Friday, November 30, 2007

The Golden Compass

I have heard a lot about this movie and the trilogy of books lately. After talking with Aaron, we have decided not to invest any money or time in this movie. Our kids will not see it. I know that some people probably think it's not a big deal and it looks like a cool movie (I agree, it does look cool). But sometimes you have to draw a line, and this is it for us.

From my understanding, the movie is a watered down version of the first book. In the third book the kid's kill God. Of course you could reason that your kid's know better than that....but why put the thought in their head to begin with? My children love God, they love Jesus and frankly if I told them that the book included that, I think they would choose for themselves not to see it.

Here is the report from Snopes about the movie so you can read and decide for yourselves.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

a letter from Jesus

Dear Children,

It has come to my attention that many of you are upset that folks are taking My name out of the season. Maybe you've forgotten that I wasn't actually born during this time of the year and that it was some of your predecessors who decided to celebrate My birthday on what was actually a time of pagan festival. Although I do appreciate being remembered anytime.

How I personally feel about this celebration can probably be most easily understood by those of you who have been blessed with children of your own. I don't care what you call the day. If you want to celebrate My birth, just GET ALONG AND LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

Now, having said that let Me go on. If it bothers you that the town in which you live doesn't allow a scene depicting My birth, then just get rid of a couple of Santas and snowmen and put in a small Nativity scene on your own front lawn. If all My followers did that there wouldn't be any need for such a scene on the town square because there would be many of them all around town.

Stop worrying about the fact that people are calling the tree a holiday tree, instead of a Christmas tree. It was I who made all trees. You can remember Me anytime you see any tree. Decorate a grape vine if you wish: I actually spoke of that one in a teaching, explaining who I am in relation to you and what each of our tasks were. If you have forgotten that one, look up John 15: 1 - 8.

If you want to give Me a present in remembrance of My birth here is my wish list. Choose something from it:

1. Instead of writing protest letters objecting to the way My birthday is being celebrated, write letters of love and hope to soldiers away from home. They are terribly afraid and lonely this time of year. I know, they tell Me all the time.

2. Visit someone in a nursing home. You don't have to know them personally. They just need to know that someone cares about them.

3. Instead of writing George complaining about the wording on the cards his staff sent out this year, why don't you write and tell him that you'll be praying for him and his family this year. Then follow up. It will be nice hearing from you again.

4. Instead of giving your children a lot of gifts you can't afford and they don't need, spend time with them. Tell them the story of My birth, and why I came to live with you down here. Hold them in your arms and remind them that I love them.

5. Pick someone that has hurt you in the past and forgive him or her.

6. Did you know that someone in your town will attempt to take their own life this season because they feel so alone and hopeless? Since you don't know who that person is, try giving everyone you meet a warm smile; it could make the difference.

7. Instead of nit picking about what the retailer in your town calls the holiday, be patient with the people who work there. Give them a warm smile and a kind word. Even if they aren't allowed to wish you a "Merry Christmas" that doesn't keep you from wishing them one. Then stop shopping there on Sunday. If the store didn't make so much money on that day they'd close and let their employees spend the day at home with their families

8. If you really want to make a difference, support a missionary-- especially one who takes My love and Good News to those who have never heard My name.

9. Here's a good one. There are individuals and whole families in your town who not only will have no "Christmas" tree, but neither will they have any presents to give or receive. If you don't know them, buy some food and a few gifts and give them to the Salvation Army or some other charity which believes in Me and they will make the delivery for you.

10. Finally, if you want to make a statement about your belief in and loyalty to Me, then behave like a Christian. Don't do things in secret that you wouldn't do in My presence. Let people know by your actions that you are one of mine.

Don't forget; I am God and can take care of Myself. Just love Me and do what I have told you to do. I'll take care of all the rest. Check out the list above and get to work; time is short. I'll help you, but the ball is now in your court. And do have a most blessed Christmas with all those whom you love and remember : I LOVE YOU, JESUS

Amazing video

Somebody posted this video and it is awesome. Go ahead and try to make it all the way through without crying...I couldn't.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

weather and the northwest

I know that most people probably prefer nice warm sunny weather but I love rainy days. The first thing everyone says when I say that I want to move to Seattle is "do you like rain?", with a laugh of course. Well, I hate to break it to you but it actually rains more in Dallas than it does in Seattle.

They have a lot of misty mornings and I guess that accounts for a lot of it. The week that Aaron and I were there in February it was predicted to rain all week. We were there for 6 days and it only rained the morning we left, although it was misty every morning we were there.

I prefer cold weather over hot. Fall is my favorite time of the year and I would love to live somewhere where they have real seasons. It should start getting chilly in September, October at the latest! It's been warm here up until Thanksgiving's just not right!

Although I do not want to live where it snows (been there, done that-N. Dakota), but I would like the snow close enough to visit it.

Everyone seems to have this negative opinion about Washington. Growing up in California, Washington feels more like home. I say this although I do not like could not pay me to live there again (well unless it's San Francisco ;) I don't know why people dislike the Northwest so much. But here is my thoughts on it...

If North Texas is where you dream to live, wow how sad are you! If you get all warm and fuzzy about being here, please seek help!

Washington has the mountains (I'm a mountain person, I always have been), the ocean, SEASONS! People there are more laid back and sooo nice. Seriously, we were a little scared at how helpful and friendly the people there were. Something we just aren't used to here in Texas. And how funny is that since Texans really pride themselves on hospitality. I guess I'm just in the wrong part of the state!

So I hope that you enjoy the next week or more of this weather (that's the prediction on because I AM LOVING IT!!!!!! By the way, Seattle's weather is a little better than ours this week! lol

new winter hats

My mom bought the girl's some winter hats from Walmart. Neither of them wanted their picture taken because they were trying to watch cartoons. It took forever to find a hat that Sara liked and looked good on her. Emma went straight for Tinkerbell.
My child and her goofy smile!
She's thinking "ok take the picture so you can move and I can see the tv"!!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Black Friday

Man oh man I did not want to get up at 4 am this morning!! Especially since I hadn't gone to bed until 1 am! But it's Black Friday so of course I had to go.

My mom came and got me and we managed to get to Toys R Us at 4:30 to stand in line. Apparently people had starting lining up there around 3 am. The only thing's we were getting there were some $10 MP3 players and a Zune MP3 player for Aaron. The Zune's they had passed tickets out to people at the front of the line so there was no chance for us to get one. So 3 MP3 players each it was.

Then we headed over to Walmart in Irving to find my mom's friend who works there because he was going to hold back a Littlest Pet Shop Playground for me. They were on sale for $15 instead of their regular price of $30. But we couldn't find him and they still had a ton left so I managed to get one. My extra purchase I wasn't expecting was a 7 QT Hamilton Beach Crock Pot. I love my crock pot but it's only 6 QT and it's in storage so I bought myself a new one!!

Then we headed over to Academy Sports & Outdoors and got myself a pair of Avia tennis shoes and Aaron a pair too for only $12.74 each!!! Such a great deal considering I had just bought myself a pair the other day when we joined Lifetime Fitness and I paid $30 plus tax for them. They are going back. I got both pairs today for $29!

Right next to Academy is Mardel (my fav store). I got the dvd The Passion of the Christ and it came with a free hardcover book of the movie. Then picked out some super cute shirts for the kids. I had one picked out for Emma, then found another one and forgot to put the first one back so she got two. I even found myself a long sleeve shirt....all of them were only $5!!

And that was the end of it. I got back home about 8:30 and went back to sleep at 9:30 and didn't wake up until after 1!

We are almost done with Christmas shopping. Anthony is completely done with the exception of a gift card to download some music to his MP3 player. The girl's stuff I can pick up over the next couple of weeks. Now I just have to figure out how to work my new MP3 player! lol

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

We went over to my mom's house for Thanksgiving. It was a pretty laid back day, eat some turkey and then fell asleep! lol

I had put together a Thankful Tree and gave everyone (including my mom) 3 leaves to write 3 things that they are thankful for. Here is a picture of the kids with the finished Thankful Tree. I am saving it and plan on making one every year. I think it will be fun to see how their lives change and what they are grateful every year.
Here is what everyone listed:
Aaron-family, God and work
Cortni- the kid's, Aaron and my mom
My mom- God (Sara told her to put that one), family and her job
Anthony- Mommy, Lego's and Jesus (Chirst-he spelled it
Emma- horsies, ponies and unicorns, Daddy & Bubba & Sara & Mommy & Caleb & Chowder (the cartoon) & Shadow (her stuffed dog), Nana & Luke & Cole
Sara- Toys, Caleb and Bubba & Sissy & Me (

Emma took this picture of cute!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

almost Thanksgiving

We are on break for Thanksgiving and I have to admit that I can't wait for school to start back up. Not just for my kids but for public school kids too! It's so crowded everywhere you go when the kids are off of school.

We are going to my mom's tomorrow for Thanksgiving. It is so nice to not have to worry about cooking! I talked her into buying the Jennie-O turkey that comes in a bag ready to go into the oven. We've had the boneless turkey breast version and it is soooo good! No hassle there, just throw it in and cook stuffing it, no de-stuffing it :)

The kids are making Thankful Trees today to read aloud tomorrow before dinner. We are also making friendship bracelets and their choice of indian headbands (complete with real feathers) or Pilgrim hats. That should be fun!

I got one of Anthony's Christmas presents in the mail. He is going to be so excited, it's a camcorder. He has been asking to use mine but I keep telling him no (as if I'm gonna hand over a $400 camcorder and let him play with it)! So I found a great deal on Amazon for a cute little camcorder that only set me back $65. That's right, $65 for a camcorder!! It records pretty darn well and has good sound to it. Now on Amazon the cheapest you can find it is $75 and then there is a $199 one! He wants to use it to record skateboarding tricks. He is just so darn cute!

We are going so simple this year with presents for the kids. Just 3 each. Well, a couple of luttle ones thrown in here and there ;)

This is what we have for Anthony:
Fly Fuzion Pen with a 1 yr. subscription to download their software free
MP3 player with some preloaded songs

Littlest Pet Shop Whirly Playground with extra pets
?? I've changed my mind on a gift so I'm lost again!

My Little Pony Teapot playset with extra ponies
?? probably something Dora!

I don't know what I'm getting my mom yet. Oh wait, yes I do. But she read's me blog so I'm not gonna post it here.....but she's gonna love it! ;) I'm making it of course, we don't like those pre-bought presents! lol But this one is gonna be the best yet I promise!

Well Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Emma's new hat

I made this for Emma tonight. I love girly camo stuff! Sometime this week I'm going to make her a matching shirt with a rhinestone pattern. I think I'll put a cross on a camo shirt or maybe the word SPOILED! lol No wait, I've got it. Daddy's Girl!! That is Emma all of the way!

Friday, November 16, 2007

my day

I was looking for child size baseball caps today and I drove over to Hobby Lobby (which isn't that close anymore since they moved it). I found what I was looking for and picked up some felt to get going on tea party cookies for Brown Bag Bows. I even got red and green to do Christmas cookies.

Anyway, on there way there I did a quick stop at the light at FM 1171 and FM 2499 before making a right turn and boom there was a cop. I had stopped at the light even though it was a quick stop and sure enough he pulled me over. When he got up to my car I didn't even give him a chance to talk... I told him "I stopped back there. It was a quick stop but I still stopped". He laughed and said "yep I can't argue that, you stopped at the light. But I thought you're inspection said July and not November and so I pulled you over by mistake!" Can you imagine that! The crazy part is that I don't have a license and surely would have gotten a ticket! My license is expired and I completely forgot to renew it is all. Note to self: renew license!!

The next exciting business of the day was getting a family membership at Lifetime Fitness. Have you ever been in that place? Amazing! It is so cool. I had toured the one in Plano before but I thought that it was way too expensive to join. Aaron has been wanting to work out somewhere that is open 24 hours and I have no desire to join 24 Hour Fitness (had been members years ago).

So since the Flower Mound location was on my way home from Hobby Lobby I stopped by and took a tour. The kid's area is awesome and I love the indoor pool with 2 story loopy waterslide for the kids. That pool (they have 3) has a beach entry and I love that for Sara. I also like that I can go grab a basketball and play with the kids when I want.

I was on my way to the Colleyville location for yoga tonight but I got stuck in traffic by Grapevine Mills Mall and missed it. That was disappointing. The 3 area of interest to me are yoga, water aerobics and cycle. With my ankle the way it is and how bad it swells up, I have to have low-impact exercises. They even have hydro cycle where you do cycling in the water! lol

Aaron will work out at the Colleyville location and I will go to Flower Mound. The best part of that for us is that it is right up the street from the Flower Mound library!

Anyways, you can take a tour on their website, go check it out!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

New Item at Brown Bag Bows

Emma is at the age where she doesn't want to wear hair bows anymore so I thought that I would come up with a new way to get her to wear them! So here it is!

I can do more than just skull's and soon I will have a list of all the different design you can get! Isn't it cute?!?!

Bows & Prices

THESE PRICES ARE NO LONGER GOOD...if you want to see my work, check it out here at Brown Bag Bows.

Okay Pat, this blog's for you! My mom forwarded me the pics of the boots for your grand-daughter (sooo cute) and here are the 4 different styles of bows and the prices. Just email me back and let me know which one you want and I will get it made for you ASAP! Thanks!!

Single Layer Bow $4.99
Double Layer Bow $6.99
Funky Bow $8.99
Funky Marabou Bow $10.99

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

funny girl

This week in school is Native American Week. When we are done with our regular school stuff we do activities that relate to the theme. I gave the girls some color by number pictures of indian corn to color and here is Emma with hers all done. Sara on the other hand.....
decided that she didn't want to color it and instead played with Caleb under the table! lol

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


First off let me say that I always feel like a dork for having to name my post. I wish they didn't have that on there. Oh well.

On to savings! I went to Tom Thumb and Kroger yesterday with my coupon binder to see how much I could save. At Tom Thumb I had extra things in the cart so it threw me off when the price rang up and it wasn't as low as I had hoped. But I did get 3 bottles of laundry soap for only $1.50 each! You gotta love that!

At Kroger I did much better. Even though most of the prices on Teri's list were not correct. This is what I bought:

2 4 lb bags dog food
2 cans dog food
1 lean Hot Pocket
1 gallon chocolate milk
1 4 pack pickles (they are lunch bag size, so cute)
2 Lawry's Garlic Salt

and the grand total for all of it was $12! That was pretty cool to me!

Next week I will be a little more prepared since I just started back doing it and need to build up my coupons.

Oh yeah, gotta love the CVS Extra Bucks too. I had a CVS cash register coupon for $2.50 off pain reliever and $3.00 in Extra Bucks and I got some Ibuprofen free.

Now today I am going to Walgreens to see how much money I can save there!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Grocery Game

During the summer I had heard about something called The Grocery Game. Basically it's a website where they have compiled the sales from your local stores. Mostly advertised sales, some not. Then they match it up to coupons that you get in the Sunday paper and tell you how much money you save (percentage) off when you use that coupon with that sale.

The first time we did it we saved a ton of money! The website lets you try it out for 4 weeks for only $1! And that includes all of the stores in your area. Then it's $10 for the 1st store and $5 a store after that. The prices are for every 2 months. So if you choose 3 stores, it's $20 every 2 month's. Not too bad. My local stores on the list are Kroger, Tom Thumb, Albertson's, CVS and Walgreens.

Something they recommend is putting together a coupon binder. Here you can organize your coupons and it makes it easier for you! I agree. Although, it does take time to clip the coupons (make sure you really trim up the edges) and then put them in the right pocket. I do it while I watch Desperate easy is that?!

Here is what my coupon binder looks like....I continually add more categories. I started out with a "dairy" category but I had so many sour cream, whipping cream, cheese, etc coupons that I had to give them their own pocket.
This is a pic of the store pockets. When I go down the grocery game list I write down the deals I want to take advantage of. That way I know exactly what I am getting at each store. And as I make the list, I pull the coupons and put them in the store pocket where I am going to use them. I also have a re-file pocket in case I end up not using a coupon, I can put it back where it goes and save it for later.

I think that you tend to get into the habit of bringing the binder into the store with you in case you happen upon a deal not listed, or in our case, suddenly remember you need toilet paper (something you need whether or not it's on sale) and you can pull out a coupon for it.
A calculator is also something handy to bring with you. I have a horrible time calculating prices in my head. You should have seen Aaron's face when I asked him how much is each item if the price is 15/$10. lol

I have totally slacked off of the game though and it took me forever to clear out my binder of old, expired coupons and then start over. They say that your coupons may vary from the ones the list has until playing for about 12 weeks. Then you should be on track with Teri (the website's creator). Keep in mind that the stores run their sales from Sunday to Tuesday, not Saturday like other stores. The exceptions are the pharmacies.

But if you play the game right and keep an eye out for deals, it's definitly worth it. Especially when it comes to stockpiling items. For a family of 5 like us, we can never have too many tubes of toothpaste, extra toothbrushes, shampoo, etc. around! And to get them free or next to nothing!! That is some frugal living!!

Friday, November 9, 2007

games for Christmas

The other day when I went to Teacher's Tools I was looking around at some of the games they have for kids. I found a few that I want to get the kids for Christmas. They look like a lot of fun for all of us.

None of them I had ever even heard of. I guess Pandabo is kind of like Jenga in a way. It runs about $12.95.

Katamino look especially fun. I think that Aaron will really enjoy this game. It's $24.99.

What's Gnu? looks like a good game for the girls to play to help them with words. It's $14.99.
And last but not least is Alfredo's Food Fight. It doesn't get any better than fake forks flinging fake spaghetti at a waiter! lol It's $24.99.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

be happy

sleepless night

Man oh man I didn't get any sleep last night! About 3 am I woke up to go to the bathroom and I noticed that the door to the hamster cage was open and Max was gone. So I got Aaron up and we started looking everywhere for him. We couldn't find him so decided to go back to bed. The only thing I was worried about was Caleb getting a hold of him. He won't kill him, he just wants to play with his mouth. Seriously, the dog won't bite him, just slobber all over him.

It took me about an hour to fall back to sleep and I kept waking up and looking around the floor to see if I could find him. I don't know what time it was but I was half asleep and I heard loud squeeking and I flew out of bed. Caleb had found Max and was playing with him. Aaron lifted up the couch and I got him out and returned him to his cage.

I asked Aaron if he had heard the squeeking and he said that he had but didn't put it together what it was but what really woke him up was me jumping out of bed. Poor little Max. Aaron's thinks that hamsters should be smart enough to realize that if they leave the safety our their house, the big ol' dog is gonna get you!! lol

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Vacuum Freezer Bags

I needed some ziploc bags and when I went to get some, this is what I found! It's a little vacuum sealer for food and it was only $9.96! It comes with batteries and 3 quart size bags and the extra boxes of bags (quart and gallon) were only $3 each. How cool is that?! I had bought a bunch of meat in bulk and I went home and sealed it all and put it in the freezer.
So as I am finishing up I get a phone call from my mom. She said that she had a Seal A Meal that she bought a few months ago and since she never uses it she wanted to give it to me! What?? lol How strange is that!! So she brought it over to me and we traded! So now I have an awesome little food vacuum with bags and little containers to boot! Thank you Mom!

shopping at Walmart

We went to Walmart today and I found the cutest Tinkerbell bubble bath for the girl's. I love the container, it is so pretty. The bubble bath itself doesn't smell as good as I thought it would though. Oh well, when it runs out I'll fill it with some Mr. Bubbles! lol

Trick or Treating

The focus on my camera has been messing up so these are the best picture that I have from last night. Me and my best friend Rachel took the kids trick or treating.

Emma was supposed to be a witch and I made her an awesome witch's hat, but at the last minute she changed her mind and decided that she wanted to be a kitty. OK. Then Sara was supposed to be a puppy but I lost her puppy ears! I had them made 2 weeks ago and I put them up so the kid's wouldn't lose them and I lost them! lol Anthony went as Zabuza from Naruto.

The kids had a great time and it was soooo nice outside!! We even got to go in a haunted house!

Here I am with the kids before trick ot treating.
My pretty kitty's!
I LOVE this picture!! I tried to take it 3 times before I got it because everytime Emma put her hand on Anthony's neck she would squeeze it and he was getting so mad at her! But they look like sweet siblings dont they? lol

He looks too grown up here!
Sara and Jacob holding hands to stay together!
His Naruto pose

All of the kids taking a break

Auntie Rachel with Anthony...sadly, this is the best shot I got of them posing together because Anthony wouldn't quit looking around!

The outside of the haunted house. They would bring a small group in at a time and give you a short spooky tour. Michael Myers even came out to say hi! While we were waiting in line a news helicopter flew over and shined his light down on us so we waved like crazy!
A blow up was lit and made cool!!
The pictures got out of order...this was on the lawn of the haunted house.