Saturday, November 29, 2008


Thanksgiving: A day in pictures.
After some early morning shopping for me, and a turkey-bowl football game for Tyson, we headed over to his mom's house to see his Aunt Kathy, Uncle Jim, and Grandpa who were visiting from Nebraska. BittyBit spent much of the day making this face. Life sure is hard when you don't get everything you want. :)Here's a picture I took of Terrence before he remembered that someone told him he looks better when he's not smiling. All of the pictures hereafter show Terrence with a look of studied seriousness. After we stopped at Connie's house, Terrence, Tyson, the kids, my dad, and I all headed over to Jenni's house for Thanksgiving dinner. LittleMan wasted no time in trying to grab any food in his reach.LittleMan: "I'm hungry, hey look a turkey leg, that'll do!"
"Fine, I guess I'll settle for this delicious pumpkin bread, since nobody took my hint about the turkey leg."After dinner, Jenni showed off her target from the shooting range. Enlarge it to see how awesome she is.Ashley let BittyBit play with her pink pony. "Look ma, now it's a unicorn."
LittleMan didn't want anything to do with this horse. I think it's because he was trying to protest that he always gets stuck doing the girly stuff. This theory is backed up by the fact that later when I thought he might be warming up to the horse, he got close enough to hug it or climb on, but instead he shoved it over and walked away. That's right, you show that pink horse who's boss.
Like father, like daughter. Ashley was more than happy to share her toys, but she refused to smile for the camera. That's OK, I'm just mean enough that I'll post all of the frowning, scowling, and otherwise uncooperative pictures of my subjects if that's all they give me to work with.
Time out for tickles. LittleMan was so into this he even helped Aunt Jenni out by lifting his shirt for her every time she came at him.I saw my youngest sister Rose for the first time in a few months. Last time her hair was long, now it looks kind of like mine. Sorry guys, I'm not posting the angry badger face pictures here, I have to maintain the pretense that I still have a shred of dignity.
Anne and Rose, aka Fourthborn & LittleBit (not to be confused with my BittyBit - my mom came up with all these names, kind of confusing, but oh well.)A lovely picture of Robyn - after viewing the preview I said to her,"Wow, your expression looks just like mom's in that picture"...Which led to this picture... Followed by several more where her expression changed from surprise, to laughter, to resignation when I showed her the preview. Yes, someday all girls turn into their mothers in one way or another.
LittleMan was just as happy to clean up as he was to eat all of the food in sight. Here he is after single handedly loading all of the dishes and starting a load in the dishwasher. Ok, maybe he just pushed all of the buttons on the dishwasher, but a mother can dream, can't she?
This is maybe the fourth picture that Tyson and I have been in together during the last two years.BittyBit gave up her scowling for a little while and posed with her mom and aunt. She was really fairly pleasant considering this week's schedule has been turned upside down.
Then it was time for a serious game of chase, with BittyBit being running from about 4 grownups at once. Ha ha, you think Grandpa Cary is going to save you?
Jonathon doesn't believe in safe zones, he'll scoop you up and twirl you around no matter who you try to hide behind!

We were all so tired by the end of the day. We brushed the kids' teeth when we arrived home and tossed them in bed. I stumbled off to sleep just after 8:00pm, although I didn't fall asleep until 45 minutes later as I was scouring the newspaper ads for Black Friday sales at the local stores.

What a day! I am so thankful for my family and that I live in a country where I can worship as I choose and while I may not agree with other people around me on some issues, I have the right to express my opinion and vote as I see fit. I really do live in a blessed country and I remind myself every day how much better life is for even the poorest among our country than it is for other people in so many other parts of the world. I'm thankful that I have so many family members close by and that we get to see each other as often as we want. I'm thankful for education and job opportunities and that I have clean water and good food to eat. Life is good.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Savings

I didn't think I'd be one of those people who blogged about how much I saved on a shopping trip, and actually took pictures of the stuff, but I just have to after my Thanksgiving CVS trip. They had some crazy sales where a lot of stuff was actually free after Extra Care Bucks. I actually made two separate trips obscenely early on Thanksgiving Day, but here is the haul:
Total Value of Merchandise: $328.19
Total Savings: $312.70
Total Out of Pocket: $15.49
Leftover Extra Care Bucks: $7.00 (that's CVS store credit, for you non-couponers)
Adjusted Out of Pocket after subtracting ECBs: $8.49

Saturday, November 22, 2008


I felt like a silly school girl yesterday because all day at work I just couldn't wait to leave so I could stand in line for good seats to the Twilight movie. Julie bought tickets for several of us on Monday (good thing too, the shows were all sold out). Julie, Sarah, Rhiannon, Jenni, Ashley, & I all met up at the mall for the 7:15 show last night. I was the first one there, I arrived just before 5pm and was the third person in line. I quickly made friends with the fun gals in front of me and we planned our strategy of locking elbows when we got into the theater so that all the teeny-boppers wouldn't run past us and get the best seats.
We all brought snacks, including some oatmeal-cranberry cookies that made for my work party earlier that day, but only 3 people ate any, so I brought a few of them home and took the rest to the theater. Jenni made a Sonic run so that we'd have something to eat before the movie. We had so much fun just waiting in line.
(Jenni's MySpace pose with her Twilight tickets.)

After we ran inside and got our seats we laughed at all of the teenage girls who were gushing over Edward & Jacob. I didn't necessarily have any expectations for the movie. Some of the previews looked a little cheesy, but I loved the books, so I thought the movie would at least be entertaining. I only thought there were one or two silly moments at the film, and I probably wouldn't have thought they were silly if all of the teenagers in the theater didn't laugh every time a scene from a preview came on the screen. Some of the scenes weren't even funny but the audience was so excited to see something familiar that they laughed.

I thought the movie was good, although I don't know what someone would think of it if they hadn't read the book. There were so many plot points that had to be left out due to time constraints that I wonder if some of the critics are right that if you don't know the plot you might not know what is going on. It seemed easy to understand to me... I hear so many people say that they think that Bella is whiny in parts of the series, and while they are entitled to their opinion, I disagree. I think she's somewhat insecure and she wants to protect the people she loves, and at times she is left nearly alone to deal with difficult issues. Plus she's only seventeen. I think her character reacts humanly and realistically, I don't think she's at all whiny.
After the movie our group wanted to take a picture in front of the Twilight display or poster, so we looked, and looked, and looked for it. Finally Rhiannon asked the information desk, and they said they didn't have any promotional displays for the movie. What?!? I mean, we got over it, but I can't believe they don't even have a measly movie poster for what will certainly be their biggest grossing movie of the year. So we settled for a plain old group shot, without any Twilight background. :(
Here's Jenni playing "who am I?". The answer is Derek - who always jumps in front of everyone else and tries to ruin their pictures.
Here are all the girls - Jenni, Rhiannon, Ashley, me, Julie, & Sarah.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Birthday week

I had my birthday last week; it was fairly uneventful, which is how I like it. Tyson gave me a DVD boxed set of A&E romance classics, which I wanted mainly because it contains the Colin Firth version of Pride & Prejudice. I started watching the BBC versions of all the Jane Austen works when they came on PBS earlier this year. Now I keep checking them out from the library and watching every version of every Jane Austen movie that was ever made. I'd never read the books, so I also bought Pride & Prejudice and Persuasion and read them both several times. I think Persuasion is my all time favorite of her books.

Tyson also bought me a new stapler to use when I clip coupons so that I would stop taking his (which was actually mine that he stole from me a couple of years ago and he now keeps in his desk). He actually gave me that gift first, and I just stared at it for a minute trying to figure out if I was missing something or if he really bought me a stapler for my birthday. After he explained it though, I thought it was great. It has a really comfy grip and even has a staple remover that fits into the handle and can be taken out when I need to use it.

Tyson has a new calling at church. He's the new ward mission leader, which means I see much less of him because he is often out with the missionaries. Tyson has always helped the missionaries a lot, so it was fairly easy for him to transition into his new calling.

Yesterday Tyson and I packed up the kids and headed out to Grapevine Mills Mall. It's a bit of a drive, but both of the kids have outgrown almost everything in their closet so I was ready to hit some of the outlet stores in the mall and restock their clothing for the next year and a half. Every store we went to was running massive sales and we got most of the stuff for more than 50% off. LittleMan has his first sweater vests and slacks. I tried to find some dressier clothes for him several months ago, but apparently those sorts of things are somewhat seasonal and are difficult to find if it is not near Christmas or Easter.

We bought some new dresses for BittyBit too, and we are planning to get family pictures made next weekend. We are way overdue for family portraits, since the last time we had any made was back in 2001, when it was just Tyson and me. We've had some pictures made of the kids individually, but nothing with all of us except the occasional snapshot - and now that I think about it, we probably have less than 10 photos with all four of us in them.
Out of the ten pictures I took of the kids before church, I don't have one where they are both looking in my general direction and smiling, but they sure look sharp in their new threads.

Yesterday when we were in the Carter's store looking for sleeper pajamas for the kids, BittyBit saw a pair and said,"Wow, those are HUGE! Maybe you can wear those mama." They were probably about size 8 in the little girl sizes, and I guess they were huge compared to BittyBit, but um, yeah - now I'm old and apparently huge.

But lest you think that BittyBit only gets into makeup and humbles me to the dust, she had a really sweet moment in the car on the way back from the Trunk or Treat on Halloween. LittleMan had had enough and was tired and sobbing. I loaded both of the kids into the car and was about to take off when a friend came up and asked me a question. I closed the door to drown out LittleMan's screaming, and was amazed at how soundproof my vehicle is: I couldn't hear a thing from the outside. I fully expected him to be in full blown hysterics when I climbed in the car a minute later, but it was nearly silent. He was quietly staring at his sister, who was softly singing I am a Child of God to him over and over to calm him down.
I'm more amazed by her every day. She is so thoughtful and considerate of other people, especially her brother. Every night when we have our family prayers she prays for us each by name. She comforts us when we are sad and she pipes up randomly throughout the day with,"Mom, I love you!". If LittleMan cries when I step out of the room to grab the laundry, she is right by his side hugging him and saying,"It's OK, mommy will be right back. It's OK." - in her best soothing mommy voice. Her tantrum moments are few and far between, which is fine with me, and I'm glad to see the young lady she is becoming.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

New Car

BittyBit and I decided to wash the car last weekend. The lease on our car was going to end in a couple of weeks, so Tyson and I went to the car dealership to decide if we were going to get a new one or buy the one we were driving. We had talked about getting a minivan, but with gas prices being what they are, we decided instead to get a slightly wider vehicle than the Corolla we were driving, so that we could fit a third car seat in it in the future if we decide to have another child.

We ended up getting a really good deal on a Toyota RAV4, which is the car I've wanted to drive for the past 8 years. Our car payment went up less than $15 and we have a ton more room. We thought about getting the Camry instead, but the RAV4 gets almost identical gas mileage and has better resale value (because Toyota makes a ton more Camry's every year, so even though they sell better, there are more flooding the market). So here we are with our new vehicle, which we've had for about a week now, and we love.