Friday, April 24, 2009

Quiet weekends.

You know, the sun is here. My little K- and I are taking on some mommy and me projects throughout the summer. That calls for me to drop from the blog a bit. I'm officially canceling my weekend blogging, though I may be spotty throughout the week as well. My baby (yes, she is 5, but she is still and will ALWAYS be my baby) is growing up. I want to drink our time together in, before the public school system gets a hold of her for 13 years.

So, what is our project for right now? We're working on what one of the Kindergarten teachers suggested-- we're making an Environmental Language book. What's environmental language? It's street signs, building signage and other things that you don't necessarily think of as readable things, but they are. The teacher talked about how you may think that your child can't read, but take them past McDonald's.

K- and I took a walk on Thursday afternoon in search for signs. It was beautiful and blue. We ended up walking about 2 miles and found everything from the blimp overhead (of course-- a floating sign!) to street name signs and utility case warnings. We even took the photo of a lawn tag left from one of the poison-the-dandelions companies. Here soon, we'll be going to Amish Country and plan on looking for signage down there.

Cute parent with cute kid and critter on a leash-- KEEP OFF THE LAWN, please.

This was the sign that I called and had the city place. We had a nasty hail storm that resulted in storm chasing companies flooding our streets. A big problem was that they were racing up and down our one block, dead end street. Not cool. But! The city came out straight away and put the sign up. I don't think I've ever seen them do something so fast. I was impressed.

Isn't the guy with the hard hat and phone so cute? Anywhere. Anytime.

Sold and For Sale all on the same sign!

WATER! A good thing to know. It took 5 gentleman from the automatic meter reader company to find our water shut off valve on the tree lawn. Goodness. They had the road blocked because they couldn't actually come together. They each had their own company car. Yikes.

We'll be having Mommy School out on the lawn quite a bit this summer. Oh, don't think that I'm not going to let her play! We'll play and learn and spend lots of time together. Girlfriend is positively aching to get the hammock out, so I believe that we'll use that as a camp out and learn place, too.

See all of you on Monday! Have a great weekend!

Continued prayer request: Brien seems to be responding to treatment and they are hoping that he will be able to go home soon. The clot in the lung is from the clot in Brien's leg. It's good news that it isn't a new clot. Still, we need to continue to give many prayers as a pulmonary embolism is not a condition to take lightly. Continue lifting this family in prayer and giving praise for the positive steps forward that Brien has been able to achieve. Our God is indeed and awesome God!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Foot Post

I love warm weather kid toes! I mean really, they tell us where kids have been and sometimes where they are going.
Here are K-'s skinny feet. She's wearing the neighbor's chalk stampers. (They were both doing it.) K- had tripped while running with her new Croc's on and I think that one of the Jibbitz bit her foot. No worries! The dirty tootsin's will be just fine.
These are my the feet of my niece, C-. When I was taking a picture of my sister, I turned around and saw these country kid feet staring back at me. I didn't even notice the moss growing on the downed tree until I pulled the photos from the camera. How country-kid cool!
These are Posie's Toesies! "What about my feet, Aunt Amy?!" Yes, I'll take her dirty kid toesies, too!

I just find summer kid toes to be just too much fun! How many feet can you meet?

Prayer request: Please continue to keep Brien in your prayers as he is in the hospital for an (at least at the moment) undetermined period of time to treat his pulmonary embolism. Please keep Rachael, his wife, in your prayers as she runs back and forth to Brien, her daughter, their home and her work, leans on the help of friends and the prayers of all in anticipation of her well husband returning home to her soon. For more updated information, please visit Life with Hannah and Lily.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday: Double Coupon Week at Kmart!

Typically, I really dislike Kmart, but it is double coupon week-- that's coupons up to and including $2.00! After our Monday thrift store date, Hubs and K- decided that they were going to the coupon extravaganza with me.

They knew not what they signed up for.

I was a mama who started with a basket, but had to graduate to an abandon cart. There was a customer that was working with me and giving updates as she got to the end caps. She was so funny!

So, what did I get?

Let me kind of remember.

Right Guard deodorant (for my brother) -- 50 cents
Dove Deodorant -- 50 cents
2 x Old Spice Deodorant -- $1.20 each
Oust Air freshener -- FREE!
Crest toothpaste (giant tube) -- $1.20
2 x Knorr's Pasta Sides -- 55 cents each
Scrubbing Bubbles Toilet Cleaner -- $1.50
Simple Steps Paper Towels (3 ct) -- $1.50 (I found that I don't like recycled paper towels. Ick.)
Kleenex 3 bundle 200 ct -- $1.33 each (It's allergy season, people.)
3 bundles of Ziploc reusable containers -- $1.00 each
Ziploc freezer bags (20 % bonus box) -- $1.20
2 x Suave Hairspray (large bottle) -- $1.10 each
Band Aid brand band aids (30 ct box) -- 79 cents

Now, I did notice that their signage was everywhere, kind of making it difficult to know what was and was not on sale. However, if you are shopping fed and not bleary-eyed, I find that you pay better attention. Thankfully, they had operational aisle scanners to check. I had to run back and forth a few times to trade my pickin's in. There was only one item-- the Fantastic cleaner -- that they were out of. I'm good with that.

So, how much did I save? Well, their bill doesn't come out showing everything, but coupon-wise my starting sale total was $48.50. My after coupon total was $23.50. And again, everything I purchased was on sale except for the Band Aids.

I do hit double coupons at Giant Eagle, too. I did this past week and did pretty well! I even scored a free reusable shopping bag, since I purchased 2 of their on sale organic products. (The Cascadian Farms Granola was wonderful and only $1.79 for the box!) I got a Kashi frozen entree for $1.00! It is a tasty frozen meal that I'll have for lunch one day at work. I've also managed to earn 30 cents in Fuel Perks.

Hey, it works for me! :)

Edited to add: Free recycled aluminum foil today only at Reynold's.

URGENT PRAYER REQUEST: Rachael over at Hannah and Lily just found out that her husband, Brien, was just diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism. This is a serious condition. Please keep Rach, Brien and Lily in your prayers as Brien has yet another stay in the hospital for the clotting problem that he had earlier on in the month. Please lift them up in prayers throughout the day.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tales from the Trenches: It has all blown over.

My bosses love me again. Remember last week when I was talking about the chewing out episode? Well, I'm going to chalk that up to my boss getting overwhelmed by the whole show that we had set on Saturday and being a little irritated at me. It's all good, though. I had e-mailed her, thanking her for talking with me about it. I'd rather have a boss tell me that they were a little irritated, then a boss to sit and stew. I explained a little further what my point was with the "shy away from Chinese made product" for a while. I also told her that I only wanted the best for her and her artist husband. I certainly didn't mean to offend. She thanked me for the e-mail and we're all good with everything.

I'm happy.

Then I did something extra nice for my bosses. I caught a $250.00 tagging error before I sold the item and was able to handle it and not take the loss. A special order gold ring was miss marked at $251.00 when it was supposed to be tagged at $501.00. When I compared paperwork and the deposit paid, the prices didn't just differ by a few dollars-- they differed wildly, which sent me on the double check goose chase. Sure enough, I was right. The customer was so kind, that he would have probably mentioned the difference if I hadn't caught it.

See? Having an anal retentive Virgo on staff is a good thing!

My one boss had a commission meeting today with some local hospital staff and we were having difficulty tracking him down. His vehicle was there, but neither one of his phones were reaching him. I knocked and knocked on the studio door. I rang the doorbell. I had nothing. In the meantime, I had these folks with an appointment patiently waiting. His wife told me that he was in another building, so I went to go track him down there. She was yelling that I would get soak and wet as I trotted off to track him down.

Heavens me. I couldn't get the darned dog gate open. I was actually talking to the gate and I heard my bosses voice. I yelled to him, "Thank God, --! I've been looking for you!" "Well! Why didn't you call me?!" "Your cell is shut off." "No it's not!" (He opened his pocket, took his cell out, found it shut off and felt horrible.) So there I was left, standing in the pouring down rain trying to convince my boss that not only did he have his cell shut off, but that he had an important meeting with the hospital people about a commission. I made my way back to the store, rounded up the commission folks, trotted them back across the street and directly to my boss. When I was able to finally return to the store, I was very damp and my curly hair had gone into a frizzy frenzy.


As I was walking to my car, my boss stopped me to thank me for tracking him down and getting the folks to where they needed to go. Extremely apologetic about the whole thing, it was very nice to get kind words. My boss is a nice guy, but a little light on the ataboys.

Another nice work thing today was finding out that our cash box that was $20.00 off on Wednesday really wasn't off after all. Somehow, our Tuesday box was $20.00 over and then there ended up being some mysterious shortage. It all evened out and they were just fine with it. It truly is a mystery. The two of us on staff have been there for a combined dear sweet forever, so they knew that the shortage was an incredibly weird and rare thing. Again, another nice thing about working in a Mom and Pop. Anywhere else, we would have been written up for that.

Have I ever mentioned how much I love working for a Mom and Pop? I do!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Gestationally Speaking: A Baby Party

This whole thing started out accidentally. You see, Saturday we got together to have some pictures taken as a Mother's Day gift for my 91 year old grandmother. The woman taking the photos, lovely but not a professional, did the best that she could. However, I was really hoping that she could take some nice end of pregnancy pictures of my sister with her daughters. She did.

They didn't turn out so well.

My sister called on Saturday evening inquiring on the photo quality. I told her I wasn't happy with the end of pregnancy photos and since Hubs was working all day on Sunday, K- and I could come out after church for an Aunt Amy re-do. She was cool with that. You see, my sisters original want at the end of her pregnancy was to have a pregnancy mask of her stomach made. She wanted me to do it and as much as I love pregnant women and the children they spend 9ish months gestating, I admit that it is still too up close and personal to something that I never got to finish. Photos were hands off. I can do that.

After church, K- and I were off. After all, the girls had dropped this off for us a few weeks ago. How could we decline?

The girls wanted a baby party. They wanted to do something cool to celebrate the impending arrival of "Baby Pine Cone."

So, before the real pictures started, the Goodyear blimp was out again (as it will be probably daily from now through October-- it really does make its rounds as my sister lives 20 minutes away), so I made my sister run out and stand in the yard. Why? Because I wanted to take a photo called, "See! I'm not as big as the blimp!" She took it in good humor and said sure!

The girls were busy getting a ride on the trailer of their lawn tractor.

The photo I'm most happy with is this one. This captures my sister perfectly. Bless her surprised pregnant heart. I think that she'll be happy, too. While outside, I got lovely photos of her pregnant belly, her with her children, the kids hanging in the daffodil patch and on climbing on the downed tree. They had such a great time! My sister thought it would be fun for the kids to paint the outer shell of Baby Pine Cone's habitat. K- is off to the left in the swirly multi colored shirt. J- is the other noggin.
They were painting with some face paint that I had stowed away. The one in the pink Barbie hat? That would be my sister's oldest child, C-.
Even my sister's partner got in on the fun. He decided that he would paint in the left over spots after the kids had their fun.

Their master piece?
Voila! And that little brownish thing off to the bottom right? That would be a "Baby Pine Cone" with eyes and everything! Hey, you can only do so much with Q-Tips and face paint!

The kids had a good time. My sister was able to have a nice bonding time with the kids about "Baby Pine Cone" and K- got to get in on the action, too. I think that it was a successful baby party.

And yes, she realizes that I'm sharing these photos with the whole group of 5 of you that read the blog! :)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Lovin' on Clark's

Once upon a time, I had a trip to take to Boston. K- was 2 at the time, we were going to be shuttling in and out of airports, one of which was Logan. Now, Logan Airport is unfortunately famous for having been the take off point of the 9/11 hijackers and right before we left on our trip, they were busted for someone having come up the steps from the tarmac and right into the airport. So not good. So, I knew that they (the Logan Airport security people) would be finicky about security and the whole shoe thing. I also knew that taking shoes on and off at the airport with a fidgety 2 year old was going to be a little dicey. I decided to throw caution to the wind and buy a pair of flip flops. Prior to, I was not at all a flip flop wearer. Seriously, I thought of them not as footwear, but shower shoes.

Then I fell in love. I bought these:

I have so much love for these flip flops. They have a fabric thingy between your toes, a substantial sole and an arch! I've had mine now for 3 years, keep them mink oiled and they are as comfortable as the day I bought them. I'm always relieved when I see that they haven't discontinued them. In fact, I've thought that I should buy an extra pair and put them up. I'll be lost without my Clark's flip flops when they die one day. Oh, but don't think that is anytime soon! There are thousands of more miles left on my current flip flops.

I've had the itch to buy a pair of shoes lately. A couple of years ago, I purchased a pair of Skechers (black, but not patent leather like in the picture) and found them so darned uncomfortable that they've just sat in my closet. Work is a closed toe shoe work environment only. Apparently, someone dropped something on their foot once that required stitches. So, I wear a lot of Birkenstocks. Birks look good with pants, but they can look a little hunky-clunky with my little dresses.

So K- and I were out today with my long time best friend, April. We almost always take a trip to DSW to try on far too many shoes. We even try the ones on that we know we would never buy. Then I found these: I wear little summer dresses to work. These qualify as legal footwear, they are comfy and my guess would be comfy enough to stand in for 8 hours and they are cute! I bought them online, rather than in the store, because I knew that I had a $10.00 off $50.00 purchase e-mail from DSW and found that when I went to order, they also had free shipping on $29.00 and up. We've ordered Hubs' running shoes through several times and were very happy with their service.

Hooray for a kicky new pair of shoes! Hooray that I found something that I like and I actually bought them. I always feel bad about spending money on myself and since my ACL reconstruction, I can't wear cheapie shoes anymore. But! I can't wait for these to arrive! :) Eeeee!