Smile for the Joy of Others

Smile for the Joy of Others

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Fur Babies in the wake of Gustav

One of the events that horrified me during Katrina was seeing on the news all the pets that had to be left behind b/c they were not allowed on the buses when the evacuees were being picked up. It was also sad that people had to choose not to leave because of their pets. I don't know that I could have left my beloved Gizmo behind.

I am relieved to know that they are better prepared to take care of the fur babies for this storm. To read on the preparations, you may visit the ASPCA website.

I know to some that animals are merely just that, animals. But to me, they are part of families. And to have to leave one behind not knowing what will happen to him/her, is devastating and can have a life long emotional effect to those that loved and cared for them.

Just wanted to share my relief for what it's worth.

Until next time, HB

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Show Me the Money...

I have recently joined "The Grocery Game" after reading several blogs of friends that have joined and attested to saving money. I also have several friends that joined and proclaimed of it assistance to saving money on groceries.

I will try my best to explain how it works.

You subscribe to grocery store lists in your zip code for a fee that is paid every 8 weeks. These lists inform you of the week's sales and also let you know if there are coupons from your Sunday paper or on-line that will help you save even more. The lists are coded to let you know if the item is at a "rock bottom" price. It also codes items that are good to buy as "stock items" due to the great price...this keeps you from having to pay full price in the future.

I have been playing for the past 4 weeks as a trial for $1.00. I have greatly enjoyed the challenge and most of all..saving money. I subscribe to WalGreens, Rite-Aid, CVS and Kroger. I have found that I shop more at WalGreens and Kroger than CVS and Rite-Aid. So I may unsubscribe to those stores to lower my 8 week fee. The main attraction for me is being informed of the sale items and if there is a coupon when otherwise I wouldn't be aware. I have started to pick up a Sunday paper for the coupons and it's become my Sunday afternoon ritual to clip and then compare to my Grocery Game lists.

I have also been reviewing Brookshire's circular via their website. I have shopped there for several items at cheaper that I would normally have bought at Wal-Mart. (note--Brookshire's is not on my Grocery Game list, I have reviewed their sales on my own)

Here are few of my savings:
August 17th-
WalGreens...I bought $39.57 of groceries for $18.69.
Kroger...I bought $65.45 of groceries for $43.82.
Brookshire's...I bought $16.64 of groceries for $11. 91.
All together I bought $121.66 for $74.42 with a savings of $47.24

August 24th-
WalGreens...I bought $30.30 of groceries for $15.78
Kroger...I bought $24.62 of groceries for $14.67
Brookshires...I bought $37.88 of groceries for $22.83
All together I bought $92.80 of groceries for $53.28 with a savings of $37.52

Total savings for the past 2 weeks I bought $214. 46 of groceries for $127.70. Saving a grand total of $84.76

We had been spending about $200.00 every 2 weeks on groceries. As you can see, The Grocery Game helped us save on our groceries.

I hope to continue to learn more and become a better shopper...practice makes perfect. With my mother as a teacher when I was growing up and the help of The Grocery Game, I hope to get our groceries down by half.

Before children, JB and I used to shop all the different grocery stores for savings. But obviously with children (2 at once) time just hasn't allowed me to grab a circular from all the different stores. With The Grocery Game help, I have all the info in one place, I make my list, and then go shopping instead of heading to Wal-Mart thinking I'm getting the best deals. Now, don't get me wrong, I still have to go to Wal-Mart for some items that are a must and aren't on sale nor have a coupon. But for now, at least I know where the best deals are.

If you are interested in joining The Grocery Game, email me or leave a message. You can earn free weeks when you refer someone and they join.

Other ways we have cut back:
I haven't used our dryer in 2 months. I have been hanging our clothes on drying racks to dry. We haven't used our dishwasher as often, opting to hand wash dishes. We have oscillating fans in the den, our bedroom and the boys' room. I keep the fan in the den on during the day and only using the other 2 at night. I've kept our blinds closed to keep the direct sunlight out. I know we may look like recluses but it's helped keep the rooms cooler.

We aren't in any financial trouble and I refuse to become a "cheap person" we are just trying to be more frugal and diligent to save when possible.

I'm sure there are many other ways to save and I'm sure there are some readers who are doing more and better. I am still learning and hope with more practice, I will become a pro.

Until next time, Show Me the Money, HB

Monday, August 18, 2008

Welcome, Smurfs

Well, the Smurfs temporarily built and moved into our yard a few days last week. That was until JB mowed over their village with the lawn more. It was a pleasure having them visit for the few days they were here. They have since had to move on to safer frontier.

Until next time, HB

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A New Season

We have entered a new season in our season that is. Well, such as it is at age 3.

The boys started to St. Matthew's pre-school "program" today. It's more than a MMO but not as extensive as an actual school day. They will be going for 3 hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays with the option of lunch bunch. Although it's only 3 hours, it will give me some time to do errands that are easier done without 3 year old toddlers. I will also have a little more time to devote to monogramming and cleaning this house.

They don't allow the parents to walk the children to their room. Instead, we drop them off in car pool while teachers walk them to their rooms. A little intimidating even for me but my little boys were brave men this morning. They went to the unknown with no tears. I had already told them that Mommy would not be taking them to their room in hopes that some preparation would eliminate some of the uncertainty.

Pappaw and I picked them up and they came out with smiles. After loading them up and off to home, I asked about their day with little response.

They said that they played in the gym and road bikes. CB said that he wanted to go back while BB said that "he wanted to go back later, not just yet".

I asked if they got in any trouble. BB shook his head no while CB nodded his head yes. I asked if he got put in time out to which he replied with a yes nod. I asked BB if CB was put in timeout and he too said yes. But the story as to why seems to change and grow bigger. BB even told me at one time CB got a "panking". When I asked who spanked CB, he replied "me".

So I don't think there was any timeout and I know for certain there were no "pankings".

The boys held hands when walking into school. I got a quick picture. Sorry for the poor quality. It was so humid that my lens fogged up and with hurried mammas waiting on me to get my car out of the way, I just couldn't take the time to get a better one.

Until next time, HB

Friday, August 8, 2008

Milestones from 2 to 3

The boys experienced some big boy milestones from age 2 to 3. Since I've done a poor job of writing these in their books, I'll list them here to at least have them recorded somewhere for future memories.

They both learned to ride their tri-cylces this past spring.

They transitioned from their cribs to their real beds this past December (2007)
BB sleeps in a double while CB sleeps in a single. The single will eventually be bunked on top of the double.

They quit using their "mouth pieces" AKA passys this summer (June 2008)

They participated and enjoyed VBS (June 2008). They actually remember their activities and songs.

And the biggest of all...They were potty trained before they were 3!!! Grant it, it was like a few weeks before they turned 3, but still worth being proud of.

The biggest for JB...they began recognizing "Roll Tide" symbols and mascots.

We are so blessed to have gotten a healthy 3 year old check up. Both have had a "knot" on the side of their necks that has not gone away..but blood work was normal and the dr. says it's just a slightly enlarged lymph node, nothing to worry about. They are average for their weight and height.


Thank Youp=Thank You


Until next time, Don't Blink, you'll miss it, HB

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Big Ones that DIDN'T Get Away

Those that know my dad well, know that he is an avid fisherman. He lives to fish and fishes to live. Seriously, if we every have a drought or famine, he could feed his family for awhile with all the fish he has in his freezer. Cock of the Walk doesn't have anything on him when it comes to catfish. Lately, he has been jug fishing for catfish. He has caught 2 big ones and many average sizes. I've posted pics of the 2 that didn't get away. These were caught at separate fishing trips.

Finally, some fish tales that are believable!

Until next time, HB