Sunday, March 31, 2013


This weekend was full of family time. I just soaked it all in.

My older kids, while participating in Easter activities, didn't have quite the same enthusiasm as Mason did.

He has gone from being too young to understand what is going on to being excited about every single part.

He is still so sweet and innocent. This weekend he...

-"dived" Easter eggs (which made him very firsty")
- ran around looking for Easter eggs
-chasing bubbles around the yard and...
-got his groove on

This kid makes me laugh and smile. He drives me a little nutty. He is my not so baby, baby! I am going to enjoy as much of this this time as I possibly can.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Backyard Battles

"Honey, you might want to grab your camera and come here..."

This is what I found my 2 younger boys doing, fighting each other in the backyard with swords, masks, shields...

What can I say?

Boys will be boys. And in an odd way, I love it when they do! When their days include imaginary play and not just holding onto a controller. When they are super hero's, pirates, or knights. I love my boys. I love seeing life through their eyes.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Moms sick day

We have all heard it...or of course know from experience that Moms don't get a day off when they are sick.

Sunday night, I was just hanging out, when I started to feel that little "tickle" in my throat. I even said, out loud to Ben, "It is probably just allergies".

However, Monday morning that tickle was still there. But life must go on. In this case, life meant a field trip with a group of 5th graders.

After dropping my middle schoolers off, I went and got my official chaperone badge, so that we could go to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum.

Even though I wasn't feeling well, I had an awesome time. The museum was so neat and while I can't speak for the kids, I learned a ton!

Did you know that Ronald Reagan kept a diary every single day? Except the night he was shot and in the hospital? Did you know that he didn't work out in a gym, but worked on his farm and ranch instead?

We saw a piece of and learned about the Berlin Wall. The kids all had a chance to shovel a tunnel through to get to the other side of the wall. Coming out on the other side to freedom.

We also saw the suit he was wearing when shot, with the bullet hole displayed.

While the kids were there, they did the "normal tour" and walked around and looked at the different memorbilia. However, they were all assigned a part, and were able to role play some of the different people involved with the Grenada conflict in the Discovery Center.

They were broken up into 3 different groups, the Oval Office, the Press Corp and the Military.

Connor was given the role of Vice President George Bush. He was very excited to be the Veep!

 It was so neat to see the kids sitting around the "oval office"discussing politics, and military movements. They really got involved and unfortunatley didn't always make the "right" decisions.

After a ride on "Air Force One" back into 2013, it was time to leave.

What an awesome field trip!

Being very young during his time in office, I really didn't know too much about the "Gipper". But from all that I learned...I am so very impressed.

 I can't wait to take the rest of my kids long as I am not sick, of course.

If you are ever in Thousand Oaks/Simi Valley area, I would highly recommend you stop in. You can find more info about it here.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Quick Trips

Sometimes living close to LA has its perks. Like a huge "local" newspaper. A huge local paper that has a weekend edition...that has the same coupons as their Sunday paper.

So no matter what happens, you will always find me at the store on Saturdays.

Harmony was thrilled to see her favorite Doctor on the cover!

I had some Rite Aid rewards that were expiring and so I decided to make a quick trip. My husband said, "yeah right, there is no way any of your trips are QUICK." lol

First stop: Rite Aid
6 Gatorades ( I wanted to get the Fiji waters since they were bigger but they were out)
8 packages (2 in each) of Soft Lips chapstick
1 large glue stick

Guess how much I paid? $4.64! Plus I earned $11 in rewards. Thank you, thank you. No applause please.

Next stop was Vons. For papers of course.

However, while I was there I completely forgot about the try me free offers on certain General Mills/Betty Crocker products. All free after rebate.

I decided to grab those. While I was there I also noticed...Red Baron pizzas on sale for 3/$10, with a coupon aaaaand they had codes for a free movie ticket to Iron Man 3.

Vons is also having their frozen foods promotion...which Red Baron was a part of...So if I was going to spend $10 on pizza and $4.99 for the Totinos pizza rolls (part of the free after rebate promotion). I was already looking at 1/2 of what I needed to get a $10 catalina back.

In the end my quick trip, turned into a little more than that. I paid $64 for a whopping savings of 35%. I was bummed at first and then...DUH! Half of the items I bought I get back free after rebate. That of course doesn't show up on the reciept. Or the free movie tickets. Or the free sodas for buying the pizza rolls. Or the movie ticket I earned for buying Ballpark products. Or the extra box tops. Or the Stouffers rewards points. Or...

I consider that an NRV. What is an NRV you ask? Well, a lot of people who are losing weight, are encouraged to celebrate their NSV's...Non Scale Victories. So...NRV would be a Non Receipt Victory! I made that up myself, what do you think?!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Got breakfast?

Milk is a good thing. Its got vitamins, calcium...

We also go through it like it was...well milk.

I normally buy 4 gallons at a time, at about $2.99 (or more) a pop.

Since I can't keep a cow in my backyard, I always try to take advantage of free milk deals.

Right now, my Ralphs is having a Buy 4 items (from a huge list) and get a free gallon of milk.

I always try to find the cheapest item I can, that qualifies, use a coupon to get it lower.

I went in today and got:

6 Quaker Perfect Portions (used 6 coupons for .55/1)
2 Kelloggs Cinnamon Jacks (used 2 .50/1 coupons)
3 cartons of 18 ct eggs (on sale for $2.50 each)
2 gallons of milk (free)
1 pkg of discounted Choc. chip mini muffins

It is times like these, when I realize just how much I miss double coupons. I could have doubled all of those coupons up to a $1. Oh well. In the end I paid a little over $27.

I think I am covered for breakfast for awhile!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Band geek

There was a time when I never left my house without my camera. I just never knew what would happen so I always wanted it with me. Now, thanks to having a phone that takes pictures and can automatically load them to my Facebook or blog...well I just find it easier.

However, sitting in our local library, I was having the hardest time capturing pictures of my little band geek.

Luckily for me, I had brought "old faithful" with me :)

After taking pictures of things like my shoe or the rug to figure out the settings...I was all set!

practice shot
This is Harmonys last year being in the Monte Vista band. She has absolutely loved being in band. I have loved seeing her grow and make progress. She has a love and talent for music and I love seeing her in her element!

This concert was just for the Advanced band, and so it was a pretty short concert. She and a friend played a duet. However, she had been told that they hadn't practiced enough together, and so she would be doing a SOLO. She was seriously scared (I don't blame her!) and came home from school and only put her clarinet down to eat dinner. She was very happy to find out that they were able to do it together! So for those who are interested, here she is playing:

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Changing it up...

I have almost 15 years of on the job training, as CFO of Turner Family inc.

So you would think, with all that training, I would have a lot, if not all the answers. And yet...lucky for me, I still have the ability to learn new things. Phew. Thank heaven.

A couple of nights ago, I was getting caught up on some blogs and 2 of my favorite Mom bloggers had some interesting posts. I found myself doing a lot of reflecting and wnting to try some new ideas.

One of the Moms has young kids. I believe Three kids under 3. I have been there, done that. While I have no desire to be in that position again, I enjoyed reading about her day to day life.

I remember those days when I had almost 100% control of our life & schedule. Where a routine was my best friend, and naps were a must...for all of us.

The other Mom, is more in a situation like mine. With a mix of older and younger. Where life is constantly busy. Trying to be there for all of the different events and moments. Finding that balance that is not easy to come by but that I crave.

In reading those blogs, these are the things that I want to change up, based on some of the things that I have learned...

1. I am going to start taking showers at night. I have always taken them in the morning, but lately, I can't get my bum out of bed. I find myself hurrying to get a shower in or drop the kids off looking like...well like I just rolled out of bed. No more. Save time in the mornings by doing things in the evening.

2. Routine, routine, routine. While my routines no longer include naps and diaper changes, I do have a certain ebb and flow to my days. Kids have to be out of the house at the same time every morning. They come home at the same time. Etc. I am making a routine for myself as well as them.

3. More family dinners. Whether it is hot dogs or filet mignon (lol like I ever make that) we need to sit at the table together. Ben is at night school every day but Tuesday. This does not make it easy as he leaves at 5:00. But, we can on the weekends. We can eat together when he is gone.

4. Be more present in my family life. Obviously we spend a lot of time together. However, a lot of times my mind is elsewhere. On errands, on projects, on church things on...Because of this, I will no longer be on the computer while my kids are awake. This is not going to be easy. At all. I am not saying I won't check in on my phone, but I won't be sitting down with my laptop during waking hours.

(picture by Mason)

5. Don't start the day out behind. I need to straighten the house and especially the kitchen in the evening. So I can start out with a clean slate.

Is there anything you want to change? What have you learned?

Monday, March 18, 2013

Weekend wrap up

Life is always insanely busy at our house. 7 people going in 7 different directions. The school/work week is so busy, that I try to stay off-line on the weekend. Just be in the moments with my family.

Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

This past weekend we got a lot of family time in, which I needed!

Friday night was GNO, or Girls Night Out! Harmony and I headed out with another mother/daughter pair to see the BYU International Folk Dancers. As we were sitting before the dancing began, I laughed as Harmony and her friend discussed which guys were the cutest. My girl has grown up...

We loved watching the dancers. The dancing, the music, the energy...Those dancers had an amazing amount of energy! I was ready for sleep after watching them!

I had to force Harmony to get a photo with one of the guy dancers. Luckily her friends helped!

Saturday was filled with the normal Saturday stuff. Cleaning, errands, planting cucumbers...and working around the house.

Saturday nights are almost always family movie nights. We all sat around snuggling, eating popcorn and watching the Rise of the Guardians. Perfect night for me :)

Sunday was full of GREEEEEN! We started our morning (or the top o' the mornin') with some Lucky Charms and green milk. We also enjoyed bagel pizzas on GREEN bagels, green grapes, salad...I made a little quick green treat for my church class and called it good. Although we weren't all wearing green, I think we got lucky and no one got pinched.

A week and a half to go until spring break and I am looking forward to it. This Mama is ready to sleep in for a little bit!

How was your weekend? Were you able to do anything fun?!

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