Monday, August 25, 2008

oh you're tutu cute!

A few of MOFs (for my newer readers who aren't familiar with that acronym, click here) inspired me to decorate my girls with tutus. I was powerless to pass up this project! Is it wierd that I want to make one for myself?

Friday, August 22, 2008

props to ya, Sista Savings

Is "props" even a cool word to say anymore? I don't even know!

There is this awesome lady that I don't even know, but she's a Super Hero of sorts in my house. Sister Savings is her name, saving money's her game! She goes through the local grocery ads weekly and posts on her site an easy-to-print spreadsheet of it all. She does this completely as a service to those of us looking to save our families a little money on the grocery bill.

I have a Walmart, Safeway, and Fry's in my area. Walmart entices me to shop there by "ad matching." They will give me the ad price from any other store in the area. Do you know how much time and money this is saving me? Walmart is within walking distance from my house (I still drive...I do live in hell Arizona, you know) while the other stores are across town (insert chuckle here if you know that across town for me isn't that far). I only have to go to one store if I go to Walmart. As much as I loathe the big box company that is Wally World, I still shop there because it saves me money in the long run. Shame on them. Forgive me locally owned and small grocery stores of America, when I'm rich (and famous) I'll shop from you.

Last week I clutched my trusty Sister Savings spreadsheet and grocery list in hand and set out to conquer the grocery shopping (Conquer is an appropriate word if you grocery shop at Walmart on a Saturday.) You wanna know how much I saved?

$23.82! I could buy a pair of shoes for that---and ones from like, Target even and not Payless! Instead of paying $4.26 a pound for ground beef at Walmart, I used the advertised price of $1.97 from another store. Check me out, doing all this saving!

*Disclaimer, I didn't say this was easy. Sometimes you come across the Walmart employee who doesn't know what she's talking about (I know, I was shocked too) and you have to stand firm and be a little bit pushy to get your price. Last week, Safeway had canteloupes "10 for $10" which is $1 for a canteloupe. The lady tried to tell me that I had to buy 10 canteloupes in order to get that price. Who buys 10 canteloupes at once!? I had to slowly and calmly explain it to her and eventually speak to a CSM (the red vested ones) who confirmed that I, the customer, was correct. Duh. I got my $1 canteloupe, dang it, and saved $.98 doing it.

Oooh Grapes are $0.77/lb again this week. Sweet.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


My latest creation (the clothes, not the kid...although I did create her too...just not lately):

Thursday, August 14, 2008

back to school

Hey--What's that sound? It's almost deafening. Can't you hear it? Oh wait. That's SILENCE! The only sound I hear is the click-click-click of my keyboard as I type. Taylor is at school, Sidney is at preschool, and Stella is taking a nap. A mom could get used to this!

Little Boy was so excited about his first day of First Grade. I couldn't get the boy to keep still and act somewhat normal for a picture. This is what you get when you combine excitement and picture taking from Taylor:

My Little Boy is getting to be quite the Big Boy. He's making so many decisions and choices for himself now and letting go of that control has been hard on this Gardener! At age six, longer hair and sketcher's shoes are must-haves on his list.

Little Sister was so excited to be going to school too. She's sporting a custom number made by mom (I'm shameless!). She needed to wear her purple ring to the first day so the other kids would know she's cute. We couldn't resist this cute pink and green panda backpack to make the look complete.

Back to school, back to mom's sanity. Sweet!

Monday, August 11, 2008

camping in the rain

It's the end of summer vacation and we decided to go on one more adventure before getting back to the grind. The beauty of where we live in Arizona is that a one hour drive lets us leave the Saguaros behind and breathe in the fresh scent of pine.

The forecast called for a 60% chance of rain, but we decided to take our chances. Upon arriving at the campground it rained. We sat in the van and entertained ourselves the best way we knew how---by taking pictures. Even Little Boy joined in the fun!

It didn't take long for the rain to clear and we set up camp. Steve needed to run to town for a couple things, so I thought I'd take the kids on a little hike down to the lake. And it rained. The lake was beautiful and I even still say it was fun despite the hike back with Little Sister on my back while holding Susie on my front.

Luckily Coleman makes one mean water-proof tent because it was our shelter while it rained again. The weather cleared long enough for us to play catch, roast hotdogs and marshmallows, and snap a few more pictures. It started to rain again just before we turned in for the night, providing the best white noise to get our three tired spuds to sleep without event.

And a special announcement! After 18 months in Arizona, we have finally seen our first scorpion. It was a tiny little sucker hanging out on the wall in the men's bathroom. Of course, I had to be in charge of bathroom duty from then on since the kids refused to step foot in the men's. We all escaped without injury. In fact, everyone escaped without a single bug bite, scratch, or bump. Except me. I'm covered in itchy red bites all over my arms and legs. Oh the things we are willing to suffer for our children!

Today we are back to it. Taylor is enjoying (I hope!) his first day of first grade, Steve is back at work (probably enjoying the peace and quiet) and Sidney starts preschool tomorrow. More fun pics to come about that!