Saturday, October 15, 2011

Guess What??

In ONE MONTH, I will be going on a mission trip with my good friend Catherine Harvey to PORTUGAL.  I am psyched about this trip and can't wait to see what God plans to do there!  We will be working with missionary family Michael and Cristi Gerecke in Coimbra, who were placed there through the IMB.  They are AGGIES - WHOOP! - and were members at our church before they were called to go overseas. 

We plan to minister to families and students they have built relationships with through teaching them about the American custom of Thanksgiving.  There will be LOTS of cooking!!  And I'm sure LITTLE sleep!  If you will, please pray for me these next few weeks as it sinks in that this will be the FIRST long trip away from the little guy.  I'm okay right now, but I'm feeling like the next few weeks will be harder for me to focus on the MISSION and not how I'm feeling about being away from my family.  And did I mention that I usually get air sick?  Dramamine is my friend, but I've never had to fly more than 3 hours at a time.  YIKES.  And most importantly, please pray for the people in Portugal... that their hearts would be open, that the Lord would give us opportunities to share the gospel with them, and that they would see a radiant reflection of Christ through us.

If you're interested in hearing more about the trip, shoot me an email at  CAN'T WAIT!!!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Vacation 2011 - Part 3

I guess I really didn't go into detail about some of the other things we did while we were in San Antonio.  We didn't spend every day at Sea World.  I think that the 2 days were plenty!

We pretty much SHOPPED the first day... I made the boys stop in San Marcos for some "outlet" shopping.  Keep in mind that most of my clothes are from Old Navy.  If they get more expensive than that, I usually will pass.  SO, we did more window shopping than anything.  I DO, HOWEVER, HAVE A WEAKNESS FOR FOSSIL.  They have TWO Fossil outlets in San Marcos... not sure why.  I was determined to go home with something.  So, this is what I purchased.  I got it on sale.  It's my favorite color.  I love it.
Josh didn't get a single thing, and we purchased a couple of overpriced toys for Jack.  That's how we roll these days.  I'm sure some of you totally feel me out there!

We stayed at the Westin La Cantera Resort on the north side of town.  LOVED IT.  We didn't get to golf or do anything at the spa because Jack wasn't old enough to do the day camp they have at the resort for the kids.  They had a play room for the kids to play with trains, do a craft, watch a movie, and some other stuff, but a parent had to be in the room.  Each night, you could roast smores at the fire pit and they played some movie on the green.  And for the families with older kids, they had video game nights and pool competitions.  VERY kid friendly.  (I think they should pay me for this free advertising!)

We ate at a couple of neat places for dinner.  Chris Madrid's is apparently a favorite burger joint in San Antonio.  They're known for their Tostada Burger that has refried beans, salsa and chips on it.  Josh tried it out and said it was pretty good!  I wasn't that brave.  Jack was so tired from the day that he slept through part of dinner - and it was NOISY!!

We also ate at Big Lou's Pizza.  It was 30 minutes away, but well worth it!  This is the place that was featured on Man vs. Food for their 42" pizza.  SO GOOD.  And we saw a TON of large parties that ordered the 42" pizza.  Unfortunately, I didn't get any photos.  Bummer.

Here are our photos from the hotel...
Jack in the kid's pool.
  He wasn't this happy when he discovered that bee sitting on his right arm.
LOVED this beach entry.
The pool area had a fun slide that Jack loved - you can see it in background.  This particular day it was closed so he was sad when we told him he couldn't go down it.  :(
Played SO much in the water that his lips turned BLUE!
Smores at the Fire Pit by the pool.  (I forgot a change of shorts for Jack and was too lazy to run upstairs to get a pair.  Classy, I know.)
Smores ALL over their faces.
Leftover pizza for breakfast one morning.  YUM!!

On our drive back home, we stopped in Gruene to eat at the Gristmill.  We sat outside overlooking the river and it was beautiful.  And of course, the food was yummy, too.

And that concludes our 2011 Family Vacation!!  Now, I'd like to take out WITHOUT the kid!  (No offense, Jack.)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Vacation 2011 - Part 2

Here are pictures from our second day at Sea World.  There's a neat kid's area with rides, a splash park, and large jungle gym area (not sure if that's what you call it).  Jack loved his first carousel ride with his daddy.
He climbed this large net wall and through netted tunnels...
He LOVED the splash area!!
We watched Elmo and his friends have a dance party.
Got a picture with Grover (I think that's who this is... we don't watch it at our house).
We watched a neat acrobatic show with dolphins and beluga whales.
And one final carousel ride before we leave the park...

Next post will be on the hotel.  :)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Vacation 2011 - Part 1

In September, our family took our very first FAMILY VACATION.  Yes, I know.  Jack is 2 and we are just now getting to it.  Since it was our first, we didn't want to go too far from home.  We picked San Antonio as our destination.  I had a blast and have already asked if we can go back in the Spring!!  Jack LOVED Sea World and all the fun things that they had for us to do at the hotel.  We got a pretty good deal on Sea World admission - Josh and I each got kid's price admission (which only saved us $10 a piece), but we got a second day free.  Jack got in free because he's 2.  I'm going to miss the free things he gets at that age!!

Here's Jack and Shamu.
He LOVED watching the fish.
 My two favorite "cookie monsters".
 J got to ride a few of the rides with Daddy.
At one of the shows in Sea World - it really kept his attention!!
That's a sea otter standing on a HUGE walrus, waving at the crowd.  I'm amazed at all the things the trainers are able to get these animals to do!
 Photo with Pete the Penguin.
 J had so much fun!!  Here he is showing off his shark.

Part 2 to follow...

Monday, October 3, 2011

Today's CVS Trip

I was really proud of this trip and thought it was blog worthy.  Here's what I purchased:
(1) Jumbo Pack of Slip-on Huggies - On sale for $8.99
(5) Dove Shampoo/Conditioners - On sale for $3 each
(2) Covergirl Eye Shadows - Not on sale - $3.89 each

My total should've been about $34 with tax.

After several coupons and $3 worth of Extra Care Bucks, I spent $1.40 out of pocket.  THEN, I got back $6 worth of Extra Care Bucks back.  So I made a little money today.  My hubby will be proud.

Here's what I used:
-$4 off of $20 CVS coupon
-$2 ECB for pledging to not be a "money trasher" - CLICK HERE
-$1 ECB that printed at the kiosk
-$8 off of 2 Covergirl face items coupon
-$2.50 off of Huggies Slip-on CVS coupon
-Stacked a $3.00 off Slip-on coupon I received in the mail
-(2) BOGO Free Dove Hair care product coupon
-$1 off a Dove hair care product coupon

I just noticed that they took off the regular price instead of the sale price of the Dove shampoo and conditioner for my BOGO coupon.  Interesting.

YAY for making some money!!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Contest for Single Moms or Dads

Hey friends!  My sweet friend Liana at Liana Randel Photography has set up a contest for single moms and dads.  She grew up in a single parent home for part of her life, so this is very near and dear to her.  Her heart is wanting to BLESS a deserving family with a free session and a package of photos.  And get this.  ALL participants will get $50 off of a session fee!!  You can enter personally, or send an entry in for someone else.  Check out her contest rules on her blog here:

Contest ends September 21st, and the winner will be announced October 1st.


Friday, August 26, 2011

Slip and Slide

J and I recently had a play date with some friends that involved a slip and slide.  J had SO much fun, so this week I decided that I would go on a hunt to find one for us to use in our own backyard.  My friend Courtney said she found her's at Marshalls, so I had Josh take me and I found the exact same one on clearance for $4.  Hot dog!  What a deal!  From the videos below, I hope you can tell that it was the best $4 I spent this week!!  Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Jack's 2nd Birthday

I know I'm about 2 months late at posting these pictures, but better late than never, right?  I've got the rest up on facebook, so if you already seen those, you've seen these.  Jack turned 2 at the end of May and we had the party in our backyard.  His party was construction themed - he LOVES "bump bumps" (that's what he calls tractors).  It was super windy and super hot, but we still had a blast! 

We served popcorn from Le' Popcorn in Southlake - had TONS of leftover!!
I made popcorn cups with leftover scrapbook paper from his banner shown in another picture below...
The kids' tables were wrapped with plan sheets from one of Josh's old projects.  We wrapped the food tables this way, too.  We also used a TON of caution tape - tape around each of the chairs and also around the posts of the pergola.  What's a construction party without caution tape??
 I made a '2' sign out of cardboard and wrapped it with more plan sheets.
This is one of the banners I had hanging.  I used construction themed paper (brick/lumber/yard stick) and strung them with ribbon.  I H-E-A-R-T ribbon.
The treat table.  We had cupcakes with oreo icing, brownies in a dump truck (to resemble dirt), and some candy as part of favors to take home.  The cupcake wrappers and toppers were from ETSY.
For the party favors, I made chocolate dump truck lollipops.  I got the molds off of and they were super easy and fun to make!
I had my friend Catherine Harvey at Everything Design make some labels for me to use on the favor bags below, treat bags for the candy bar, and labels for water bottles.  You can check out her website HERE.  Aren't the labels great?!  We stuffed the favor bags with Home Depot aprons (donated by Home Depot - I love free things!), Cracker Jacks, the dump truck lollipops, and little construction worker rubber duckies.
I made an applique for his birthday shirt... a houndstooth tie on a yellow t-shirt from Target - I also LOVE Target!!  I also made tablecloths with the houndstooth fabric and used some of it on the serving tables.
Here are some of Jack's best buddies playing in the sandbox Daddy made.
His buddies playing with the blocks.
Jack having his birthday cake.
Playing with his new toys with C and B.

P.S. If you are planning on having a construction themed party any time soon, I have a ton of leftover items that you might be able to use!! :)