Monday, May 31, 2010

James Turns 5

I can't believe that this past week my baby turned 5 years old! It seems like only yesterday that this picture was taken....

Here are pictures of James and Samantha on his actual birthday.

A couple days later we had his party at a bounce place called KangaZoom. I cannot say enough positive things about this establishment! First of all, the staff was friendly and helpful. Second, the kids had a BLAST! I could hardly get pictures because everyone was zooming aroun so fast! All together James had 14 friends there, and I think they all had fun....and that's all that really matters!
Here's James scurrying up the bouncy slide (he's in the black shirt and blue jean shorts).
The "friends" all in a line!
Samantha and Jael - How do we climb up this thing?
Pausing so mommy can get a picture!
Carrie and Josiah
Jael.....she loved this bouncy ball!
Laurie and Heather - both with their girls! (Heather is due in one more week!)
Yummy food time!

Jack and Carrie and Josiah
Moriah and James
Opening presents

Family picture
With his number 5
It really was a wonderful day! James even told us he wants his birthday there next year too!
Happy Birthday sweet boy!! Mommy and Daddy love you VERY much!

Monday, May 10, 2010

My 2nd grocery trip using my new coupon system...

Recently I started using I didn't write about the first trip b/c it didn't turn out as well as I had hoped. The first trip didn't go very well because I went without educating myself beforehand. Also, the was my first experience shopping at Publix. I have been a committed "Kroger-only" shopper for quite a while, and now thanks to I am broadening my shopping horizons in the name of saving. :o) So, the first trip I ended up with a couple of things, but nothing to write home about.

My second trip ended up a lot better! First of all, I watched the tutorials on the website.....VERY helpful. Second, I recruited help! My friend Carrie (you can go see her blog here) let me know when she was going to Publix, and I was able to meet her there and SEE her list in action. This was also very helpful, and also built my confidence so I know next time (when I go it alone) that I am doing things right!

So, now the fun part!! THE TOTALS!

What did I get?
10 boxes of cereal
2 jars of Ragu
1 box of Pasta
1 coffee creamer
2 Dove deodorants
1 jar of Hellman's mayo
14 Yoplait yogurts
4 boxes of Pop Tarts
Large sized distilled vinegar
Total (without coupons or savings): $77.36
Coupons and Savings: $45.82
MY TOTAL: $32.04!

I was pleased with the results and I'm excited about my next trip! Carrie said it just gets better as you go!! Thanks again Carrie!!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Adventure of Gardening - Planting and Week 1

My Pop (my mom's dad) can grow anything. Every year he has a beautiful garden that is planted in my mom's backyard. When I come home during the summer, I am absolutely delighted to partake in his home-grown goodies. He also richly blesses others with his crop. Friends and family alike are routinely blessed by large bags of veggies. Most of the time the bags contain his favorite crop - tomatoes. His plants are grown with love, and he enjoys...more than anything... sharing that with others. You may or may not remember this picture from 2007...
Pop and James "gardening"
Oh my baby was so small!

Well, because of that....and the belief that somewhere in my blood lies this "planting" gene....I decided to embark on a journey to grow my own "garden". Now my Pop obviously has gardening space. However, we are currently live in a rental home, and that does not allow us to till up earth and plant like crazy. So, I consulted a lady at church who grows her garden 100% in containers. She was nice enough a couple of Sunday's ago to hand me a list detailing how to get started "container gardening" style....

So sweet!

I also got some help from this handy dandy planting guide.

I decided to start small....I guess if this year goes well, then next year can be bigger....and I purchased two seed packets for tomatoes and summer squash, two large pots, draining rocks, and soil. Then I drilled draining holes into the bottom of the pots, and filled the bottom with about 2 inches worth of rocks.

Then I filled the pots with soil. I read somewhere that soil labeled "professional" was important (I wish I would have bookmarked the site....I would have shared it with you). Also the "mystery" site said the soil should be light like cake mix. Surprisingly the "professional" soil was not expensive, and was light just like cake mix! Almost good enough to eat....almost....

What were the kids doing while I was planting? They helped for a little bit. I tried to get photos but soil was going everywhere and it didn't work out. They also spotted a lizard, and observed it....from a distance of course....

Lizard Friend

Here is one of my pots....fully planted and placed in a nice sunny spot!

Now here's the exciting part!
WEEK 1 Results!
Can you see it?
There is the sprout of my very tiny tomato plant!

The next one is a bit easier to spot...
There's my sweet little squash sprout!
I mean I know I planted the seedsm but I was still surprised that they actually sprouted! Seeing the sprouts was very awesome. The kids were excited too! It's an even more exciting experience seeing their minds take in the miracle of life through growing plants.

Now I just hope that I actually get veggies from them!
Come back next week and see how we've grown! Also, feel free to share your growing stories in the comments section, or share links to your garden journey. Happy Growing!