Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Free 8 x 10 canvas

You can get a free 8 x 10 canvas through the Canvas People right now. You just upload your photo, crop and you are done. One thing I did notice is that you have to be careful with the size of your digital image. The larger the image, the more that will be cropped out of the picture. Although the canvas is free, you do pay shipping and handling. I can't remember how much it was, but not a bad deal overall.

I received mine recently as shown above, and I was pleased with how it turned out. I am going to hang this in Emma and Avery's bedroom. One question I have: how do you frame canvas? Or do you just hang as is?

Go to this link to create your own canvas:

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Snow White makes another appearance...

This time with baby Snow White.

A hazy winter day

One recent winter afternoon, we had a little colorful visitor...Do you see him?

There is nothing like a pretty red cardinal on a drab winter day.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Eden's new 'do

We are trying out a new 'do today. What do you think?

It's a little Pebbles from Flintstones...

and a little Cindy Lou Who from The Grinch.

I think she carries it off pretty well!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Eden is 6 months!

Eden is growing so fast - she is six months old today! We went to church this morning and then grabbed some Mexican food for lunch after. My friend Robbyn, who I hadn't seen in a very long time, came over for the afternoon and visited with the us and the kids. It was so great catching up!

Late this afternoon I took these pictures of Eden, still in her church dress. This is the same dress Emma wore for her first birthday party!

Eden finally has at least one or two teeth coming through in the front of her mouth so she is constantly drooling and chewing on her clothing.

She continues to enjoy watching sports occasionally. Today during lunch at the restaurant she had perfect view of the large screen T.V. and she was able to catch up on the bowling championship game!

She is developing her own taste (and distaste) for food. Now that she has had bananas, applesauce, sweet potatoes and carrots, she has decided that she HATES green beans. She will spit them back out at you and move her head around constantly while you try and feed her so she avoids getting any in her mouth. I guess our green bean days are over.

I say this all of the time but I really mean it...She is the easiest baby I have dealt with yet. She is absolutely sweet in every way and hardly ever gets upset. She is a true blessing to our family.

Happy six months, Eden!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Kids eat free in Lexington

***I've updated the list with a few others...

Everyone with children knows that eating out can really add up to big bucks fast. Every time we added another child to our family, we would say that we are done eating out. How long does that usually last? Ummmm...maybe a week or so and then I am so ready to get out of the kitchen and eat out of the house!

So with four kids (granted only three actually eating kid's meals yet) it is hard to get out of a restaurant - any restaurant not offering free toys with their meals - for less than $30.00. We eat a lot of Mexican food in our family just because we can do it inexpensively.

I have been talking about putting a list together of all local area restaurants that offer kid's nights when your children can eat for FREE or for a very low cost. Take a look, this is what I have found...

Firehouse Subs: Kids eat free every Wednesday

Gilligans Steamers and Grill: Kids eat free every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday after 4 p.m. One free meal per paying adult.

Moes: Kids eat free every Tuesday

IHOP: Kids eat free every day from 4-10 p.m.

McAlisters Deli: Kids eat free every day after 5:00 p.m.

Schlotzsky's Deli: Kids eat free all day on Wednesdays with a paying adult purchasing at least $5.00.

Salsarita's: Kids eat free on Mondays. Also if they show up in their sports uniforms, they can purchase a kid's meal for $1 - every day.

Applebees: Kids eat on Tuesdays for $.99

Ollie's Gourmet Deli: Kids eat free on Saturdays

The Other Pancake House: Kids eat free on Saturdays

Hopefully this will help others out in the Lexington area and will at least be a list for me to refer to when it is just time to make a break out of the house. I'll try and keep it updated as things change or as new restaurants can be added.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Grocery savings with a moron

Since I don't have much going on in my life right now except...that's shopping, I thought I'd share some of my fabulous buys today!

I know - BORING - but these are the types of things I live for! Michael and I did a little outlet store shopping this past weekend and I managed to spend a portion of my weekly budget on a cute little blue handbag (another great buy!)

Anyway, let's just say the next two weeks were starting to look a lot like grilled cheese and hotdog dinners.

My favorite grocery store of all time (Publix) came through for me though and with the help of my favorite coupon blogging site (, I did all right.

Actually I did better than all right, I did swell! I saved $36.25 just in coupons (newspaper and on-line printed) and another $41.58 in store sales for a total of $77.83 in savings!

And I only spent $71.31 for 5 boxes of cereal, 8 cans and boxes of vegetables, 4 boxes of fruit snacks for kids' lunches, a bag of chicken nuggets, a bag of potatoes, and on and on. You can look at the pictures if you really want to know what I bought.

But here is the best part (for me anyway)... I was able to get two large cans of Enfamil formula included in that price. They are priced at $25.00 a piece alone. I love the fact that Publix takes competitor coupons because I was able to use 2 $5.00 coupons from Food Lion for the formula as well as a $7.00 Publix in-ad coupon - score!!!

However, don't think I didn't make a complete fool of myself somewhere along the process. Anyone who knows me well will know that this is just part of my daily routine. As the check-out person is scanning all of my groceries, I realize that I don't have my wallet with me.

Wallets generally come in handy when you are paying for things, even if you are getting some good buys. I guess I wasn't the first person to have this happen to them at Publix because they didn't look at me like I was a complete walking disaster with a small baby. They scanned all of my coupons (to the line of people waiting behind me's delight) and totaled my bill and then took my groceries over to Customer Service while I escaped to search for my wallet.

It was not in the car as I had hoped so I drove all the way home, ran inside the house and pulled my beautiful new handbag off of rack and there it was hiding inside. Note to self, when switching handbags make sure you take EVERYTHING out of one and transfer to another!

Eden and I flew back to Publix and picked up my waiting groceries and I explained as they walked my groceries out to the car that although I have left my wallet, or drivers license, or grocery list, or cell phone behind many times...I have never ever left a child anywhere...yet.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Better late than never!

So I can never get these monthly pictures posted on time! It seems there are always other things coming up that I feel I need to post about first...holidays, birthdays, and on and on.

Anyway, I am still taking these pictures of Eden each month and I do eventually get them posted. Even if they are almost a month behind!

Eden continues to grow and grow. And by "grow and grow" I mean that her tummy seems to be growing and growing. She is definitely a solid little girl and provides quite a workout for my arm!

She is a fabulous little shopping buddy and everywhere (and I mean EVERYWHERE) we go people (and I mean ALL people) continue to comment about her overabundance of hair on her head. I personally think it looks more like a toupee, but people can't seem to get over this child's lovely 'do!

At least two ladies working at Bi-Lo today looked at Eden and commented on the amount of static in her hair. I try to explain that it is not static electricity, it always stands up like that. It is however, finally getting longer and parts of her hair are now starting to hang in her eyes, poor baby. These headbands might become a necessity!

And as you can see by looking at the next two pictures, she is starting to pick things up and play more. She enjoys her rattles and teething toys a lot right now! She still spends ample time swinging but she is finally hanging for longer periods of time in her new jumperoo. She loves chilling on the floor too, but Wish doesn't usually leave her alone for long!

Eden has a keen sense for all sports activities shown on T.V. She will turn herself around in order to watch attentively to whatever football or basketball is airing!

And can you tell that this girl likes to eat!?! She has not shied away from any new food we have introduced her too yet. She enjoys rice cereal, bananas and green beans at least once in the evening.

She continues to be such a joy in our lives and it is really hard to be unhappy about anything when she is around to smile her big toothless smile at you!

Monkey Joes, presents and cake

Ryan had a good birthday Friday. He and his classmates enjoyed slushies during lunch at school, and then after Michael got home from work, we drove over to Monkey Joes to let the kids play. Our neighbor friends Michael and Matthew joined us for the fun and the kids spent several hours jumping, sliding and playing games.

See? He looks like he is enjoying his birthday anyway!

Emma kept up with the "big" kids and spent most of her time running around and playing with Matthew.

Avery spent most of her time in the designated toddler area after being almost trampled a few times on the bigger jumpies.

When we got home Ryan opened up his presents and then it was time for cake.

The birthday boy about to blow out his candle...

Making a wish...

And of course, a random picture of Eden! Because she never shows up in the pics of family activities even though she really is there!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Our great cake adventure

I waited until the last minute to figure out what I was going to do for Ryan's birthday cake. So yesterday (morning at least!) I called around to the usual grocery stores to price out their Star Wars themed cakes.

After realizing that I was not going to get a cake for less than $20-something dollars, I decided that I would undertake the task myself.

So this morning I baked the cakes needed to create a Star Wars cake and of course the girls helped with clean-up as evidenced in the photos above...

My Obi-Wan and Anakin (turning Darth Vader) dueling scene turned out pretty good I thought.

Plus, you can't beat chocolate cake with chocolate icing with chocolate Hershey pieces on it! Did I mention we are on a health kick in our house? No, we really are!

Ryan got home from school and saw his cake and I must say, I got the EXACT response I was looking for! He was so excited and named the lava planet they were fighting on by name. Of course, I said, "What??? What are you talking about?"

He just stood there staring at his cake for a good 20 minutes or so and then followed me around the house asking about how I got the idea for the cake (must say, I found the idea from another mom on-line).

And then he said excitedly (which for the record, he says every year): "This is the best birthday EVER!"

Happy 8th birthday, Ryan!

My classy dresser

This is what happens when you let your 3-year old dress herself!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


"Who 'ya gonna call? GHOSTBUSTERS!"

Emma and Ryan getting ready to go outside for a friendly game of Nerf tag...

Winter leaves?!?

I know it looks a bit like fall but after a lot of windy days the last of the leaves fell from our two trees in our front yard. Michael snapped this pic of Ryan playing in the last of them as Michael worked to rake and bag.

Bare tree limbs and 30 degree weather...I must say it really does feel like winter. Now we just need a little snow!!!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The night before Christmas...

Our Christmas Eve tradition usually involves us attending the Children's Christmas mass at church and then coming home and opening family gifts by the tree before retiring for the evening awaiting Santa's visit.

This year Ryan, Emma and Avery were able to participate in the nativity play during mass. Ryan, as pictured above, was a wise man...

Emma was a gingerbread cookie (the play begins talking about the things we get caught up doing in preparation of Christmas and then of course, talks about the birth of Christ)...

And Avery was a sheep...

After mass, we went over to the church social hall where the kids sang "Happy Birthday" to Jesus and got to enjoy some punch and cake. This train set was a big hit among all of the little boys there.

After we got home, I have everyone participate in our family Christmas picture before everybody changes out of their church clothes. This is always challenging since it has to be taken through setting up the tripod and setting the timer. Obviously, Eden wasn't in the mood to play along!

And then of course I tried to get one of the kids together...Again, Eden wasn't having it!

The kids enjoyed opening up their family gifts.

We put out our cookies for Santa and Ryan wrote a note to go along with the snack and then it was time to turn in and rest up for Christmas morning!

Decorating cookies

I promise I will finally catch up on all of my Christmas related posts soon! The kids invited a couple of friends over for a cookie decorating activity the week of Christmas.

Of course they all piled on as many candies and sprinkles as the cookie would possibly hold.

And I think they were burned out of the cookie decorating after completing two cookies each! We had a lot of plain sugar cookies sitting around our house.

Luckily my kids enjoy eating plain sugar cookies!

Of course after spending all morning cutting out cookie shapes and baking cookies, I later discovered a package of pre-cut out sugar cookies in the freezer. I guess we'll use those for Valentine's Day!