Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Children's Museum

Tara and Kevin took us to the Children's Museum in Saratoga on Monday. Here are some of the pics... the kids had a GREAT time, and the adults had fun chasing the kids around. It was Legos day... they had a Legos room where the kids could build anything they wanted. Daniel thought that was quite fun, and he ended up spending a lot of time there. David thought the fire truck was the best, and Sarah would have spent all day in the tea room if we would have let her. Rachel found a gigantic bubble to wrap around herself - it actually shows up in the picture!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas Chaos

We're at Kevin's this week celebrating Ella's birth and the birth of Christ! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. Here are some pics from our chaotic afternoon on Sunday... Rachel (age 8), Daniel (3), Sarah and David (both 17 months), Hannah (8 months), and Ella (10 days). We tried getting all of them in a picture together with their matching outfits, but it didn't work out very well. I know, that's terribly surprising that they wouldn't all sit and smile for us, but I thought you might enjoy the results. It was a very funny photo shoot. This first picture is of Sarah "holding" Ella. David is Ella's brother, but he doesn't care about her at all. Sarah, on the other hand, can't stay away from the baby. She even tries to pick her up! This is as close as we let her get to actually holding the baby. Motherly instinct :)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Ella Marie Newell

In case you didn't see her on Facebook, here she is! Ella Marie was born Thursday afternoon in New York. Tara looks just great and Ella is beautiful! We get to see her just after Christmas - we can't wait!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Halloween Pictures... Finally!

Here we have Gabriella, from High School Musical, Tigger and Sarah the Turtle. Tigger demonstrated how he hops on his tail - very cute. Sarah the Turtle crawled around like a perfect, little turtle. It always makes makes me smile to see how fast the kids catch on to the idea of Trick-or-Treat... what could be better than walking up to a house, knocking on the door and having them give you candy??

Thursday, November 13, 2008

For Amy

Sarah is modeling one of Sydney's outfits that she hasn't been able to wear for nine years or so. Syd wore it to Jaena's wedding!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Drennen's Pumpkin Kingdom

Today, we went to Drennen's Pumpkin Kingdom - a pumpkin patch just a few minutes away. Brad was sick today, so he didn't go with us, but Grandma and Grandpa did! Since this was for Daniel's birthday, I should refer to them as Ba-ma and Him. Sometimes "Him" is Papa, but lately he's "Him." (After I posted this blog and showed Daniel the pictures, he identified "Him" as "Bampa. That was the clearest he's ever been!) Daniel's 3rd birthday is Monday, but we did our activity today since it was Saturday.

We got to pet baby animals, go through a corn maze, and take a hay ride out to see the pumpkin patch. The kids all picked out their own pumpkins. I handed one to Sarah and discovered that it had a small hole in it, but she refused to let go of it. Daniel picked out a very small one - he didn't want a bigger one because he could pick this one up. Mom thinks he tried to pick up one of the huge ones and couldn't, so he was happy with a very small one. Unfortunately, the battery on my camera ran out before I could get pictures of them with all the pumpkins. :( The spare battery was at home!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Tastefully Simple

I am doing a Tastefully Simple catalog party (minus the catalogs) this month - Amy is the consultant. Check out Tastefully Simple online to see the products that are available, and let me know or let Amy know if you have questions or if you'd like to order anything. I am having a fall Creative Memories event (Croptoberfest) on October 25 at Lakeview Wesleyan Church, and I will be using Tastefully Simple products for my snacks. Feel free to stop by to sample some! It's 9am-5pm in the new Family Life Center Conference Room.

Some of the Tastefully Simple products that are staples in my house are as follows: Oh My! Chai! , beer bread (made with club soda, of course), potato soup mix, Onion Onion, Bacon Bacon, Absolutely Almond Pound Cake Mix (absolutely wonderful!).

Sunday, October 12, 2008

My Review of Thomas & Friends Mountain Overpass Set

Originally submitted at Toys R Us

This Thomas & Friends™ Mountain Overpass Set brings rail and road together to bring the complete world of Thomas & Friends™ to life and features the exciting Mountain Overpass bridge/tunnel. As Percy climbs over the mountain bridge and Butch passes through the roadway tunnel, rail...

This is a GREAT toy!

By Mom of a Thomas Fanatic from Hartford City, Indiana on 10/12/2008


5out of 5

Pros: Quality Construction, Fun, Durable, Really Works, Easy to Assemble, Attractive Design

Best Uses: Imaginative Play, Entertainment

Describe Yourself: Parent Of Two Or More Children, Education Oriented, Stay At Home Parent

We started giving my son the wooden Thomas train sets when he was 1 1/2. My parents got him this set for his second birthday, and although he couldn't put the tracks together himself at that point, he loved the sounds the mountain overpass made. Now my 1-year-old daughter loves to press the buttons. My son would turn his battery operated train on(not included in this set) and let it go around and around and around the tracks. Each time the train car goes under the overpass, a different train sound plays. Also, when a car goes over the overpass, a truck sound plays.
This set includes both train track and road track, which is cool.
The tracks stay together when they are placed on a hard surface, like a table. They do not stay together well on carpet. When the tracks are together, the trains stay on the tracks. We were pleasantly surprised at how well the trains stayed on the tracks.


Monday, October 06, 2008

Budgets and budget busters

With all this talk about the economy being so terrible, grocery prices going up, gas prices going up, etc., etc., I thought we could discuss what we're doing to make our dollars stretch to meet the budget (or "spending plan," in case you don't like the word "budget.")

Here's a couple of things we're doing...

Potty-training Daniel and Sarah... never mind that Sarah is only 14 months old and isn't walking yet - I'm sure the girl can use the potty and save us all those $$ we spend on diapers! OK, I'm just kidding, but we are working on Daniel, and that will help!

Using E-mealz... Seriously, I should have thought of this before they did - I'm sure I could have made a fortune! Subscribe to E-mealz ($15 for 3 months - use the coupon code "Dave" for a discount) and get a week's worth of menus, complete with grocery lists, every week! Just log on and print them off. Take it to the store and you have a PLAN for your week's meals and you have all of the groceries on hand! The best part is, if you live near a Kroger or Publix (or a few others that I don't live near), they tailor the menus to whatever is on sale that week. Very cool. Unfortunately, I don't live near either of those, so I have tried the Wamart menus and the Aldi menus. Currently, I'm using the Aldi menus, and the meals have been great! I'm using Aldi because the grocery list for seven dinners runs between $50 and $65, which is pretty good. I can usually make the seven dinners last for two weeks, so that fits nicely into my budget.

Coupon shopping...
This takes on various forms. I buy the Indy Star every Sunday (when it has coupons, that is). I used to cut all of the coupons out and use them when the products were on sale at stores like Meijer and Kroger who would triple coupons. Some of the stores have changed their policies and I've found a way that I like a little better because it takes less time. Now I check out the Grocery Gathering at BeCentsAble for stores like CVS and Walgreens. Contributors from various blogs list the deals for the week, complete with links to printable coupons and a list of coupons that match the sale items from the weekly paper. When I'm completely organized with my coupons, I put them in file folders for each week so that I can find what the blogs mention. That doesn't always happen, but it's my goal!

Here's an example for this week, since Sarah is refusing to be potty trained (hee, hee), I still have to buy diapers. CVS has Playskool diapers on sale this week - Mega pack for $10.99. An online site has a printable coupon for $2 off per pack. I got a coupon from the coupon printer at CVS today for $4 off any $20 Playskool purchase. I can use two of the $2 coupons along with the $4 coupon (that's called "stacking" in coupon-ese). That means I can get two Mega packs for about $14. I currently have about $22 in Extra Bucks from CVS - those are coupons you can use like cash for anything in the store. You can earn them every week on various products - the Grocery Gathering will tell you all about it! Anyway, I can use $12 in Extra Bucks for my diapers so I can get them for about $2! They would regularly be $29.98. The best deals are the ones where I can earn Extra Bucks back when I spend them, but that's not always the case.

Walgreens doesn't require you to have a store card like CVS does. We don't have one in town, so I don't go there as much as CVS. They offer register rewards instead of Extra Bucks - still worthwhile. They also offer products every month that are completely free after rebate.

What are you doing to save money?

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Thanks for the Help!

You are all awesome for helping with the work of driving shuttles. As a reminder, you will need to arrive about 15 minutes before your scheduled shift. The transportation tent will be located around the Former Center School Building. You will recieve your shirt there. You will also earn a free lunch for your work so stop by before or after your shift to get your lunch ticket. Coffee will be on the house at McConn that day for you too. Simply let them know that you are working for the Alumni Office driving a shuttle. If you have any questions give me a call, drop me an email or hit me up on Facebook. Bye for Now!

Friday, September 19, 2008


I FINALLY had Sarah's one-year pictures taken. Here are some of my favorites... she was having such a great time crawling between my mom and me. She was WAY too busy to pose for photos! We did get some good ones, though. You can see what a good mood she was in...

Here are the pictures from her first birthday, almost two months ago! I decided to try again to upload them... Enjoy! Cake, anyone?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Introducing C. Sebring

This is D. Stratus' replacement.

Daniel's Photo Tour

Here is a quick tour of our home from Daniel's perspective. (a.k.a. Daniel took off with a camera at some point and had a great deal of fun everywhere in the house.) Enjoy!

For those of you less aquainted with children's fare, here is a close up of Bob the Builder.

We finish off the tour with a self-portrait from our tour guide, Daniel.