Monday, October 18, 2010

New Babies

This weekend, some friends of ours welcomed home their sweet little baby boy, Liam, and we are so excited for them!  This is the sixth family, within our church family and friends, who have adopted and there are several more to come!  Not only does it make me excited to see their happiness and to know, from personal experience, the awe struck wonder you feel at seeing God work such a miracle in your life, but it also makes me excited to know that there will be someone else that Sawyer can see who has a similar life story.  He won't be the only one, and there are people he can talk to or hang out with that understand.
Well, since my parents jokingly call Meg and Joe their adopted kids, then I guess I can call myself an adopted aunt, right? : )  Meg and Joe, we're so happy for y'all and we'll be praying for you as you start this awesome, challenging journey into parenthood! 

a sweet picture that I borrowed from

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Catching up, sort of

Since I just posted an entire blog of nothing related to my children, I figured I should throw one up with some cuteness in it.  What better way to do that then to put up some pictures that never made it to the blog in a timely fashion??  So I give to you Summer in Fall. : )
When we weren't at the pool, we spent a lot of mornings in the backyard at the water table.  Jack was content to sit and play as long as you would let him.

 Sawyer loves the water table as well, it's just that his idea of fun and Jack's are two different things. : )

 We decided to head out to the peach festival this year, and it was a great year for it!  It was probably one of the coolest on record, and even better because we found a great tree to sit under.  We tried, once again for a family picture, and well, you see what we ended up with.  Oh well, one of these days!!

Waiting for the parade to start.

 Waving at all the people going by.  He's such a good little politician.

Back to the shade and our wonderful spot!

And then we discovered that these people gave out candy!!  We had to start hiding it so they didn't both end up with upset stomachs and cavities. : )

 Finally done, and someone was super tired and ready for a nap.  He was such a trooper and we all had fun!

We all went out to Cotton Grill for mom and dad's anniversary.  My sis-in-law and me.  I'm not sure we've ever taken a picture together other than at their wedding! Ha!

All of us, some happy, and some not so happy. : )  There were a bunch of turtles swimming behind us and the boys were not interested in having their pictures taken unless they could do it while looking at them.

My brother and his beautiful new bride 

Mom and Dad, pretty sweet after 28 years of marriage

Grandaddy and his boys, still looking at those turtles

chillin' before we eat

Well, that's by no means our entire summer, but just a taste of a few things that I missed earlier.  I'll try to get another post in the next week about what we're up to these days.  Busy little bees live in my house if that gives you any idea. 

Ebates, Swagbucks, and Coupons

So a friend of mine recently posted on her blog about her disdain for all things coupon related.  I on the other hand LOVE coupons and all things related to them.  I'm not saying they're for everyone, but for those that need to save the money and/or have the time, I think they can be done in a very minimal way so as not to consume hours of your precious time. 

First on the list, Ebates.  I love to shop online these days.  Pretty much anyway that I can get great deals and not have to drag my two, soon to be three, children around a store is GREAT with me!  I shop the off season sales to get awesome deals on stuff for the next season and I use as many online coupons as possible.  One of these ways is to use a website called Ebates.  All you do is sign up on the website and then use their link to navigate to the website from which you want to shop.  It's that simple!  Every few months they will send you a check for the money that you got back from your purchases.  If you're die-hard, and I'm not, you can even follow when places double their percentages and make even more money.  Last year, just by doing my regular shopping online I made over $50!  I'd say that's worth the extra click, wouldn't you?  If you want to sign up, just follow the link below and you'll get $5 when you make your first purchase through the site!

Swagbucks are another on the top of my list.  They are a search engine that rewards you with "swagbucks" or points for searching the internet.  You just use their search engine and then you can redeem your points for prizes, the best of which are gift cards to places like Target, Amazon, and Starbucks.  By the end of this year, I will have bought 1/2 of my boys Christmas presents with gift cards from Swagbucks!  If you want a referral or more info, just let me know!

Last, but certainly not least, is my love of coupons!  This is a topic that I could go on and on about, as could most avid couponers.  I won't bore you with all the details, but since I am a stay at home mom, I felt like it was something I needed to at least try and now I will never go back.  It took me a long time to find the perfect way for me to do it, and I think that is key.  For my friend, Danielle, it meant not using any coupons but just shopping the sales (which according to Southern Savers is an average of 60% of your savings).  For me, it means checking the adds for the 3 stores nearest me, deciding which list is the best (sometimes I do choose two stores), making my list, checking to be sure I'm buying things we need, being sure I'm under budget, and clipping my coupons.  This process takes me about an hour, but I usually save 50% or more, so it totally makes up for it.  I spend, on average, $45-$55 a week for our family of four.  That includes food, cleaning supplies, laundry stuff, hygiene products, and pretty much everything but diapers.  There are obviously a lot of other things that you have to figure out, like meal planning and how to decide what to buy, but for our family it works and works well.  Just let me know if you want the nitty gritty sometime. : )