Monday, November 22, 2010


I really look up to my older sister. I have always copied her and followed her around and she's nice enough not even get mad about it. I worked where she worked in both highschool and college. I moved to Houston when she live there and I even forgave for moving away soon after I got there.

So now it's time to follow her example again. She is the bargain queen and she is very carefull with her money. She has been shopping for groceries with coupons for years and she snags amazing deals. I always teased her a little for how much effort she would go through to save a few cents, sometimes even visiting multiple stores to catch all the deals. She would even return things that were broken that cost inconsequential amounts. I remember that we bought these $.99 water bottles from Walmart and that they ended up not working. She took hers back, I ate the $.99. Fast forward to now. I have more free time and our income is limited. I have started couponing and am on my way to becoming a pro like my big sis.

I follow blogs like:
These all correspond to the region of the country that I live in and the third one is written by a local woman from here in town.

So last night I clipped and sorted and even created a coupon binder. I made a list of grocery items to buy based on coupons on hand and sales at the store. Everything was organized so that I could get in and out quickly, which is essential when you have a two year old with you. I got to the stored and actually RETURNED (look at me) some things that I hadn't ended up needing or that Bee had snuck into the cart. I received $8.37. It was then that I realized that I didn't have my wallet with me. Here I was carting a perfectly organized list, a coupon binder, my reusable bags, my two-year-old, and $8.37. Erg.

I went through the store and selectively purchased items that corresponded with my coupons and my list.
I got up to the register and ended up paying $4.72 for $11.31 worth of groceries. Woohoo.

Then I went back and spent $3.44  for $6.50 worth of groceries. Got to love coupons.

Then I remembered that I had this awesome coupon from Hallmark. The coupon is for mothers and lets you get $10 off of a $10 purcharse. I went into the store and found some wrapping paper and a small book for Bee. I then got to the register and kept adding $.25 candies until the total was above $10 before tax. At this point Bee was crying because I couldn't get the chocolates to her fast enough and I realized that I didn't have enough change ($.94) to pay for the extra items. I told the checker that I would have to return. I ran out to the car and found $1.00 in quarters in the change box, yay! for Iowa City parking which required quarters. I carried the screaming, still chocolateless child back into the store and paid $.94 for $13.25 worth of stuff, some of which had been on sale too.

So even though I was frustrated that I left my wallet home, I still managed to score some good deals. I ended up getting $31.06 worth of things for only $.94 out of pocket. Coupons are amazing, and YES, they are a lot of work. I've been losing sleep because I'm so excited to figure out how it all works. Ben's not converted yet. I think he was glad that I left my wallet home because I have bought some things just because I got good deals on them. He probably thinks that I should leave my wallet home more often.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Look at I What Learned

Bee can now jump (saltar) and she's super proud of herself.

Also notice how demanding she is in this movie. She only wants a specific song and specific words. I love how at the end she gets mad at dad for singing 'bailar' (dance) instead of jump.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Week in Review

I like how November gives us the opportunity to be reminded of all the blessings that we have in our lives. I have felt especially grateful as of late for the wonderful life that I have and for the many daily blessings that I enjoy. Life is good. Sure it's not perfect, yes it's stressful, and no, I do not have it all together, but it's really good and I am happy. I love Benjamin and I love my little Bee. They both bring so much joy to my life. This week has been full of little adventures and fun family time together. I enjoyed hanging out with friends, attending a Relief Society event on Tuesday that was well organized and fun, meeting with my local Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) group, hosting friends from Iowa, and living normal life. I especially enjoyed the MOPS group. It was neat to sit around with a bunch of stay-at-home mothers and talk about suggestions about how to be better. I loved hearing their examples of how they organize their lives and how they bring God into their homes. It was an uplifting experience and I enjoyed contributing my own thoughts about how God has blessed my home and how He influences my parenting.

I am grateful for water. Kitchen sinks buy me so much time. Here she is still in her pajamas and diaper playing with water. That was the heaviest diaper I have ever seen. They really are absorbent. She has really been into water this week and not just in the sink. She also loves spray bottles and will spray the water into her mouth or into her hair. I use it to wet her hair before doing it and now she likes to soak her head. She also has discovered the water in the toilet. She loves it. She has dipped her hands in it to drink from it. She has dipped several dolls into it including a talking Elmo and a stuffed puppy. She has also filled it with toilet paper and then taken the soggy toilet paper out and littered the floor with it. She hopefully might not do that again as she did not like cleaning it up. I need to either invest in door locks for the bathroom or watch her a little more closely.
 I am grateful for glue sticks. They keep her very entertained. Her favorite part of story time at the library are the paper crafts. Once we made a happy jack-o-lantern which we put on the fridge. One crabby, crabby morning this week, little miss Bee ripped the mouth off of the pumpkin. Hoping to lighten up her mood, I handed her the glue stick to 'fix' it. This is what she did. Obviously she wasn't in a good mood. She also messed with the turkey.

I am extremely grateful for the small park near our home that has preschooler-sized playground equipment. The swings are a hit. She can play on them for twenty minutes. Once she swung like this on her stomach for about fifteen minutes all while chatting away on the cell phone with Aunt Karolyn and Uncle Kyle.

Abby's favorite early birthday present thus far was a visit from her best Iowa friend, Gigi. We are so glad that they made the extra effort to come visit us this weekend. It was so good to see them and we were reminded of how much we miss them. Please come again soon! The girls even played nice and allowed us to play an entire Settlers of Catan game. They spoiled us with the biggest pumpkin pie that I have ever seen and with a fun set of puzzles for Bee for her birthday. She helped me put one together today and loved it. We had too much fun playing so I didn't really get any pictures of their visit.

Life is good.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Church statement on immigration

This is the Church's latest official statement on immigration:

As a worldwide church dealing with many complex issues across the globe, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints promotes broad, foundational principles that have worldwide application. The Church regards the declaration of the Utah Compact as a responsible approach to the urgent challenge of immigration reform. It is consistent with important principles for which we stand:

•We follow Jesus Christ by loving our neighbors. The Savior taught that the meaning of “neighbor” includes all of God’s children, in all places, at all times.

•We recognize an ever-present need to strengthen families. Families are meant to be together. Forced separation of working parents from their children weakens families and damages society.

•We acknowledge that every nation has the right to enforce its laws and secure its borders. All persons subject to a nation’s laws are accountable for their acts in relation to them.

Public officials should create and administer laws that reflect the best of our aspirations as a just and caring society. Such laws will properly balance love for neighbors, family cohesion, and the observance of just and enforceable laws.

The statement says that the Church supports the
Utah Compact as a "responsible approach" and "consistent" with gospel principles. This was a document signed by a number of civic and religious leaders in Utah. The Utah Compact reads:

A declaration of five principles to guide Utah's immigration discussion

FEDERAL SOLUTIONS: Immigration is a federal policy issue between the U.S. government and other countries — not Utah and other countries. We urge Utah's congressional delegation, and others, to lead efforts to strengthen federal laws and protect our national borders. We urge state leaders to adopt reasonable policies addressing immigrants in Utah.

LAW ENFORCEMENT: We respect the rule of law and support law enforcement's professional judgment and discretion. Local law enforcement resources should focus on criminal activities, not civil violations of federal code.

FAMILIES: Strong families are the foundation of successful communities. We oppose policies that unnecessarily separate families. We champion policies that support families and improve the health, education and well-being of all Utah children.

ECONOMY: Utah is best served by a free-market philosophy that maximizes individual freedom and opportunity. We acknowledge the economic role immigrants play as workers and taxpayers. Utah's immigration policies must reaffirm our global reputation as a welcoming and business-friendly state.

A FREE SOCIETY: Immigrants are integrated into communities across Utah. We must adopt a humane approach to this reality, reflecting our unique culture, history and spirit of inclusion. The way we treat immigrants will say more about us as a free society and less about our immigrant neighbors. Utah should always be a place that welcomes people of goodwill.

Further news coverage available here (SL Trib) and here (Deseret News).

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

By Request

Here is a picture of the curly hair straight on.

Also, I took these…

and made these.

Here my ‘happy’ little model shows them off so beautifully. I skimmed a few online tutorials before actually making them. Maybe if I had read them more closely they wouldn’t have taken me so long. I found it very difficult to sew on knit.

Here is my latest freezer paper painting attempt. I had to make the curlies bigger than in the original picture so that I could cut them out with my razor blade. I also had to make lots of breaks in the pattern so that it would work out. 
 This will have to be a Thanksgiving shirt as I didn’t finish it in time for Halloween. It took a lot of time to design, cut out, paint, and then to carefully remove the freezer paper from the shirt.
This is the best picture that I could get of the final product, Bee wouldn't sit still.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Do you remember foam curlers? I do. I remember my mom using them to try and curl my hopelessly straight hair. They worked well but they were uncomfortable and my hair usually ended up being too curly. I remember sleeping with these in many, many nights in my childhood.

And, this week I turned into my own mother. I put these into my little girl’s hair to see what would happen.

This is it. I love the curls. So fun. She didn’t complain at all and didn’t seem to notice either way.

This fun outfit was a gift from Aunt Jenny and arrived in the mail by complete surprise. Good thing we had curled Bee’s hair up. She looks like a little Shirley Temple.

And what do you do when you have a bad hair day? Wear a wig bought on clearance after Halloween. Don't forget to add a tiara.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Sleeping Beauty

I've always love the funny pictures that people take when they find their children sleeping in random places. I've never been able to take one like that before because Bee only sleeps when in her crib.

Not anymore. Now she asks regularly to sleep in her "cama de Ariel." Since she usually actually sleeps, I let her. Today I left her in her room to take a nap. She fussed a little and then was quiet. When I went to check on her twenty minutes later: I found this.

She was sound asleep but still rocking herself back and forth on the ottoman. So cute. She didn't even wake up when I took her picture with a flash or when I transferred her to the bed.