Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Budget Challenge - June

Here's the results for this month in our Grocery/Supplies reduction.

Budget: $300
Actual OOP: $435.27
Retail Price: $775.12
Coupon Savings: $126.08
Sales Savings: $203.77

I majorly fell off of the bandwagon this month and went way over budget.
Nothing to say other than a few things had not gone on sale and we needed them.
What makes it even worse is that I realized how far over we were going half way through the month and I joined the AllYou Grocery Challenge to try to get back on track.


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

2010 Vacation: Historical

We did one "historical" thing on vacation - Visited Cade's Cove.
A little bit of walking. . .

Some looking at old building. . .
Lots of picture taking. . .

Did that surprise you?


Monday, June 28, 2010

Vacation: OberGatlinburg

Usually, I research things to do in large quantities before going on vacation.
I find deals. I try to find things that we can all stomach, but a variety so that each person has something that they really like.

MBB usually gives me his input as I'm planning, but this year forgot to recommend something.
Luckily, we found coupons and altered the itenarary on the fly.
Our new adventure? One of my favorites of the vacation.


2010 Vacation: Aquarium

The kids love animals, so I made sure that the aquarium was on our vacation agenda. . .

Sunday, June 27, 2010


While we were at Dollywood, we found these pot figures that were hilarious.


Vacation: Dollywood

We spent one day at Dollywood and one day at Splash Mountain.
For obvious reasons, I do not have any pictures from Splash Mountain. . .

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Grocery Challenge Week #1

I've been bad about keeping my blog updated in a timely manner. . .
With vacation and all of the projects we've been working on (who would have known that I would get busier once MBB graduated from college???), I have not had a lot of time to calculate numbers.

The challenge was to spend $25 / person / week = $100 / week for us.

Week #1 Results:
Grocery - $59.66
Eating Out - $0

Total - $59.66

Looks like we are doing well!


Friday, June 25, 2010

Mary Kay - Debate and Sale

Some of you may know that I have been a Mary Kay Consultant for many years now. . .
Has it been 11 years? I've lost track!!!

I am currently debating whether to continue on this journey or not.
I have given myself six months to make the decision, meaning that I will be placing an order to replenish my inventory this month. When December arrives, I'll decide whether to place another order or not.

So, in preparation for my order, I am having a:

. . .
Buy 1 item, get second item of equal or lesser value 30% off.

Here are the pesky details:
- Contact must be made by 7/2 for the sale to be honored. Leave a comment and I will email you.
- Sale is only good on items currently in my inventory.
- Sale is open to people living in the Greater Cincinnati area (and people that I know personally).
- Payments are accepted in the form of cash or credit cards.


Our Protector

OB set his lunch bag on the chair when he got home.

Yeager Bomb decided that the bag needed some protection until OB could take care of it.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Our Personal Siren

Our road has its own personal siren.
Her name is LadyGirl.

Want to set her off?
Howl, giggle or make any time of weird noise and she'll be happy to comply!
(My apologies for the blurry picture - as pretty as she is, she is NOT photogenic!)


Wednesday, June 23, 2010


I have a favorite hanging basket that I try to get every year.
For some reason, I can't seem to find them since I moved across the river.

The one good thing is that CamCam was selling them for a fund-raiser.

We have been getting really good at watering them every night and they are now covered in buds! :)
This makes me very happy as buds lead to this:

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Green Thumb?

I always thought that I had a green thumb. . .
This year, it feels like my green thumb went on vacation.

We have had some success, but not as much as I would like.

The cucumbers have taken over our gardening box.
We'll see how many yellow flowers transition onto our salads.
I have no idea why this picture is sideways. . .I can't seem to fix it.
Wait a minute - turn your head to the right. Yep, it looks right now. (:

The tomatoes are the most challenging for me. We are growing them in pots (a direct result of trying to keep them away from dogs who like to pee on EVERYTHING!)
Some pots are doing well and some aren't.

Our potato box is doing farely well.
I have planted two rows and need to get some more seeds.
We have seven pepper plants in this hanging basket.
They are doing VERY well. I'm hoping for lots of banana peppers and jalapenos for the kids.
There was one pepper plant that didn't fit into the basket.
This is a cayenne pepper that is fighting the cucumbers for space.Namaste.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Keeping Us Busy

I realize that I use the "we're really busy" excuse for not blogging.
I've used it so much that I suspect some don't believe me and will soon call my bluff.
So, I decided to document some of our projects for those of you who may be interested.

MBB installed a water spout which also lead to a hose reel.
We've been in the house for over two years now and desperately needed the outdoor water source.
This has made a world of difference with our garden and new trees.

We've also been wanting some fruit trees (and the kids have been after us to replace the trees that we had to cut down). We now have two plum trees in the ground. This ended up being a multi-day project with the mulching.

There are now six dogs running up and down our road which leads for many tiny mouths getting into our trash. MBB built a "garbage corral" for our garbage cans. He has plans to put a door on it. . .
Even without the door, we have a lot less trash in our yard to pick up.
The unsightly area that we call our front yard got some much needed attention.
A truck load of dirt and putting our tractor to work allowed us to get the edging in place for my flower beds. The second step was to put some garden material down to block weeds and laying a truck load of mulch.
I guess "planting flowers" is now on my To Do list.

I have to admit that I have hated the light in our bedroom since the day we moved in. With all of the other projects, this one was pretty far down the priority list - until now. :)
I finally found one that both MBB and I could live with. . .

MBB got tired of one of my catch-alls (to be honest, I have been working on getting stuff organized and the pile was considerably smaller than before). The floor was reinforced with plywood and the floating floor makes it look much better!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all the Grandfathers, Fathers and Step-Fathers out there.
Happy Father's Day to anyone who has ever stood in for a Father in the life of a child.

You all make an impact that is priceless.

To DaddyMarie, Bobby and MBB - this is your day in my eyes.

I love you guys!



Our experiment to spend $300 on grocery items (including supplies) has been farely successful. Yes, I have gone over a bit, but with getting the stock pile pantry stocked and having no basis for the $300 figure, I think we are doing decent!

When I heard about's competition to spend $25 per person per week on groceries for four weeks, I had to give it a shot. This means $100 / week for our house. I've been averaging about $85 / week this year and that included supplies. Since the competition does not include supplies, I thought I'd have a decent shot.

Then, I realized that we will be on vacation during the competition.
Okay, we are renting a cabin with a full kitchen. . . Doable!
Then, I realized that going out to eat counts.

MBB and I discussed it and arranged our days:
. . .Breakfast - will be at the cabin. I can pack 99% of this food from our stockpile pantry.
. . .Lunch - will be packed in our cooler everyday. The freezer is going to help us out with bread and lunch meat. Along with PB&Js and chips, we should be set to go. We think we'll be able to eat out a few times (I am on the lookout for coupons!).
. . .Supper - will be at the cabin. I am going to do some of our family favorites (the good thing about family favorites - most of the ingredients are in the stock-pile). I am going to visit a local grocery store for dairy and salad supplies to round everything out.

Starting today, I will be aiming for $100 a week.
I have to get creative and healthy as those are being judged as well!
Every Saturday evening, I will "try" to update my progress for the week.


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Education Opportunity

The kids are enrolled in public schools. We are hands-on parents, so we check OB's agenda and homework. We go over study guides and help both kids study when necessary. I have been known to communicate with teachers via phone and email. I have chaperoned field trips (which also make me so grateful that MBB raised well-mannered kids). I won't hesitate to be involved in MaBell and OB's schooling.

And, on occasion, we have to supplement by home-schooling to reinforce manners, common sense & spelling (these two are constant repeats with OB) and real-life examples.

I have become a broken record lately about sunscreen.
I get ignored or get rolling eyes as I am lecturing about using sunscreen (yes, it has resulted in lecturing).

MaBell even thought it was KEWL when she burned for the first time in her life at her last track meet.
Granted, it wasn't very bad and it was a neat design.
She did peel, but was good about putting the aloe on it (that I know of).

Today, I got the oppotunity to discuss
sunscreen again - along with skin cancer - along with the fact that someone will be using lots of aloe - and IS NOT ALLOWED OUT IN THE SUN THIS WEEK. We also got to discuss the difference between second degree burns and third degree burns.

I think MaBell (and OB) are finally listening to me about it this time.
At least MaBell is. . .
(It is much redder in person than it appears in the picture and there are other spots on her body that I will not post on the blog that are worse)


Friday, June 18, 2010

Heavy Sleeper

I thought that OB was a heavy sleeper. . .
I have now met one that sleeps a bit heavier!

MBB was on the tractor trying to get flower beds created.

Oscar Meier Wiener decided that it was the perfect spot for a nap.
The tractor got within inches of him and he still wouldn't wake up.
I had to run in and grab him. . .Only then did he regain consciousness.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Hi there Blog!

How are you?

I hope you are doing well and enjoying your break.

Things have been crazy around here, but I have been taking lots of pictures to share with you later on.
It will probably be on our vacation when we have taken a break from running and working on the house and all of that fun stuff!

Luckily, that will be in the near future. . .
See you then!


Friday, June 11, 2010

Transformation Update Final

The final weigh-in was today. . .

I lost just under 4 lbs this week.
Overall, I lost right around 16 lbs. . .
I now know my weight and it was probably a great idea that I didn't know it six weeks ago!

Now I need to keep this trend going. . .
Hopefully without another competition!


Friday, June 04, 2010

Transformation Update #5

The 5th weigh-in was today. . .
(OOOOPS, as I went to post the final, I realized that I forgot to post #5)

I lost about half a pound this week.
I don't know what my weight is, but I am being told my loss.


Wednesday, June 02, 2010


A memory came to mind on Tuesday night. . .

You see, I unexpectedly had to buy a stick shift.
I did not know how to drive a stick shift.

The dealer drove it to the house, I drove him back in one of our automatics.
Luke came over after work and taught me how to drive it - in about two hours.

The next morning, I was driving to work.

The memory?
I stopped at a red light, not realizing that I was on a slight incline.

The light turned green and the line of cars didn't get to move. The light turned red.
I kept stalling the car as I was trying to go on the incline.

What brought this memory to my brain?

There once was a girl who was learning how to drive the family's standard.
She got stopped at a red light. When it turned green, the line of cars sat patiently until it turned red again and didn't get to move.
The light wasn't on a hill and the passenger in the car was a bit puzzled as this girl could usually get the car going with no (or only one) stalls. Granted, the starts may be a bit jerky, but the car moved.
The light turned green again and after another stall, she jerked the car through the intersection into the gas station's parking lot.
Suddenly, it dawned on the passenger what was wrong.
A refresher lesson had to be taught - a car in third gear does not like to start from 0MPH.


Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Transformation Update #4

The 4th weigh-in was last Friday. . .
I weighed in, but didn't know how I did as the coordinator of the competition was out of the office.

This morning, I found out that I lost at least 2 more lbs.

I don't know what my weight is, but I am being told my loss.
At the end of all of this fun, I'll find out exactly how much I gained or lost each week.