawling" (i.e. using his arms to pull himself wherever he wants to go) all over the living room playing with the toys Shiph left out and Shiphrah is asleep in Kirk's bassinet in our room (she wanted to sleep there instead of on our bed), since Kirk was asleep in the nursery when it was time for her nap. Sunday is the annual meeting at our church and I have to give the Women of the Church update (blerrgggg). Next weekend is the Life Chain and somehow I have to manage both kids and a bunch of signs and stuff too (I'm the coordinator for our church). It should be interesting. Oh, and I also have my friends baby shower next Saturday and an event at our church the Saturday after that. You know, sometimes I enjoy busyness, but not when I'm running on six hours of broken sleep. Ah well, we'll see.

By the way, I love these guys!!!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Sewing Adventures

I've been on a serious sewing kick lately. In fact, I've been sewing so many evenings that the sewing machine has taken up permanent residency on our dining room table. Now, just so you understand, I love sewing. But sewing and I kind of have a love-hate relationship. I'm a perfectionist, so sewing definitely stretches me in ways I've never been stretched. I also have a tendency to always make at least one mistake on every project. The seam rippers are a beloved tool of mine. I should just quote my mother-in-law and tell everyone that I am being like the Navajo Indians who always intentionally stitched a mistake in every one of their weavings because, they said, nothing is perfect except for God.

Anyhoo, I recently attempted my first project with real sleeves. Everything I had done up to this point was either a skirt or a sleeveless dress. I was rather nervous, to say the least. Still, I took my time (many of my mistakes come from impatience or exhaustion) and here is the result:

Pretty, right? It's a fall/winter dress for Shiphrah. I used a pattern in her size, but it still turned out way too big. But I just adjusted the wrap front part of the dress to fit. And this way I can move the snaps and she can wear it as a top with leggings next winter. (Oh, and by the way, the color is more pink than the picture makes it appear.)

Next I worked on a dress for one of Shiphrah's 2nd cousins (her birthday party is actually tomorrow so I haven't given this to her yet). I didn't much like the pattern I chose after I got started, but it turned out pretty cute. To add a little extra to the dress, I made three yo-yos and added big black buttons as embellishments. This was also my first experience working with elastic. Here it is, followed by a close-up of the embellishments:

Unfortunately, the little girl is rather skinny, so the dress seemed way too big when I finished it. So I had to add a couple of darts to the back, but I didn't cut them so her mom can let them out if she needs too. Hopefully *fingers crossed* it fits her...I think the color will look super-cute on her because she has fiery red hair. :)

And now I'm off to start my next project...a baby girl dress for a friend of mine who's having a little girl at the end of October. I'll be using dress 'A' from this pattern, in case you are curious. I'll let you know how it turns out! :)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Weekly Savings #11

Nothing exciting this week, but I had Register Rewards that were expiring so I had to make a trip (it's annoying that RRs are only good for two weeks).
- True North Almond Crisps: $2 (after $1/1 mf coupon) plus $3 RR
- 4 cans Progresso Soup: $3.90 (after 4/$5 sale and $1.10/3 coupon)
- 12-count box of CankerMelts: FREE (after mf coupon)
- pencil case (for Shiph's crayons): $1.99
Used $6 RRs on this transaction.
Total OOP = $1.89
Total Savings = $19.95
RRs received = $3

Didn't have to hit CVS this week, but it's literally a block down from Walgreens, so I figured why not. :)
- pretty notebook: $1.25 (on sale 50% off)
- 3 bottles of Suave body wash: $4 (after Buy2Get1 mf coupon) plus $2 ECBs
Used $5 ECBs on this transaction.
Total OOP = $0.27
Total Savings = $10.01
ECBs received = $2
[YTD CVS Savings = $300.99]

Still good on meat and most staples, so the list was short.
- 2 avocados: $1.58 (these aren't cheap, but I love them in my salads)
- green onions: $0.69
- bananas: $0.95
- 3 Roma tomatoes: $0.48
- Romaine lettuce: $1.79
- 1 cucumber: $0.50 (on sale 2/$1)
- 4-pack submarine sandwich rolls: $1.69
- HCF wheat bread: $0.94
- Trop 50 orange juice: $1.99 (after $1/1 mf coupon)
- HEB unsalted butter quarters: $1.99
- HCF country spread: $1.79
- Wholly guacamole: $0.50 (after 2/$4 sale and $1.50/1 mf coupon)
- Johnsons buddies soap bar: FREE plus 1 cent overage (after $1/1 mf coupon)
- Prego spaghetti sauce: $1.19 (after $0.75/1 HEB mf coupon)
- 2 cans HCF canned mushrooms: $1.18
- 2 cans Campbell's cream of mushroom soupon: $1 (after $1/2 coupon)
- Wacky Mac pasta: $0.54 (after $0.75/1 mf coupon)
(I also bought $24 worth of groceries from the Schwans' guy this week...frozen fruit, hash browns, mini cinnamon rolls, and a pie for our church dinner next week.)
Total OOP = $18.79
Total Savings = $6.28
Total Grocery Spending = $46.68
($3.32 under budget)

Shiphrah and Kirk have both been blessed with family and friends who graciously have given them hand-me-downs. Unfortunately at the rate Shiph is growing, it'll be years before some of the clothes fit her and she's starting to get off-sync with sizes vs. seasons (most of the fall/winter clothes we have from her cousin Livi are 24 mos and Shiph is still barely fitting 18 mos clothing). Kirk has a few long-sleeved onesies and jackets for the fall but no pants. So I talked my wonderful hubby into making a trek to the San Marcos outlet mall to visit Children's Place and Old Navy. I wanted to end up with about a week's worth of outfits for each child. Shiphrah mainly needed shirts (she has plenty of jackets and jeans from last year that still fit) and a few Sunday dresses. Here's what I ended up with (and they should be set until April/May...Texas only has two seasons...Summer [April - September] and Fall/Winter/Spring [October - March]):
4 long-sleeved shirts
1 sweater
2 dresses
1 pair of khaki pants
1 white shrug for Spring

1 pair of shoes
2 pairs of pants
2 long-sleeved onesies
1 long sleeve shirt
Total Spent = $94.48

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Schedules and Struggles

I've never been clever with titles, but at least I can say this one is accurate. All about our schedules and our struggles resulting from those schedules. *Sigh* It's been a rough few months.

First of all, none of this would be that big of a deal if I wasn't so tired. Kirk turned 6 months old yesterday (!!!) and still won't sleep more than a 6-hour stretch at night. Which wouldn't be so bad if I was actually asleep during that time...but I'm not, because Avery doesn't get home from work until 11 pm at the absolute earliest. But that will all make more sense when I explain our daily "routine."

Kirk is usually the first to wake up, anytime between 7:00 and 8:30 in the mornings. His nursing "schedule" is all over the place, so sometimes I feed him then, other times he's eaten just an hour or so earlier. When he first wakes up he's usually content to lay there and watch his mobile for a few minutes...sometimes turning on the overhead light will keep him content a few minutes longer. Once he's thoroughly bored and tired of lying in bed, I take him out to the living room, turn on the light, and put him in his jumparoo while I go back to bed and hopefully get a few more minutes of sleep (he's usually content for about 10-15 minutes in there). When he starts fussing again, one of two things happens: every other day or so I nudge Avery awake and he sweetly agrees to get up with Kirk while I get an extra 30 minutes of sleep. Or (usually if Shiphrah is awake and yelling by now) we both get up to get the kids breakfast and such. Either way we're all usually out of bed by around 9:30.

Shiphrah has been a royal grouch most mornings for the past month. I'm not sure if it's her last couple of teeth coming in, the fact that she's sleeping with Kirk for the first part of the night (and he wakes her up around 1 in the morning), or the fact that she never falls asleep at night until 10ish (even though I put her to bed at 8). This does not help our morning moods.

Between 10 and 11, Kirk is ready for his first nap. He goes down in the nursery (which Shiph does not care for since it means only half of the 10 million toys are accessible to her) and usually sleeps for about two hours (he wakes up around noon). During this time Shiphrah whines, and whines, and whines some more. (She's remarkably happier in the afternoons...I don't know if this is because she's clingier when Avery is home or if she's better after her nap.)

After Kirk wakes up, we all eat lunch and Avery gets ready for work (an hour-long process). Sometimes that order is reversed...he gets ready and then we eat. He leaves for work around 2 (shift starts at 2:30) and the munchkins go down for a nap together. (If this is the case, sometimes I get to nap for about an hour or so. A lifesaver!) If Kirk's morning nap was unusually long (like today), he stays up while Shiphrah goes down. If they're both napping, they usually sleep until 4-5ish. If Kirk is awake, he goes down for his second nap around 3:30 or 4. (So I still get about an hour with both of them in bed, except today.)

Once they're both up, my evening is very restricted. Kirk is usually pretty whiny and wants to be able to see my face all the time. Shiphrah runs back and forth between the living room and her room which drives Kirk insane. So more often than not, I put in a video (on better days, just a 30-minute Veggie Tales) to keep them both happy and in one place (and to keep me sane).

Around 7-o-clock I feed both of them dinner. I've just recently started Kirk on a once-a-day mixture of rice cereal and pureed fruit, which helps him sleep a tad longer at night. Every other night is bath time for Shiph and Kirk gets bathed about once a week. Then we clean up the living room (clutter in the living room gets under Avery's skin so I try to have it clean when he gets home) and put pajamas on. Kirk gets nursed one last time, Shiphrah brushes her teeth, and they both go to bed in the nursery between 8 and 8:30.

Then I make myself dinner and relax for about half an hour. Hopefully dinner revitalizes me and I get a bit of a energy boost. I do the dishes, laundry, and whatever other chores need done (occasionally I vacuum right after I put the kids to bed...otherwise I'd wake them up). After chores are done, I work on a project (lately I've been sewing) or chill on the internet. Around 10:30 or 11 I pump breast milk to add to the whole milk I give Shiphrah in the mornings. On a good night (rare these days...have you seen the crime in SA lately??) Avery gets home soon after that and we stay up for an hour so catching up on his day. We're usually in bed by 1 am. Kirk wakes up around then or within the hour, so I get him out of the nursery, nurse him, and put him to sleep in our bassinet. A negative side effect of the 5 to 6-hour sleeping stretch is that he doesn't want to go back to sleep after eating, so he usually tosses and turns and fusses for another hour or so. Which means I don't sleep either. Last night was especially bad and he didn't fall back asleep until 3 or so.

After that, Kirk will sleep anywhere from 2 to 4.5 hours, and then another 2 or so. And then he wakes up and the days repeat themselves.

Get the idea? Can you see why I'm so exhausted?? On a good night I'm getting six hours of very broken sleep. On a bad night (like last night) it was four hours of broken sleep. For a former morning person, my grumpiness and grogginess in the mornings is RIDICULOUS. This morning was especially bad and I found myself wishing my husband had a job where he could call in sick and stay home.

I'm really not complaining (much), because I love my kids and my husband and I love my life. I'm really just petitioning y'all for prayer for my attitude and endurance. I'm running out of steam (last night I was so pooped that I ate my dinner in front of a movie and then mustered up just enough energy to wash the dishes) and this morning my behavior was abominable. So please, if you think about it, offer up an extra prayer for me, I'd really appreciate it.

Oh, and I just wanted to reiterate that I have the best husband in the whole world. He doesn't get much sleep at night either (although he sleeps through Kirk's waking) but he's usually so wonderful about getting out of bed with the kids and giving me a few more minutes to sleep in the mornings. And he's SUPER-understanding about my tiredness and the fact that the laundry stays unfolded for days on end or the floors don't get swept. I LOVE HIM!!!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Weekly Savings #10

Just HEB this week and no picture (I had to feed a hungry baby so the groceries had to get put away quickly). It was a frustrating trip for several reasons: I went right when all the parents with their freshly-picked-up school kids were there too (crazy kids running through the aisles), the store was very crowded, plus the shelves were very understocked or missing items. So I had to buy the higher-priced sugar, I couldn't find the store brand parmesan cheese, and they didn't have the pasta I was looking for. I did get some pretty good deals though:
- 3 boxes of Pasta Roni: 69 cents each (after $1/3 mf coupon)
- 1.02 lbs of white seedless grapes: $1.01 (on sale for 99 cents/lb)
- 2 16-oz bottles of Coffeemate creamer: $2.04 each (after $1.50/2 mf coupon)
- packet of Betty Crocker bacon/chedder potatoes: 85 cents (after $0.40/1 mf coupon)
- 2 containers of Starbucks ice cream: 99 cents each (after two $2/1 mf coupons)
- 3-pack of Ivory bar soap: 83 cents (after $0.25/1 mf coupon)
- bag Kraft shredded cheddar: FREE (after G1 FREE with purchase of hot dogs HEB coupon)
- 5 jars of Beechnut Homestyle Fruit: FREE (after five G1Free mf coupons)
- A1 Classic Steaksauce Marinade: 34 cents (after $2/1 mf coupon)
- Barilla Whole Grain penne pasta noodles: 75 cents (after $0.50/1 mf coupon)
- Borden whole milk: $2.76 (after $1/1 mf coupon)
- Mitchum deodorant: $2.79 (after $0.75/1 mf coupon)
- Oxiclean laundry stain remover: $2.04 (after $0.75/1 mf coupon)

Total OOP = $37.97
Total savings = $20.43
Total Weekly Grocery Spending = $37.97
($12.03 under $50 weekly budget)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Rain and Babies

We're finally getting rain in San Antonio this week and it's lovely! I think the newspaper said we got more rain yesterday than we had gotten all year (or something like that). For the past few days I've even been able to open the windows in the morning and feel the cool fall-ish breeze. Of course, that only lasts for a couple of hours, but it's still nice!

Unfortunately all the rain means muddy paws on the dog and cat...which in turn means constantly muddy floors. I think I've swept more times in the past two days (i.e. twice a day) than I usually do in a month.

Shiphrah thinks the rain ("WATER! WATER!!!") is fascinating. It's funny to think that she really hasn't ever seen rain (i.e. been aware of it). We've been in such a drought that I think the last time we got a good rain was when she was only a few months old. She loves watching it but doesn't care for being out in it. Even a few raindrops on her head is rather upsetting for her.

Kirk is turning six months old in a few days. I can't believe how fast the past few months have gone by! He's "thisclose" to crawling already...he's pushing himself up on his hands and knees and rocking back and forth. Which is really fun to watch because Shiphrah never did that; she just went straight from scooting to crawling. He's already pretty adept at getting around by rolling and scooting though so he doesn't seem to eager to figure out how to actually crawl. He's moved his knees a few times (would you call that taking one crawl-step?) but more by accident than anything. Still, I'm sure he'll be completely mobile within the next few weeks.

Shiphrah is regularly using two and three-word phrases to communicate. Like "Daddy outside" and "Kirk sleep" and "hungry chip please." She's also become quite the little snot when it comes to crayons. She loves to color, but even more than she loves to color on paper, she LOVES to color on anything she's not supposed to. Currently our coffee table is covered in black crayon from the literally 10 seconds I turned my back while she was coloring. Thankfully I've discovered magic erasers, which work amazingly on crayon (and lime deposits in the shower, by the way). HEB has their store brand erasers for 75 cents a 2-pack and they are my new favorite cleaning tool. But anyway, because of her obsession with coloring all things not paper she doesn't get to color very often, since it requires my complete attention to watch her. (Seriously, she is SO sneaky!) She gets spanked fairly often now, but because of her stubbornness it doesn't seem to phase her.

Kirk still isn't sleeping through the night, although his "long" stretch has gotten a bit longer. Most nights he'll sleep about a 5 1/2-hour stretch and then two 3-hour stretches. Since he's turning 6-months-old though I'm working on getting him started on solids (pureed fruit mixed with rice cereal) at night so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he'll start sleeping longer soon. Mama needs her sleep! Seriously, with Avery's schedule what it is (getting home around 11:30 most nights) I have been so tired lately. In fact, I've become pretty dependent on a daily nap, a habit I'm trying to break myself of because it severely limits my productivity (an hour or two napping and another hour spent getting over the post-nap grogginess).

Oh, did I mention that the munchkins are napping together? In the same room too! Kirk's schedule has finally adjusted to where he goes down for a morning nap around 10, sleep until noon, and then goes down with Shiphrah around 2 and sleeps until 4:30ish. 'Course oftentimes Shiph is ready for her nap way before then, but we can usually get her to hold out until Daddy leaves for work. Anyway, their coinciding nap schedules gives me a chance to get a few things done or take a nap, depending on how tired I am.

And with that, I need to find something to keep me awake because I'm literally dozing off staring at the computer screen. No nap today, I can do it, I can do it, I can do it!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Going to the Chapel

We had a busy Labor Day weekend. My sister got married in Austin on Monday, so we drove up to Dripping Springs on Sunday morning to prepare for the festivities. It was a bit stressful because I was involved so much, but it was such a blessing to be a part of Rachel's special day. And Avery was wonderful at being "Mr. Mom" all weekend. :)

Sunday afternoon before the rehearsal we put together the boutonnieres (definitely had to use spellcheck for that one), the mother's corsages, and the bridesmaids' bouquets. We underestimated how long it would all take, so we ended up going back after the rehearsal dinner to finish them. These are the bouquets...giant sunflowers, red gerber daisies, and some yellow filler flowers:

For Monday I had to fix the bride's hair (her hairdresser cancelled on her), my mother's hair, and fix the wedding dress (they found the worst alterations lady ever...apparently she didn't know what a sweetheart top was supposed to look like). And then at the last minute my youngest sister decided she wanted me to fix her hair too. I didn't get to take many pictures, for obvious reasons, but I snapped a few before everything started.

Her cake was gorgeous! And that's her bridal bouquet in the vase in the upper righthand corner of the picture. Her colors were red, orange, and yellow.

The ceremony was outside, but the reception was inside Mercury Hall, which used to be a church. Her color scheme went beautifully with the whitewashed walls and stained glass windows of the old church.

There's me all pretty-fied and ready for the ceremony. :) Since I did three other hairdos I ran out of time for my own hair, so it ended up just being in a bun.

And here's the beautiful bride waiting for the ceremony to start. (Ignore the weird wall-hanging behind her head.)

Okay, I stole a couple pictures from my cousin's Facebook. :)

This is my cousin with my sister and I right after the wedding. Don't we look so bright and cheery? :)

And I didn't have any pictures of the newlyweds, so here's one of their engagement pictures. Aren't they going to have to cutest kids ever?? 'Course, they're both shorter than 5'6" so they'll be very short, cute kids. :)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Weekly Savings #9

I could have skipped the trip to Walgreens again this week, but their Register Rewards expire about two weeks from printing, so I made a quick trip on Tuesday to use the $5 I had before they were no good.
- Pantene hair wax (for hubby) = $3.34
- 3 2-oz Glade soy candles = $2 (after $3/2 mf & 1 FREE mf coupons)
- Rembrandt canker sore whitening toothpaste = $4 (after $1/1 mf coupon)
Total OOP = $4.37
Total Savings = $14.52
(RRs Received = $6)

I headed out to CVS on Thursday and was excited to find them marking down all their summer merchandise! So I browsed those aisles for a bit and came away with two pairs of cute flip flops and some toys for the munchkins. I started off with $4 in ECBs and I also had a CVS coupon for $4/$20 purchase.
- sidewalk chalk = $1.25 (75% off)
- inflatable baby pool = $3.25 (75% off)
- 2 pairs fashion flip flops = $1.99 each (75% off)
- baby pool float = $2.49 (75% off)
- 64-count Crayola crayons = $2.99 (after $2 ECB reward)
- 2 bottles of Dawn dish washing soap = $0.47 each (after two $0.50/1 mf coupons)
- Glade soy candle = $4.99 (after $2/1 mf coupon + $6.99 ECB reward)
- 4 parfait cups = $0.50 each (75% off)

Total OOP = $17.20
Total Savings = $52.32
(ECBs Received = $8.99)

We still have a pretty stocked freezer and pantry, so my HEB shopping list was short. I also picked up a few extra items I had coupons for and some snack food.
- Hass avocados = $1.58 for 2
- Green onions = $0.69 for one bunch
- Bananas = $1.74 for 3.78 lbs.
- Matchstick carrots (because I always cut myself slicing them) = $1.49
- Greenhouse tomatoes = $1.61 for 0.9 lbs.
- Cucumbers = $0.50 for one
- Romaine lettuce = $1.79
- HEB magic erasers (I've discovered these are the ONLY things that will clean the lime build-up off the shower walls!) = $1
- HEB potato chips = $1.09
- Chock Full O Nuts coffee = $2.87
- HEB extra virgin olive oil = $4.79
- 2 bottles of HEB Quench (i.e. Gatorade) = $0.69 each
- Daisy cottage cheese = $1.84 (after $0.65/1 mf coupon)
- Yoplait fridge 8-pack = $2.97 (after $1/1 HEB yellow coupon)
- HCF (Hill Country Fair) hot dog buns = $0.99
- 100-count Vanity Fair napkins = $1.99
- HCF 18-count extra-large eggs = $1.49
- HCF wheat bread = $0.94
- Austin cheese & peanut butter crackers = $3.00 for two packs (after $1/2 HEB yellow coupon)
- Ken's tomato vinaigrette dressing = $1.26 (after $1/1 mf coupon)
- Ken's lite Caesar dressing = $1.26 (after $1/1 mf coupon)
- Simple Green all-purpose cleaner = $2.59 (after $1/1 mf coupon)
- 2 cans Grands biscuits = $0.45 each (after two $1/1 mf coupons)
Total OOP = $40.50
Total Savings = $12.89

Total Weekly Grocery Spending = $42.50
($17.50 under budget)
[Now that I have a good handle on this, starting next week I will be reducing our budgeted weekly grocery spending to $50.]