May 31, 2009

Someone take away my debit card!

I used up my May grocery budget about May 20th... BUT this week is triple coupon week at Harris Teeter AND Kroger (they are trying to compete with HT). So, I had to pull over some of June's budget for some early shopping of course. I hit Harris Teeter Wednesday AND Thursday, Kroger on Saturday and TWICE Sunday. Then Publix after Kroger tonight. Tyler is out of town on business, so Dixie and I left the girls with Seth and hit up Kroger and Publix. And WHO did we run into during our trip? Kelly and Jason Webster. Kelly at Kroger, Jason at Publix. They split up so each one went to one store so they could do all their shopping at once and be done.
I love that I can grocery shop with my closest friends and have the best time doing it.

My tally for triple coupon week: $46.37
Harris Teeter Wednesday $7.48
Harris Teeter Thursday $10.39
Publix Friday $8.84 (a lot of needed stuff, nothing special except I bought 4 mustards for the overages)
Kroger Saturday $16.57 (I got a bunch of stuff for Tyler's lunches that were good deals, but not free, so I am OK with this being so high)
Kroger Sunday after church $2.16 (8 lemonades, 4 soaps, forgot one coupon so total could've been $1.08)
Kroger Sunday night -$0.17 (I had a mistake with a coupon scanning 2x in the self-check and the cashier couldn't back it out so she had to give me $0.17 to make her register stop freaking out)
Publix Sunday night $1.10 (5 Ronzoni pastas, 4 mustards, 2 Go-Gurts)

The quantity of items is crazy. I had to reorganize the fridge and pantry. That's why they call it stockpiling. My favorite deals from this week are:
14 Santa Cruz ORGANIC lemonades (1 qt) free at Kroger on sale with Q
5 Ronzoni Smart taste pastas for $1.25 total at Publix on sale and with Q
8 - 8 oz. French's mustards that were a $0.50 money-maker EACH (that's $4 towards my other items)
2 Knorr rice sides that were a $.55 money-maker for 2 with cellfire Q at Kroger
1 Pedigree Dentastix (dog treats) $0.60 money-maker with paper Q and cellfire Q for other items at Kroger
8 Dial liquid soaps (on sale $1 ea) that were free with $0.35 Q that tripled
4 Wacky Mac pasta ended up $0.18 for all 4 after $0.50 Q that tripled at Harris Teeter

So based on my best deals list, we will be bathing with Dial hand soap all summer, and eating pasta salad with mustard sauce with a glass of lemonade!!! The hard part will be making sure I DO NOT go over my reduced budget for June. At this point I just need a few items for the rest of the month: flour, fresh fruit and salad veggies.

After being a crazy-serious couponer for the past 4 months (I've always been a serious couponer, the crazy is new) I feel like I've hit my own stride and am very pleased 99% of the time when I leave the store now. The fruits of my labor:

A packed pantry. LOTS of dry goods. Look at all the lemonades! Lots of toiletries.
Lots of hand soap, cleaners, vitamins, etc.A full fridge and freezer.
At this point I am dreaming of better shelving for my storage areas. =) And now back to your regularly scheduled Maggie viewing...

May 29, 2009

15 Years and Still Going Strong

Junior Homecoming, 1994, approximately 4 months after we started going out.
Dear Tyler,

15 years ago today, May 29, 1994, I sat in your Camaro, holding your hand as you drove down Village Green Drive and I finally said something like, "yeah, OK" or "uh-huh" or "yep" or "alright" when you asked me out the second week in a row. You know, something seriously romantical, like all the best love stories. And the rest, as they say, is history. At the time, I KNEW we would end up getting married, even if it took you a while to come around to the idea. (Because every 16-year old guy wants his girlfriend to be talking about future wedding bells and babies. Now that I think of it, I am surprised you didn't run the other way!) And I had no idea what a wonderful journey this would be and how amazing our life is. Not always easy, but just what He planned for us from before Creation. All my days were written down before one of them came to be...

Like Helen Hunt running out to Tom Hanks in Cast Away, "You are the love of my life!" {Except that you were never lost at sea, and I didn't marry someone else, but you can picture that same rush of emotion as she runs out after him in the pouring down rain in the middle of the night.} You have been there for me whenever I have needed you, and you love me the way God intends husbands to love their wives. We aren't the same people we are today as we were back then - Praise the Lord for that! - but we have grown together - and grown-up together - you and I, on this journey. Our journey hasn't taken us on a whirlwind tour of Europe or Africa or Asia or South America (yet) but it has brought us closer and more in love with each other and with the Lord each passing day. May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth...

Like I say to you most every year, thank you for sharing the Gospel with me time and time again in high school, when I was hurting, lost, and in need of a Savior. Even if we never dated or got married or moved to Nashville or had Maggie I would still love Jesus and be counted as one of His children because He chose you to tell me about Him. I am blessed amazingly by that alone. But, BONUS! I got to marry you, too. You say that most of the time you feel like you married up, but I'm telling you the feeling is mutual. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places, surely I have a delightful inheritance...

Right now we are not on the mountiantop but have to pick our way through a deep valley, but we are in this together.* I will not do everything perfectly, and I cringe whenever you say I am a good wife because I see how poor a job I do most of the time, but I love you so much, and I can't imagine my life without you. I know the stress of work and long hours at the office and the economy and being the provider takes its toll on you, but we are where we are because this is where God wants us to be. I will not be afraid of where God has put us. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me...

My soul mate, I love you. Here's to another 50 years of wonderfulness. Love - Melissa

*I would like to clarify this just by saying that Tyler's got some unresolved health issues at the moment, we as a couple are fine.

May 26, 2009

I've got a SEWING bug

For some reason I feel compelled to sew right now (even though I have no idea what I am doing). I made Maggie a new hooded towel and a pool robe (also from a towel). I've fixed half a dozen other items of clothing that needed repairing, too. Here's Maggie in her new hooded towel. The hood part is crazy large, but she likes it, and I didn't mess up on it one time. I did get help on the pool robe, which will make it's debut soon. It is too big for her right now, but I hope that it will last for several years after all the hassle with the bias tape on the edges. A big thank-you to
Shirley Haskins for showing me how to use her serger and for rethreading it after I messed it up.

- my apologies to anyone who could not previously figure out the title of this post. The track-pad on my laptop is really sensitive and sometimes I touch it without knowing it and the cursor jumps around as I type, implanting my type in odd places. Sorry!

May 22, 2009

Creating a Little Worker Bee

I realize on a daily basis how easy my day-to-day chores/to-do's are with just Maggie around. Especially now that she can do some chores. Putting away the silverware. I need to videotape her doing that, she holds up every fork and asks, "Mommy, is this a big fork or a little fork?"
Last week I was doing flowers on Saturday so Maggie was home with Daddy. He had her put the silverware away... when I went to get a spoon or something that evening, ALL of the silverware was piled willy-nilly in the far right section! I asked Tyler about it, and he said she had pitched a fit about having to do the silverware. She was getting revenge, I guess.

Field Day at Mother's Day Out

Thursday marked the end of the regular MDO school year! And what better way to celebrate than with Field Day? It was so cute getting to see Maggie and the rest of her class do all kinds of events. Here are some photos from the day, and videos of Maggie saying the Pledge of Allegiance and praying before we had lunch.

Here she is with her class playing Tug-O-War. None of the kids really had a clue what they were doing, or which way to go at first. After teh first couple of rounds, the boys won - 4 boys against 5 girls. The cup-stilts were a little too much for 3-year olds. I got Maggie to stand on them and take a couple of assisted steps, and that was it.
Her group doing the Pledge of Allegiance.

And praying before lunch. The lady speaking is Mrs. Karen, Maggie's teacher. That's how we do it here in the South.
I love it when she says "Atharva, I know it's out of the ordinary, but it's OK." AAAA! So cute!

May 13, 2009

"Mama, Rock It!"

That's what Maggie kept telling me my card said on Mother's Day. It actually said "Mom, You Rock!" She's so darn sweet. I was treated to a house completely picked up by Tyler (I am a cleaner and sanitizer, but have a hard time tackling clutter), coffee and Krispy Kreme in bed before church, an orchid corsage* (purchase the night before so I could modify it to my taste {I know, I just can't help myself but modify my own gifts of flowers}), a peaceful & perfect morning where everyone got ready and in the car EARLY not late, everyone was happy, and a lunch at home of our traditional French Dip subs (I still make my own lunch, it's just special). It was a wonderful Mother's Day.

It was so sweet to be recognized and have a special day as a mom, but I am glad that I get to be a mom every day, even "those" days when they arrive. I wouldn't be a mom without Tyler and Maggie, and I am so very thankful for them and all their love the year 'round.

*You will note the corsage is resting on some of the palest of pink peonies from my garden. All three bushes flowered this year, despite all the bad rain we've been getting. Yay!

May 7, 2009

Poor Olive

Maggie has taken to tackling Olive and forcing her to cuddle. It's hysterical. Olive lays down patiently, but the moment Maggie's death-grip lightens, she bolts. Of course, she only goes a few feet away, Maggie gets her again, and the process repeats.

Additionally, I am not sure Maggie could be more beautiful that this photo! My goodness!