Friday, June 27, 2008

Vanderpools Visit before Ricky's trip to Tiwan






























These were some pictures we took with Ricky's parents and his sister, Stephanie when they came to visit. They came over about a week before Ricky left so Ricky and I could go to a hotel in the area for the night, get some quality time, just the two of us. I take getting out with Ricky without the children as a valuable time, as to now, we don't have that too often anymore, where we're actually getting to go to a movie or take a walk in the park. I love my kids, but I'm with them normally every day all day long. And let's just say it, they don't talk much yet, and that can get to you mentally when you're watching them all day long. I already understand Caleb so much better than 3 months ago though, it's amazing! Ava's vocabulary is already up to about 30 words and she tries to show me what she wants a lot by pointing or making motions with her hands. So it's def. getting better, but sometimes I just need some adult conversation. So, I'm just trying to say thank you Mom and Dad Vanderpool for coming and watching them so we could get our adult time together, Ricky and I.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Happy Father's Day


We celebrated Father's Day a little early before Ricky left for Tiwan. We got him a motorcycle cover for his new used motorcycle. He was worried about Caleb putting rocks in the muffler while he was gone and various other reasons, but that was the main one. We still are giving him his card and some paintings Caleb and Ava painted for him when he gets back, I will add those later on.

Talking to Grandma Vanderpool

So, this is a really cute video of the kids when talking to Grandma Vanderpool. I think they really like the way she talks, you'll just have to watch the video. And this is also the first time, believe it or not, we actually got the first time of Ava calling her "Mamama"---not a fake "first" for video. So it's really sweet. Also, notice how Ava has a bowl and spoon. Well, this is her favorite thing to play with when we're in the playroom. She goes to the little play kitchen and pretends to mix the food and then feeds it to one of her stuffed animals, or to me. Caleb also is a little obsessed with the camera in this one at first.
Enjoy!

Happy Birthday Caleb

We love you Caleb!!! Happy 3rd birthday! You are a sweet boy! Love Mom, Dad and Ava!
Sorry I didn't get to actually post on his actual birthday, which was June 15, but we are really not celebrating it until Ricky gets home. So I'll post again with pictures of his gifts. He got a card from his great grandma and grandpa Potter, a card from Great Grandma Turner and a car and play camera from Grandma Vanderpool. We love him so much.
He and Ava have recently gotten excited about painting with paintbrushes now, as I went and got some basic paint with paintbrushes for them to paint a picture for Daddy. Well now, Caleb has been painting every day since. It's so cute. Ava too! I'll make another post with some pictures and possibly video, I'll see if it will let me upload tonight.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Caleb and Ava Updates
















Here are some recent cute pictures of Caleb and Ava. Caleb has a new little golf set that you can see off to the side. But he always goes back to playing with cars, notice how he has one car in each hand. Updates on the kids, how they are handling Daddy being gone, now only half way through the trip. Ava will kiss Daddy's picture on the computer screen, and seems to punish me for him being gone by not giving me any hugs or kisses since he's been gone. Caleb seems fine till bed time when he asks where Daddy is and when he is coming home. Now if only I knew what to say to comfort them, all I say is we'll see him soon, when we go to see planes, we'll get to go see Daddy.
Updates on Ava's words:
Wow, her words have just sky rocketed in the last 2 weeks. Her words include: (of course, Mommy and Daddy)-- then there is: ready, duckie, cookie, puppy, bubble, balloon (she doesn't say kiss yet but she def. knows what it is, hugs too for that matter). She also says mamama differently if she's talking to grandma, which is neat to me. Caleb didn't seem to get so well with his words till after he turned 2, I guess he was more into observing everything and staring at wheels turn, figuring how stuff moves.
By the way, the golf game thing, we got from Target for $2.50, what a deal?
We were supposed to go visit grandparents this weekend, but didn't make it, as Caleb woke up sick this morning, he still has a slight fever, so we're going to stay home just to be on the safe side I think. We celebrated Father's Day before Ricky left, knowing he wouldn't be home for it. Ironically, Father's Day and Caleb's birthday are on the exact same day this year. Caleb will be 3 on Sunday, hard to believe it's been that long, I still remember being in the hospital with him. What a sweet personality that has come through him in the past 3 years, a very sweet, loving boy who loves hugs and kisses, and occassionally will cuddle, usually only when he falls though or is sick.
I'll try to upload a few new videos, for some reason blogger won't let me upload them right now. Have a great weekend, and to all the fathers, Happy Fathers Day! We love you and all you do for your family! Here's a cute video for Father's Day:

Sunday, June 8, 2008

More updates...

Caleb is finally coming out of his shyness I think. His Sunday School teacher said he sang in class today, how great! When I sing the "My God is So Big" song, he talks in a silly face and tells me to stop singing, like he's embarrassed, as I guess I would be to, as I defnitely am no good at singing. But he finally sang the song during music today, I'm so grateful he loves church as much as he does. When we go to church every week, when we pull into the parking lot he says, we're at the big house, I think it's so cute that he says that. And when we say prayers, he'll mumble what you say and then say Amen about 3 or 4 times before the prayer is actually over, but I think he is starting to understand more and more every day now, it's amazing to me.
On another side note from that, he talks about Jesus to me sometimes too, but I still don't understand everything he says, but hope to soon, and then I'll update you on what He is saying about him. But it so awesome how he is happy when I ask him are you ready to go to church, and he is so excited, and runs to the front door. Ava, of course, is still too young to understand any of it. But updates on her:
She now is a pro at walking for the most part. Yesterday she said a new word: Duckie. Which, of course, she said in the bath while holding her favorite bath toy, Duckie. It's amazing to me how clear her words are the very first time she says them. Almost as she doesn't say them out loud until she knows they are right. She is a sweetheart, and I love how her and Caleb are great playmates now, Caleb shares with her, it's just a joy to watch them play each day, as hard as they can be, is such a blessing to have two loving children who just genuinely love each other and their familiy.

Couponing

As most of you know, I spend a lot of my time couponing to save our family significant amounts of money, especially with how the food prices went up again about a month or 2 ago, mainly because of gas prices I think. Well, we have saved over $1,000 dollars since January 2008 so far, in coupons alone! So they are definitely worth the time, although I feel couponing is a job, it can be rewarding when you check out with $100 worth of groceries for about $25, sometimes less. I decided to write about this, just so you know if you would like to check out the couponing world, some great resources that have helped me are:
Faye Prosser
Faye wrote a book on couponing, came up with a great way to organize your coupons in a binder so you aren't searching through a pile of coupons in the store

Susan Spencer
If you end up joining or trying out Susan's list, let her know you found out about her from Chelsea Vanderpool :)

Savvydollar
If you decide to join, let Dan know you found about the site from me, my screen name there is chelseav :)

I also make my grocery shopping lists online at http://www.lowesfoodstogo.com/
This helps tremendously, as you can print out your list, but in my case, I take my laotop to save on paper printing, and it has each item in order of the store, including what aisle or section it is to be found, it cuts my time in the store in half. Or I can also do this at Harris Teeter if I go there, but I mainly shop Lowes Foods because of green points.
And one thing many people don't know about couponing, you can use a store coupon with a manufacturer coupon. This many times can make the item 50% or more off the retail value. I always buy with all 3 of these:
1.Store sale, 2. coupon, 3. double coupon
Unless it's something we need every week, regardless if it's on sale or not, like silk milk for Caleb, for example. I could go on and on about couponing though, but if you are interested in more info. post a comment to this post with your email address, or email me if you know my email.
Some other great websites to check out:
Hot Coupon World
If it does ask, say you heard about them from chelseav

HCW CVS store newsletter
Say you were referred by me again, chelseav, this is great! I only get things that will roll Extra Care bucks, mainly only FREE, that's right free, after ECB's, sometimes you make a little for buying it if you have a coupon.

HTH someone!
Sorry so long!


Thursday, June 5, 2008

Ricky is going to Tiwan

So, Ricky is really going to Tiwan for work in 2 days, I think I may go crazy, as he usually will watch the kids just for me to run errands alone, helps keep me sane. Luckily he's okay if I need to pay for a babysitter to keep my sanity, I'm glad of that, as I might. I do love Caleb and Ava very much, but sometimes I need my alone time to get ready for the next day with them. I'm just trying to figure out how to keep busy for the next two weeks. Anyone have ideas for indoor activities with a 17 month old and almost 3 year old in the area? I would love to know. I already tried indoor jumping houses, and they cried when I put them on it, even Caleb. I know I can do story time at the library and take them shopping, but anything else? Ideas please. I love taking them to the park, but they are calling for it to be in the 90's for the next week I think, so that may not work. I'm too scared to take them swimming without help, as it will be just me helping two kids who can't swim to get in the pool. I'm thinking of going to get a little plastic pool for the front yard too, and maybe break out Caleb's birthday present early, a sand/water table. Lol. Well just pray for me to get through the next two weeks, and I am thankful for babysitters! Hopefully I'll be getting some new pictures onto the computer soon, so I can post more cute pictures and video of them. Until then... hope you have a great rest of the week!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

So, went grocery shopping with the kids....






and it went great! I took them last week too, they are finally both old enough where I can take them out more often, I forgot how sane it feels, to be able to get out of the house for a few hours each day consistently, even with them, and they take better, longer naps after we come home, which is a great plus. So we went grocery shopping, I'll have to take a picture next time I take them, it is adorable. We usually shop at Lowes Foods, anyone who knows my shopping habits, because they have greenpoints and double coupons every day! I saved over 50% today, so it's a great deal! Well, they have these special carts for kids to ride in, and you can fit 2 in there, and they have little steering wheels, I was scared of them being right beside each other, they might fight, but they don't, they love it. I thought last week was just a fluke, but they were just as good this week too. And then, the store gives them each a free balloon after we check out, and even always offer to help you put your groceries in the car, what great service from a grocery store, I love it so much better than before coupons when we went to Wal-Mart, where I have never received such great, friendly customer service. Sorry, this started as a post about just the kids finally loving to go places, and turned into a rave about Lowes Foods, but it is nice to actually enjoy one of my weekly chores finally. When I get a picture next time, I'll add it to this post, so you can see. It really is cute. Eventually, we do have to break out the juice cups and snacks, but it is a nicer day for me when we can all go somewhere for a few hours.

So, a neat product to use if you have kids, or anyone who packs lunches

So, if you click on the title of this post, it will link you to a picture and more detailed info of the wrap-n-mat. Well, I'm posting as this will give me a second chance to win one of these, but they look like a great idea, to cut down on wasted disposable baggies for packed lunches, which is a great idea, but from the website, seems you could use it for most any type of food that will fit in it as well, if you wish. What a great idea! Well if you have time, check out the link by clicking the title of this blog! Or you can click here.