Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Molly's Survey






Basics



1. What is your age and physical description? I will be 28 in a month and I have always had an athletic body. I am a little softer/thicker now thanks to my 2 wonderful kids but I am working hard to lose the last of the baby weight. I am 5'9".



2. Where were you born and where are you now? I was born in Lansing, MI. Both of my kids were born at the same hospital that I was. I haven't ventured too far.



3. What do you do for a living? I get to stay at home with my kids!



4. What is your favorite and least favorite color? I have always liked blue and have never been a pink person. (even though my daughter wears tons of it!)



5. Did you go to college and get a degree, If so, where & what? Yep, graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Resources.





6. How many children do you have? How old are they? I have 2, Austin Robert is 5 and Kalli Beth is 14 months.




7. What’s your favorite and least favorite food? Hmmm, I love greasy fried foods and I do not care for fish.




8. Are you right or left handed? Right




9. Do you play any instruments? Not so much.




10. What are your hobbies? Couponing, running and reading.




Make You Think...




11. What did you want to be when you grew up? A marine biologist (what kid didn't?)






12. What is your biggest fear? Losing one of my kids.




13. Who has touched your life and influenced you the most and why? Definitely my mom. She made me who I am today and if I can be 1/100th of the mom/person she is then I will be happy.




14. If you could accomplish just one thing with your life, what would that be and why? Raise a happy, loving righteous family in the gospel. Nothing could top that.




15. What is your worst habit and if you could quit it, would you?


Biting my nails. I have done it since I was a kid. I go through periods where I am really good and they grow nice and long. Then one scary movie wrecks the whole thing!




16. Who would play you in the movie of your life? Who would play your husband? I would have to say Tim McGraw for Bob because we have had no less than a half dozen people tell us they think he looks like him. They both are part Native American. (This picture doesn't show the comparison well, but its the only one I could find on my computer with him in his cowboy hat!) So naturally I would say Faith Hill for me. She would just need a few changes, like cutting her hair and perming it. Oh and gain a few 40 pounds probably!



17. What songs would make up the soundtrack of your life and why? This one has me stumped. (catch the pun??) Probably a song that talks about a rollercoaster, which is what my life has always been like!




18. If you could meet any one person in history, who would it be, and why?


Maybe my great great grandmother Anna Sofia. I have heard she was just a saint of a woman. I have always wanted to name a daughter of mine Anna Sofia after her, but since my last name is now Stump, I won't give my daughter the initials of a swear word!




19. If you lost everything you have tomorrow, what three things would you save and why? Pictures, journals (I honestly don't have many), and any important documents I can grab.




20. What is your favorite quote and why? Can't say I have one favorite, but I love most of Dwight Schrute's lines from The Office.




Just For Fun




21. Do you sleep with the closet door open or closed?Open- it leads to the bathroom.




22. What is your biggest pet peeve? When billboards or signs have misspelled words. Come on- take 2 seconds to proofread what you are putting up for thousands of people to see!




23. Where are the top three places you'd like to travel to? I am sure all of these have already been said, but Australia, Hawaii and Ireland.




24. Do you ever dance for no reason even though there’s no music playing? Yep.




25. What size is your bed? Unfortunately a queen, but a King is not far away!




26. What do you drink with dinner? Mostly water, but milk for certain meals.




27. What movies could you watch over and over and still love? Tommy Boy, Transformers, Pride and Prejudice (any version really), The Grinch (with Jim Carrey), Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Night at the Museum. (Random, I know.)




28. What was the first concert you went to? Something country for sure- we went to a lot of them as a kids.




29. What is on your perfect pizza? Probably pepperoni and green peppers.




30. What's the most exotic place you've traveled to? Cozumel, Mexico.




My sweetie pies!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Spotlight Member: March 30-April 5th

Can you believe its almost APRIL!?! Were is 2009 going? Its just speeding by for me... Our spotlight member for this last part of March/beginning of April is
MOLLY!

Molly, you can find the survey here... copy, paste and fill it out, include a picture of yourself and let us all get to know you better! :D

Saturday, March 28, 2009

April Conference Packets

I don't know about you girls, but I am SO excited for Conference next weekend. I need all the help and inspiration I can get.

I found an AWESOME conference packet for older kids and I also have a good one for younger kids that I can email to you. The one for younger kids is from Deseret Book, but I can't find the link anywhere, I just have a copy someone emailed to me. The one for older kids can be found here. Check it out and let me know what you think!

(If you want the Deseret Book one email me at officerswife33 {at} gmail {dot} com)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Stick Figure Family

Stick Figure Family at FreeFlashToys.com

Make your Stick Figure Family at FreeFlashToys.com


Wednesday Weekly

What is your favorite board game/party game?
What is your favorite sport to play?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Aubrey's Spotlight


(The picture is several months old, but I don't have any good recent pictures that aren't just belly shots!)

Basics

1.What is your age and physical description?
25, blue eyes, brown hair, 5'4" athletic build (usually, but not now that I'm 9 months pregnant!)

2. Where were you born and where are you now?
I was born in the UP (Upper Peninsula of Michigan) and after moving a lot I'm back in Michigan!

3. What do you do for a living?
Stay at home mom to my three and a half year old

4. What is your favorite and least favorite color?
Favorite-depends on my mood, but lately reds
Least Favorite-probably brown

5. Did you go to college and get a degree, If so, where & what?
I only took a few classes at the community college here, but I really want to go back and get a degree in music composition.

6. How many children do you have? How old are they?
I have a three and a half year old son and a daughter who will be here in about two weeks!

7. What’s your favorite and least favorite food?
Favorite-It totally depends on my mood. I love fruit, almost anything with cream cheese, or a really good pot roast!
Least Favorite-Where to start? Let's just say that I'm really, really picky.

8. Are you right or left handed?
Right-handed, but growing up I always wanted to be left-handed because it was different. Now I'm glad that I'm not because I think it would be a lot harder since most things are geared towards right-handed people.

9. Do you play any instruments?
I've played the flute since I was 11 and the bassoon since I was 14. I really wanted to start out on the trombone but my mom convinced me to do the flute instead. I've learned some (and forgotten most) piano but that's really what I need to pick back up.

10. What are your hobbies?
I like scrapbooking, reading, blogging, games, swimming, anything competitive (I love winning!), and I recently had to stop taking a hip-hop dance class because I was too far along in my pregnancy but that was a blast!

Make You Think...

11. What did you want to be when you grew up?
I always just wanted to be a mom because I didn't really know what else I could be. I love being a mom but I wish I'd had the chance to go to school before we started our family.

12. What is your biggest fear?
Probably the same thing as everyone else, something happening to my family.

13. Who has touched your life and influenced you the most and why?
Probably my mom. Because we did move so much when I was growing up she was always one of my best friends because she was always there. We still talk probably at least five times a week and can be on the phone for an hour without even realizing it!

14. If you could accomplish just one thing with your life, what would that be and why?
Making sure that my children have the opportunities to do the things they want while they're growing up so they can figure out what they want to do in life before they start taking on other responsibilities and don't have the time to devote to them.

15. What is your worst habit and if you could quit it, would you?
Not returning/making the phone calls that I need to. I don't know why, but I just don't like being on the phone that much (unless it's with a friend or my mom)!

16. Who would play you in the movie of your life? Who would play your husband?
Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman - for no other reason than I really like them both (and Hugh Jackman is mighty fine!)

17. What songs would make up the soundtrack of your life and why?
There would be so many songs because I've gone through so many different things and different genres of music. There'd be oldies, country, rap (what can I say, my best friend and I thought we were gangsta's in high school!), classical, hymns and other church music, hip-hop, musicals...tons of different stuff!

18. If you could meet any one person in history, who would it be, and why?
Hmm, I'm not really sure about this one. I think it would be kind of cool to go back and meet my grandpa or my mom when they were younger. I just don't really know of anyone else that I would want to meet.

19. If you lost everything you have tomorrow, what three things would you save and why?
Aside from the obvious things, I would save all of our pictures, our washer and dryer (only because we just bought them last week and I've gone six and a half years without any and I'm never doing that again!), and our cats....annoying as they can be.

20. What is your favorite quote and why?
"Don't bother me now, I'm thinking." Ralphie, A Christmas Story

Just For Fun

21. Do you sleep with the closet door open or closed?
I prefer it closed, but our room somehow ends up being a dumping ground so it's usually opened.

22. What is your biggest pet peeve?
I have several, but I hate it when animals stare at me while I'm eating!

23. Where are the top three places you'd like to travel to?
Australia, Ireland, and Australia! :)

24. Do you ever dance for no reason even though there’s no music playing?
Sometimes, but my son is really picky and usually tells me to stop singing and dancing when I start. I can't possibly be that bad!

25. What size is your bed?
California queen, my husband's a tall guy.

26. What do you drink with dinner?
Water and lots of it!

27. What movies could you watch over and over and still love?
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, A Christmas Story, The Notebook

28. What was the first concert you went to?
Backstreet Boys, and the tickets were free! It was awesome!

29. What is on your perfect pizza?
Right now, bacon and pineapple.

30. What's the most exotic place you've traveled to?
My dad was in the Air Force growing up so we lived in Germany for a few years. I know we travelled to several different countries over there but I was so young that I don't remember them.

Great deal today only!!

Ok- so I found this on one of the money saving blogs I frequent. I just bought 2 Bolt DVD's for a grand total of $10.32 shipped to my door. If anyone has little ones that want this movie- you can't get one DVD for this price! Here is how you do it:

Go to Toysrus.com and find the Bolt DVD for 17.99. Add it to your cart. When you are in your shopping cart you will notice that a Hannah Montana bonus DVD is added to your cart for free. Click to remove this item from your cart (It really increases shipping.) Then once it is removed change the quantity of the Bolt DVD to 2 and hit update cart. Then your total should come to approximately 15 something plus shipping. Then in the promotional code type Twitterdeal24 (remember to capitalize the T) and hit apply. Then your total should be around 10 something total! The deal ends today.

I read on one post that someone thought it might get cancelled, but if it does oh well. But if not, this is one sweet deal!!

Hot Topics #4


Have you heard the uproar about the newly introduced "Dora the Explorer" tweenage character? What do you think? Is she too "sexy"? The marketing department for Mattel and Nickelodeon has already assured everyone that the top is a tunic and not a short dress, and they also claim that she's not wearing makeup even though her lips are lusciously pink. She's certainly got a cute figure and her hair is fabulous. Would you buy a doll for your kids?

Spotlight Member

Sorry girls! My brain is fried and I totally forgot to post our Spotlight Member for this week, so without further delay...

Aubreydoll, come on down!

Go here to find the survey, copy, paste into a new post and fill it out! If you are able, we would love for you to post a recent picture of yourself as well!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Polling all moms of little boys...

I need to buy a birthday gift for a little boy turning 4. It's someone from Church and I really don't know what he is into! I can't spend a lot either, I'm trying to be careful with money. I was wondering if any of you have any ideas for things boys are generally excited about at that age!

Friday, March 20, 2009

I Love Phosphates!

So my husband and I are really trying to live "greener." We recycle at least three times as much as we trash. I use reusable bags when I go shopping. I've stopped bleaching our whites. I hardly put anything down the garbage disposal anymore. My husband even made me buy a bag of kitty litter (we have no pets) just to pour expired cough medicine into so it wouldn't get into the water supply.

But I just can't give up my phosphate-laden dishwasher detergent! I tried Palmolive Eco gel, but it left a white film on our black plastic spoons and spatulas. Then I tried Seventh Generation powder, but that was WAYYYYY worse, leaving powder on everything to the point that I honestly think the dishes were cleaner without the soap (yes, I'm a scrubber). I was finally tempted beyond measure when I saw those oh-so-easy-to-use gel packs on sale, AND I had a coupon, and I have blissfully enjoyed two days of actually clean dishes! But I do feel a tad bit guilty. So my question is, has anyone found a phosphate-free dishwasher detergent that works?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Katie's Survey

Basics

1. What is your age and physical description?
25 - 5'6" with Brown hair and eyes


2. Where were you born and where are you now?
Lansing, MI and Howell, MI


3. What do you do for a living?
Take care of my two wonderful daughters



4. What is your favorite and least favorite color?
Deep Red and Lime Green


5. Did you go to college and get a degree, If so, where & what?
Yes, Michigan State University - Parks, Recreation and Tourism Resources


6. How many children do you have? How old are they?
2 Girls - 2.5 and 10 months


7. What’s your favorite and least favorite food?
Mexican and Sausage


8. Are you right or left handed?
Right


9. Do you play any instruments?
Just my daughters' toy ones


10. What are your hobbies?
Any sports, running, cooking, sewing, couponing, and just playing with my family


Make You Think...
11. What did you want to be when you grew up?
An architect



12. What is your biggest fear?
That there will never be a cure for Cystic Fibrosis


13. Who has touched your life and influenced you the most and why?
My mom, of course. The older I get the more I want to be like her. She is the most unselfish, helpful, loving person I know. She has taught me that there really is nothing more important than playing with and supporting your children. Throughout high school she never missed a single game or scrimmage of her children - three children each playing three sports. Seriously - not one!


14. If you could accomplish just one thing with your life, what would that be and why?
Keep my children healthy and happy, and to someday take them to the Temple.



15. What is your worst habit and if you could quit it, would you?
I don't know if it's my worst, but probably driving a little too fast. Not normally more than 5-7 over, but I know it's still bad. If I get a ticket I am sure I will quit it.


16. Who would play you in the movie of your life? Who would play your husband?
I normally think of Sandra Bullock because we are both brunettes, sort-of athletic-ish bodies and normally a tad clumsy. But I think Linz already took her, so maybe Alexis Bledel because she normally speaks her mind in Gilmore Girls. My husband could be played by a thin Chandler because they are super hilarious or John Cusack.



17. What songs would make up the soundtrack of your life and why?
Ummmm... no idea. I don't listen to a lot of music that isn't children's stuff. Maybe Ben Folds or Sondre Lerche's music. Why? Because I like their music and... yeah, thats why.



18. If you could meet any one person in history, who would it be, and why?
Abraham Lincoln has always fascinated me.


19. If you lost everything you have tomorrow, what three things would you save and why?
Reagan's meds, to keep her functioning properly.
Kennedy's binky and Reagan's blankie... Happy kids = Happy parents.




20. What is your favorite quote and why?
It changes frequently. Today it is probably my husband's phrase "When I nappy, I am happy!" (referring to the kids napping, not me)


Just For Fun
21. Do you sleep with the closet door open or closed?
Normally open, though I prefer closed.



22. What is your biggest pet peeve?
When people come up to your babies and immediately touch their hands. I am a super germ-a-phobe now, and it bothers me that people touch their hands when babies are always sticking them in their mouths! I'm really not a big fan of shaking hands at church, even though that is the norm. That is one of the biggest ways of spreading germs.


23. Where are the top three places you'd like to travel to?
Norway, Thailand and Lake Michigan. It's nice to know I get to travel to one of my top three places in the near future. :)


24. Do you ever dance for no reason even though there’s no music playing?
When I get really excited.


25. What size is your bed?
Queen.


26. What do you drink with dinner?
Normally water or milk.


27. What movies could you watch over and over and still love?
13 going on 30, Dan in Real Life, Sweet Home Alabama. Do television series on DVD count? I have watched all seven Gilmore Girls seasons at least four times. Also, The Office we have watched twice so far.


28. What was the first concert you went to?
Garth Brooks, I think, when he was first getting big. Or maybe it was a Kitty Donohoe concert.


29. What is on your perfect pizza?
Barbeque chicken from Jets.


30. What's the most exotic place you've traveled to?
Umm... I loved Victoria, British Columbia. Or the Outer Banks, NC.

Fabric

The craft stores in my part of Nebraska have really slim pickings for fabric. Has anyone ever bought fabric online?

Hair Treatment

I have really long hair. Most days it's very staticy (sp?) and I rarely use a hair dryer, I just let it air dry. I'm trying to find a new shampoo/conditioner that will really moisturize it. Does anyone else have a problem with staticy hair? Is it because my hair is so long that it's staticy? Maybe it's just the area I live in? Maybe I need to have it trimmed, cutting off some of the split ends? I even bought spray in conditioner but that hasn't helped. I used a hot oil treatment back in high school but I don't remember if it helped or not.

Wednesday Weekly

What is your favorite flavor of salad dressing?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Spotlight Member: March 16- 22

Sorry I missed last week's Spotlight Member! Life has been a little hectic and I even forgot to eat dinner one night last week. Yup, just forgot!! Anyway...


This week's spotlight member is

Katie Brooks!

Katie, you will find the spotlight survey here. Copy & paste it into a new post. Fill it out with your answers and if you wouldn't mind, include a recent picture of yourself so we can all connect your face and name! We're excited to get to know more about you!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

How to Make a Twirly Skirt

I'm not an expert at much. I shared some of my interests and knowledge in our last "expert" series.  But I do love to sew!!  I have had so much fun making little skirts for my girls.  I was going to be all technical and talented and make a tutorial for you...
...but why do that when it already exists! I did not make this adorable skirt.  I wish I had and I probably will make a copycat-maybe even today!  But I have made a bunch just like them and they are so super easy and turn out so cute!

So.... if you have a little girl who knows she's a princess, sew away!  and let us know how it turns out!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Why LDS Temples?



I thought this was fantastic and worth sharing:

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Creative toddler parties on a budget

I have really only hosted two toddler parties, but I have found that I really love putting them on. I like the challenge of creating a fun party while not spending very much money. I’m not an expert, but this is a new interest of mine.

There are many great ways to put on a party. This is how I like to go about planning a party:

1. If possible, give yourself a month or two to start your brain churning about your upcoming party whether it’s for a birthday, another holiday, or just for fun. This will give you plenty of time to brainstorm ideas for games, food, etc. It’s also nice to have lots of time so that any work you might put into it is not put off until the night before. Another benefit of thinking ahead is that you if you see like a really inexpensive party favor or something else that is perfectly fitting for your party for super cheap, and you are still weeks away from party time, you can snatch it up. You’ve found a bargain, and you’ve taken one thing off your to-do list for the party.

2. My favorite part is to CHOOSE A THEME and run with it. Like I said, I’ve only done two toddler parties. My first was my 2 year olds’ “My Favorite Things” party. Every detail of the party revolved around one of her favorite things. As a result, she had a blast. Her friends did too. Party #2 was a Valentine’s party; The theme is pretty obvious there. Choosing a theme gives you the opportunity to start your creative juices flowing. The best way to choose is to think about the birthday boy/girl; What does he/she love? For a specific holiday like Halloween, Christmas, etc. , the theme is already there for you, now you just have to consider the ages of the kids attending: What would they love to do? On party day, there is nothing like seeing a bunch of happy and excited kids who are thoroughly enjoying themselves because you have thought about what would be most fun for THEM. If you are having a hard time thinking of a theme, check out parent-type magazines or consider this list: space, safari, camping, princess, ocean, bugs, trains, pajamas, water fun, cars, backwards, farm, luau.

3. I think a big money-saver for parties is to have it at your home. If you want to do a lot of kind of contained activities where it’s easy to rein kids in and introduce each game/activity, your home is the best place to do it. Public parks are great places for parties too, but unless you have a megaphone, it is a little more challenging to do planned activities. I usually don’t go for that simply because we go to parks with friends for random play on a regular basis so that wouldn’t necessarily be a special thing. I had birthday parties at home even when I was an older child and I always had fun. It is so much cheaper than taking everyone to the movies or to some kind of party place. Plus it’s more personable and people get to know you better when they are in your home.

4. How can you avoid overspending on food? The best tip for this is to plan a party not around a meal time and just serve fun snacks. I’ve done lunch and it’s fun but it’s definitely extra work. To keep it inexpensive, I made everything myself, and party eve or morning of the party, that can be a bit stressful. If you want to keep it simple and stress-free, choose some items you can prepare before the day of the party. My favorite is when people serve healthy snacks along with the treats. My most recent discovery is fruit and cheese kabobs.
Check out all of these healthy green snacks at a party: http://www.designmom.com/2009/02/kite-flying-party-or-green-puppet.html (last picture on this post)
Be aware of allergies. For instance, I avoid peanut butter all together just in case. An allergic reaction could put a damper on your party. Serve drinks that will help you to avoid any chance of a stain on your carpet. Try to keep it simple: pick a few fun things, some of which may go along with your theme, and that’s it.

5. Party Favors. I keep it really simple here. Prizes/treats are often inherent in the party activities. My daughter’s birthday party was right around the start of the school year when school supplies are so inexpensive so as her friends left, they got a new box of crayons. I think they were like 19 cents a box. I think a single item is enough, but that’s just me. If you decide to give a whole bag of gifts, consider white paper lunch bags to hold the little treasures. Your child could decorate one for each friend in the weeks leading up to the party. Here are some ideas for a one-item-party favor: an inexpensive plastic flashlight (could be really fun for a camping or space theme) with batteries included, a pinwheel, homemade Play-doh or homemade Gak, an item from the dollar store or Target $1 spot that goes with your theme, bubbles. Any other ideas?

6. Games/activities. I like a balance of games that require a parent to lead and are active as well as activities that don’t require so much energy from the host/hostess. For example, some dancing games led by you, balanced with cookie decorating or a craft where parents might help out and kids can pick and choose what they want to do. I like to have both so that I can sit back and enjoy for some of it. I tend to play classic games but add music or props that fit in with the theme. Classic party games include Musical Chairs, Freeze Dance, Pin the Tail on the Donkey, Fishing, Relays, Cookie decorating, crafts, face painting, make your own party hat, hot potato. What am I missing? Like I said, with music or props, these can be re-vamped for your theme and be super fun. Get those creative juices flowing! It’s so rewarding!

You can also search for pre-school games for your theme on the Internet. There were a lot of sites for me to check out for a Valentine’s party.

Avoid a craft that has potential for a huge mess or stain. Be wary of paint, sand, etc.

7. Setting the mood. I like to put a welcome sign on the door. It sets the tone right as guests come in. Your children can help decorate it. It is fun to create a themed-playlist for use during hang out time as well as games. For instance, if you had a space them, some songs might be: “Fly me to the Moon”, “It’s only a Paper Moon”, “Would you like to Swing on a star”, “Satellite”, etc. Put some keywords into iTunes and see what you can find.

8. Invitations. This can be free by e-mail. A friend of mine used evite. It was a cute little virtual invitation where you could easily send in an RSVP. It showed me who else had RSVP-ed as well. Then a few days before the party we got a reminder for the party over e-mail. Might be worth checking out! If you want to mail, you can always make invitations using supplies you already have at your house. I’m not good at making cards, but a lot of you are!

9. Decorations: keep it simple! Don’t spend a lot of money here! Again, how can you take classic/simple party d├ęcor, and spice it up in your theme.

10. ONE OTHER TIP! Try to have your spouse and/or family member and/or good friend there to help, or at least to be there to document the event via cameras. You will have a better time if you have an extra set of hands to help bring out food, or to do face painting or something. Don’t rely on a friend who is bringing their two active kids to the party! You want someone who doesn’t have to worry about their child running into your bedroom or tackling a friend. It’s also nice to have someone who can run out and get something for you at the last minute if needed.

11. Last tip: Don’t forget that this is for the kids. Make your plans based on what they would like!! It’s so fun to see them having fun. And it’s very rewarding to get creative.
I’m also a fan of parties that require little work or organization and they are also super fun, but for these special occasions, it can be fun to add some pizzazz.

Wednesday Weekly

Are you Irish?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Friends Who Are No Longer Members

Ok so I don't usually feel like I need support when it comes to friend issues but this also has to do with the church. One of my old friends and leader from when I was a young woman is now inactive from the church. She invited me to be her friend on facebook and I accepted. It's always fun to catch up with old friends.Well she is completely antimormon now and continously posting antimormon articles and stories in her notes and such. It really makes me feel sad and my heart literally hurts. Today she became a fan of Big Love and then made some remarks about this sunday being a great show which really just got to me. I thought at first that I should continue being her friend to be an example to her. But now I am wondering if I should delete her as a friend. What are your thoughts? Should I try and be an example or should I just not expose myself to the things she is saying and doing? Also can you tell if someone deletes you as a friend on facebook? Thanks for the help in advance. I am just really sad about this tonight.

Blog Giveaway!!!!!

My cousin who has been living in Brazil for the last several years is doing a really cool giveaway on her blog. She is giving away a BEST OF BRAZIL package so, head on over there and leave a comment. I do not think that you will be disappointed :)

ps. I have included a couple of links so that it is that much easier!!!!!! Enjoy, her blog is usually quite fascinating.

Monday, March 9, 2009

"The Publicity Dilemma"

Well, by now, I am sure everyone knows what is airing Sunday night. I am not exactly sure how search engines and blogs work, but I do not want to add another hit to a search engine, so I am trying to avoid using too many words that would link my post to someone's search. If you aren't aware of what is happening, find page forty eight of the TV guide and take a look... an ex-member was hired to help 'recreate' ordinances down to the smallest detail, which is what will be aired Sunday. My mom (who is NOT computer savvy whatsoever) went to the store and looked in the TV guide, contrary to some voices on facebook, etc., this is not a hoax.

I at first was very sickened by what was happening. I'm embarassed to say that I came home from school because of how much this affected me. But, I found this article:

http://newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/commentary/the-publicity-dilemma

Please go and read it! It brought me instant peace. I am so grateful we are led by a prophet who is not oblivious to all that is happening in the world.

If I may make a suggestion for those who care to do something. It is clear that the church is not discouraging us from taking some sort of action, but we need to do it peacefully and quietly. The more attention we draw to the show, the higher the ratings are going to be on Sunday. However, I do believe we need to let the companies responsible know we are disappointed in their lack of respect for religious groups. They will never be able to say that they aired the show without some voice of opposition, but I think we need to address it and move on. I am thoroughly convinced that the Lord could stop this episode from airing if He deemed it needful, but if He doesn't, we just pray for the best.

FHE activity?

Click here each Monday to get a code for a free Monday night Redbox movie. I guess in March they are doing free Wednesdays too.

Scrub, scrub, scrub

Anyone have wood laminate flooring? What is the best way to clean it? I vacuum and/or sweep mine but how should I clean it when it needs more than that? I have it in the kitchen and in our living room.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Food Storage Questions

I'm feeling a little bit anxious these days about my food storage. I have a small amount stored, but I'm feeling like I need to get a lot more stored and quickly. When we get back from Utah I plan to do a large shopping trip and try to get us to about 3 months worth of food stored. The thing is, I'm not quite sure how much I need to store in order to have 3 months worth of food.

How do you girls figure out how much you need? Especially with things like toilet paper and toothpaste? Do you have menus planned and buy food that way, or do you just buy lots of canned fruits and veggies and pounds and pounds of rice?? Any tips you have for getting my food storage rolling would be greatly appreciated. I feel so overwhelmed when it comes to getting a good supply of food, but I know its important. So please, HELP!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

FHE Friday

(FHE Friday = new FHE idea the first Friday of every month
Try to ignore the fact that this was posted on Saturday)

Teach a simple lesson about the Sabbath day to your toddlers. Show a weekly calendar with pictures or symbols that show what you do on certain days. Maybe Monday you always go to the grocery store or Wednesday you always go to library storytime, etc. Talk about what you do each day of the week. In the Sunday box, show a picture of church and add on other symbols of other things that we do on Sundays to keep the Sabbath Day holy.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Mormon Girl Swallows Engagement Ring!

Have you guys heard about this?  I saw it on my friend's blog and just watched them on Ellen.  They are so cute and so LDS! It was fun and what a great, if yucky, memory to have!

Hot Topic #3

For those of us who have daughters, and to those who don't...what are your feelings about young girls wearing sleeveless clothing? In the church, we are taught to instill the value of modesty in our children, specifically our daughters. We’re admonished to start when they’re very young.

For the Strength of Youth Pamphlet states: "Immodest clothing includes short shorts and skirts, tight clothing, shirts that do not cover the stomach, and other revealing attire. Young women should wear clothing that covers the shoulder and avoid clothing that is low-cut in the front or the back or revealing in any other manner?”

None of us have teenagers yet. Have you thought about how you are going to broach the subject?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Wednesday Weekly

What extra-curricular activities did you do in high school?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Coupons 101

I definitely do not consider myself an expert in this field, but I am doing my research and working hard to achieve such a title. I got started couponing when my daughter was first born and I needed to buy some formula just to have in case my husband was watching her and she needed to eat. I hated spending 20+ dollars for a small can of formula. My cousin first gave me a formula check for $11 dollars off a can, and it just opened my eyes! I couldn’t believe such awesome savings really existed! So that started me with coupons and initially I mostly did coupons for diapers and other baby items. Just recently my sister-in-law converted me to couponing for food and household items as well.

I am sure there are some of you more knowledgeable in this area than me( so feel free to add to what I am posting), but for those of you beginners I will share what I know.

To get started- Where do I find coupons?

The best place for coupons is the Sunday newspaper inserts. I do not subscribe to the paper, but there is a machine outside our building that has them for $1 and every Sunday I grab one or two depending on how many quarters I have! You can also have neighbors, co-workers or relatives who subscribe save the inserts for you if they don’t use them. A lady in my sister-in-law’s ward actually rides her bike through neighborhoods on recycling day and goes through all the recycled newspapers people have set out to get more inserts. She is die hard!

Also, I get coupons online from sites such as coupons.com and smartsource.com. I have found some great coupons on these sites, but unfortunately most only let you print 2 of each coupon per computer. Also, really good coupons only last on these sites for a few days so check them often!

Subscribing to mailing lists for Huggies, Johnsons, Pampers, etc. They send out mailings with baby coupons every couple months.

Blinkie machines at grocery stores is another place to find coupons.

I actually find good coupons at my doctor’s office. They always have a box by the check-out with coupons like $2 off Tylenol, $4 off Claritin and other coupons to save money on meds and formula.

I have also traded coupons on coupon trading forums, such as baby cheapskate coupon traders. You can exchange with other moms for ones you need.

How I use my coupons:

I cannot say enough great things about the website couponmom.com. It is an amazing tool for couponers! What I have learned from them is, when you get your coupon inserts do not cut out all the coupons. Instead leave the whole insert intact, and on the front cover of each insert write the date in big numbers (ex. 3/1). Keep all your inserts in one folder of some sort, and keep them in chronological order.

Then each week you can go to couponmom.com and click on Grocery Deals By State. Every state has different stores that it tracks the sales for. For me in Michigan it does Meijer and Kroger. Also, it tracks the sales for the national stores like Walmart, Target, Walgreens, CVS and RiteAid. When you click on a specific store, the sales for that week pop up. What shows up is the items on sale that week and if there is a coupon that can go with the sale for even greater savings. For example, I might look at Meijer this week and it would show me that Huggies wipes tubs are on sale for $2. It also says next to the item: 3/1 P&G.- .50/1 This tells me that in the March 1st Proctor and Gamble insert there is a coupon for .50 cents off one tub. It also tells me that Meijer doubles manufacturer coupons up to .50 cents, making my savings $1. So this week I can get Huggies wipes tubs that are normally $2.39 for $1 each. You might think this is a great deal (which it is), but most weeks you can find atleast a handful of items for free after coupons.

Making a shopping list

Now what I do is at the beginning of every week I go through all the sales on couponmom.com and see what I have coupons for. I make out a list for each store and what I want to get from them. Then I go through my stockpile of inserts and only cut out the coupons I need for that week. This doesn’t take that long because all of my inserts are labeled and in order. I then have a coupon holder (that I got from Target’s dollar bins) and each slot is labeled with one of the stores I shop at. Then I place the coupons I need for each store that week in its corresponding slot. Then when I do my shopping I can bring my list, or if I forget it I know what I am getting with coupons at that store because they are all together by store.

So that is how I use coupons in a nutshell. I hope it was not too confusing, but it is really easy once you try it.

Here are just a few other pointers I have learned from others and from my own experience:

-Using a coupon on a full price item is not that great of a savings. If you can, wait until the item is on sale to use the coupon for an even greater savings!

-Most stores will let you use one manufacturers coupon with one store coupon, so if you have both, use them for even greater savings!

-Watch for stores that double manufacturer coupons, most double up to .50 cents, but every couple weeks Kmart does double coupons up to $2! That is a great time to get a bunch of freebies!

-The more inserts you can get your hands on the better. This helps you to stockpile items that are super cheap. (like this week I got 6 shampoos and conditioners for .30 cents each.)

-checking out blogs such as babycheapskate, Bargain Briana and deal seaking mom will keep you updated on really sweet deals that are out there. (For example, this week at Walgreens you can get 8 Johnson’s baby items for .11 cents each with the right coupons and next week at Walgreens you can get 2 jumbos of Huggies diapers and one big pack of wipes for around $5 total with the right coupons! Babycheapskate is the blog that led me to the deal of the century, my Britax Marathon carseat shipped to my door for a whopping $52!!!)

-There is nothing like the rush you get from walking out of a store with items that were almost free or totally free!!

So, if all this has not yet convinced you to start couponing yet, I will end my super long post with just a few of my best ‘steals’ of the past few weeks:

-Chex Mix snacks- free
-Frank’s Red Hot Sauce-free
-Cottonelle 4 packs of toilet paper- free
-Colgate toothbrushes-.21 cents each
-Schick razors-free
-Herbal Essences mousse (normally 3.79)- .49 cents
-Huggies wipes tubs- $1
-Suave lotion- .49 cents
-Cover Girl mascara (normally 6.50 each), I got 2 for $5.09 total.

I hope this has motivated some of you, it is actually fun to find savings and deals like these. It is almost a hobby for me now. A hobby that doesn’t cost me any money, it actually saves me money. If only I could find a hobby like this for my husband!!

Good Luck!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Just curious...

How many people do you know personally who have the same birthday as you?

I know three.

March is Expert Month!

Thank you so much for your contributions to "FHE February". We will continue to post an FHE idea on the first Friday of each month: "FHE Friday".

Awhile ago we did an expert series. Contributors wrote posts that resembled articles, on topics of interest to them. This month we would like to do that again. The word expert is kind of intimidating. Please feel free to post on something that you are learning about or just have an interest in. When we did this before, we saw posts on digital scrapbooking, speech, cystic fibrosis, real estate, music in early childhood, and much more. Be thinking about what you could post (feel free to do more than one), and we so look forward to reading about it!

Coming up...

Art in April

and the return of...

Money-Saving May