Tuesday, May 31, 2011

My first BIG Albertsons purchase

(**Long post but totally worth reading if you are newer to couponing and wanting to know the details on how I did this.)

So my SIL and I have been working on putting together an Albertsons run. We've heard about these great "Twice the Value" (TTV) coupons that Albertsons offers every couple of weeks and we wanted to take advantage of them. So, after hard efforts of collecting enough "Twice the Value" coupons, we each put together our shopping lists, matching up our manufacturer coupons with the Twice the Value's. We knew we wanted a lot of the Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce so we actually called the manager and put in a special order. This way, we were assured enough bottles when we got there. We also ordered mfr. coupons for a very small price...this is how many couponers are able to create stockpiles and get the number of coupons needed.

The store manager was amazing. He was very helpful and ended up opening up a lane just for me. Normally, you are allowed three transactions at a time and you are allowed only three "Twice the Value" coupons per transaction. After three transactions, you have to go back and get in line again. I was prepared to go through the line 3 times. Yes, I had 8 transactions. However, I was so thankful that the manager was willing to just do my transactions himself back-to-back. It was the smoothest check-out I've had with such a large amount of items.

Here's what was included:

Transaction #1:
2 Jet Puff Marshmallows (mfr. for a b1g1)
1 6-pk Hershey Chocolate Bars (mfr for $2.00 off)
1 Honey Maid Graham Crackers
3 Nestle Drumstick ice cream treats (TTV used w/ each mfr. coupon)

OOP: $4.49
Total Savings: $19.24 (each line of savings includes store card savings & coupons combined)

Transaction #2,3,4 & 5:
10 Sweet Baby Rays BBQ Sauce (three TTV used w/ five $1/2 mfr. cpn)
(when you special order, you get the items in boxes and not bagged like the rest...that was weird!)

OOP: $0.00
Total Savings (per transaction): $27.00

Transaction #6:
4 Clorox Toilet Bowl Cleaners (2 TTV w/ mfr. cpns.)
1 Best Foods Mayo
3 Crystal Light (b2g1 mfr. cpn)
2 Oscar Meyer Turkey & Cheese Hot Dogs (TTV w/ mfr. cpn.)

OOP: $6.27
Total Savings: $29.39

Transaction #7:

2 Jet Puff Marshmallows (mfr. for b1g1)
1 6-pk Hershey Chocolate Bars (mfr. for $1.00 off)
1 Honey Maid Graham Crackers
3 Kraft Cheese Deli Deluxe Cheese (3 TTV w/ mfr. cpns.)

OOP: $6.96
Total Savings: $16.17

Transaction #8:
10 32 oz. Gatorade (10 for $5)
1 Nestle Drumstick ice cream treat ($1.00 mfr. cpn.)

OOP: $6.93
Total Savings: $17.19

Yes, that was a lot of transactions. I went with no children and I took my time. I had my coupons separated out by transaction and had a sticky note on each pile so I knew exactly what I needed to pull out of my cart for that transaction.

Here's our first special order purchase from Albertsons a week ago. We knew they were having a sale on the Ronzoni Garden Pasta...$1 a box. We also knew that we could purchase for just a couple of $$ some $1 off each box coupons. So, we ordered coupons and called the manager with our special order. Here's what I got and my SIL got the same.
10 boxes of spaghetti noodles
10 boxes of penne
10 boxes of rotini

OOP: $0.00
 Total Savings: $30.00
**This will be great for pasta salads this summer!!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Good bye training wheels!

We have been talking with Ethan for awhile now that this Spring he was going to learn to ride his bike with no training wheels. He has been very nervous about this. He really hasn't ridden his bike much because he didn't like that training wheels were uneven and it would rock a little as he rode it.

Last Friday, the 20th, was walk/ride your bike to school. As we were leaving Preschool, I brought to Ethan's attention that one of his good buddies was riding his bike with no training wheels. Of course, Ethan was quick to point out that Connor's mom let him wear knee and elbow pads...along with his helmet. So, of course, I asked Ethan if he would be willing to learn how to ride with no training wheels if he had knee and elbow pads. He took me up on my offer. So, that weekend while we were in Bellingham we picked up a set of protective pads.

This afternoon, while the girls were gone spending time with my mom, we told Ethan it was time. He was so excited to learn. I thought for sure we may have a little resistance. He jumped in to help Jason get the training wheels off. The excitement was almost too much. We got all of his gear on and went for it.

He took off riding his first attempt. Jason held on for a short bit and then just let go.
The trick now is getting Ethan to continue pedaling fast enough to keep himself balanced and going. It was a bitter sweet moment to watch my baby riding his bike. I am hoping that we will be able to get him a bigger bike this summer. He is growing like a weed and really is ready for a bigger bike size wise but learning on a bigger bike would be harder and I don't want to discourage him.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Our "little" artist

Alyssa has been taking art classes since September with Brenda Calvert. Brenda is a very talented artist and an amazing teacher. She has taught the kids so much. I'm not sure how it came about but Brenda was able to work with the library to display art work from her students for a week. Tonight was the actual Art Reception and was open to all of the students' families and friends, and anyone from the community that wanted to view the art as well.

It was fun to see all of the students showing off their art work. They were all so proud of what they had done. They each got to choose a piece that they had done at some point during the school year. Alyssa was stuck on which piece to enter so we had Ms. Brenda help make the decision.

We are so very proud of Alyssa and each of the art pieces she has created this year. She amazes us more with each new project. The picture below was on a bulletin board displayed with other photos of students with their most recent projects. May was "Student's Choice" month. Alyssa found this picture of dumbo on google images and decided that she wanted to paint it. So, we printed it and she drew it on the canvas, free hand, and then painted it to match the picture.
Alyssa's teacher is taking the summer off from classes, which she totally deserves! However, she put together summer art kits for the students to do over the summer. Of course, Alyssa got started the night we brought her kit home. We are having a hard time getting her to wait until school is out before diving in. I need something to help keep her busy once school is out.

If you have a child that loves to draw and paint, I would highly recommend getting them into one of Brenda's art classes this next fall. Let me know if you would like her contact information.

Monday, May 23, 2011

JAM 6th grade graduation

It's hard to believe that next fall Brenna will no longer be a part of our children's ministries and will be moving up to the Jr. High group.

Sunday was "graduation" day for all of the 6th graders at church. Our JAM/Children's Ministries is amazing and we all had a great time together. We were served a delicious lasagna lunch with garlic bread and caesar salad. For dessert, we had a variety of cheesecakes to choose from.

After lunch, we all moved up to the JAM room for a "graduation ceremony". 
Pastor Ken shared a little bit about what they had been learning this past year. He had also asked one of our seniors to come and share with the kids. Bryer Young did a great job talking with the kids and had some great advice for them.
Pastor Ken paired each of the 6th graders up with a buddy and had them share the meaning of a verse.Brenna was paired up with a very sweet girl Emma Clarke. Emma is a part of a family from our Christ Group and she and Brenna have become great buddies!
Our time together ended with each of the 6th graders entering the room individually and being presented with a Bible from Pastor Ken and Tammy.
And before everyone left, we got a picture of all of the 6th graders there. We were missing two...one was sick and another was gone with their family for the weekend.
It was a very special afternoon and I am excited to see what God has planned for each one of these kids.

**I'm not sure why some of these pictures look a little grainy. Our camera is newer and I'm still learning all of the settings.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Ethan lost his first tooth!!

Tonight, while sitting on the couch, Ethan was wiggling his very loose tooth. He jumped up from the couch came running to me and said "uh". I looked down at him and saw his mouth opened and his tooth laying back and a little sideways. I calmly said, "Here buddy let me fix that for you." I just picked the tooth up...no blood, no tears, nothing. It was the easiest moment of a tooth coming out in this house in a very long time. I guess this is the difference between boys and girls. The girls are so dramatic over loose teeth and Ethan, not at all. The only thing he wanted to do was call Wayne but because Wayne was already in bed, he told Auntie. His next phone call was Grammy. It was so cute to see him so excited.
My baby is growing up! Now...the tooth fairy can't remember to do her job tonight...HA!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Ethan and the Pumper Truck

Today was a very exciting day for Ethan. I had been called in to work at the school so my mom was taking Ethan. It just so happened that today was the day that Duane was going to be out at Todd & Trisha's with his concrete pumper truck to help pour footings for their remodel job out at their Loomis Trail house.

Mom had me put Ethan in play clothes and then pack clothes for school because they were headed out to watch the pour. Ethan has been wanting to see Papa Duane's truck in action for a very long time. Well, not only did he get to see it in action but he got to be a part of the pour. Now, I don't know if there was really concrete coming out of the tube when he was holding it but the boy didn't care. He was just thrilled to get to touch it and learn all about the truck and see it in action.

I put together this scrapbooking page for him to take to show and tell next week. He can't wait to show his friends what he got to do.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Garden prepped...finally!!

Due to the very WET spring (leftover winter...HA!) that we have had, we haven't been able to get the garden ready as early as we normally do. We usually plant the garden Mother's Day weekend...not this year.

Jason has been working up the garden on any dry day we get and then my brother helped us get some compost today to add to the dirt. It happened to be another nice day so Jason took advantage of it and got the compost onto the garden and wasted no time pulling out his favorite "toy"... his tiller.

I had decided a few days ago that even though we couldn't actually plant in the garden, I needed to find a way to plant our seeds. My mom had read about planting seeds in egg shells so I had already been saving those just in case. Well, they came in very handy and I actually didn't have enough for what we needed to get started so I used another empty egg carton and just lined it with plastic wrap. Excited to see the little seedlings to start popping up and get them planted in the garden.
And, while out and about in the yard, I found more signs of spring!! My lilac tree is starting to bloom!!

Happy Mother's Day!

Mother's Day was a great day! We went to church in the morning and then had some time to just relax at home before heading out to Birch Bay to have dinner with my mom's family.

The kids each had their own little gifts for me. Brenna made me a poster at Art Club and then later bought me a frappuccino at Starbucks before we headed out to Birch Bay. Alyssa had made me a card and picture frame in her Art Class. Ethan MADE me a bouquet of flowers in Sunday School that morning. They are still in a glass sitting in the window above my kitchen sink. I love that these flowers won't die and I can look at them forever!

It was great getting hand made gifts from each of the kids this year. I will cherish them forever!

After some down time, we loaded up and headed to one of my favorite places to shop...RITE AID... for some amazing savings and then to Starbucks and Safeway (needed french bread and a garlic spread). Then it was off to Birch Bay, to my aunt and uncle's. Thankfully, it was nice enough to be outside. Uncle Dick and Aunt Mar have a beautiful from their home!
The kids had a blast playing on the big anchor. They spent a good hour climbing on and off of it with the other kiddos there.

I'm not sure who started the rolling down the hill but it was tons of fun for them. Paige even decided to get in on the action. I'm not sure what her mommy thought about the grass stains but hey, who cares about grass stains when they are having!
There were even a couple of trips made down to the water. Uncle Dick and Aunt Mar have this amazing pathway down to the beach. The kids love to go down and throw rocks into the water and look for sea creatures.
We stayed out at the bay longer than we had planned and the kids were tired when we got home but we all had a great time and enjoyed some amazing food!

And even though the job of a mom can be tough some days, I am so thankful that I get to be mom to these three amazing kids EVERY DAY!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

More signs of Spring & early Mother's Day

Today we spent more time outside enjoying the sunshine. I picked up some annual bedding plants first thing in the morning from VanderGiessen's nursery while with my sis-in-law...the amazing flower/plant expert in my life!

When we were finished, I met Jason at True Value to pick out my Mother's Day basket. I was thrilled that this is what he wanted to get me. I love having a basket hanging on the front porch and I didn't really need anything else.

I was ready to get outside and start perking up the yard a little more. Here's what I accomplished:

My hanging basket up and looking great!
I purchased alyssum and lobelia to put around my fountain by the front porch
Here's the view of the entire thing.
I have mums planted in my planters by the front of the garage and added some lobelia and yellow million bells to them for some color this spring and summer.
And then, while walking around the yard we noticed that the apple trees are getting flower blossoms!!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


We finally have a little soccer player in our family! Each of the girls played soccer for a couple of seasons when they were younger and neither one of them enjoyed it. We were hesitant to do soccer with Ethan because we didn't want to do another season of watching our little player just standing on the field watching the other kids play the game.

Well, we have nothing to worry about! Ethan is constantly running and trying to get in the mix to get his feet on the ball. This game, he scored a goal!! We had one excited player on our hands!
Working the ball down the field.
Getting ready to...SCORE!
Ethan (#6, grey hoody) and Wayne (#9) on the field together