January 22, 2009

Walking with Dinosaurs

Tater has been asking if we could go see the Walking with Dinosaurs show since we first saw the ads for it (before Christmas), but I've really been trying to watch our spending and was having a hard time justifying spending so much money on tickets.  As I weighed out our options, I realized that we did some many things like this when Rooster was little, but we really haven't with Tater (2nd child syndrome!) so I went ahead and got the tickets. 

It was so worth it! We didn't tell the boys we were going and somehow managed to get them all the way inside before we told them.  Tater was so excited! He couldn't quit jumping up and down and I can't tell you how many times I heard that he loved me and that it was the best day of his life.  Even Rooster (who is too cool for anything lately) said that he wanted to put all of the pictures I took up on his MySpace page. 

The show was really good. It was crazy to see how big and realistic looking the dinosaurs were.  Tater, of course, knew the name of every dinosaur that came out and loudly announced each one. 

But, leave it to me to manage to throw in a really bad example for my kids to follow. I'll post more later about that!


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Martin Luther King Day

I wanted to do a service project with the boys for MLK day, but it's hard with the age difference between them to find something that they can both do without one being bored or one acting out.

We decided we would go through our food storage and take some food to the food bank.  I tried all day to reach them by phone to make sure they were open with no luck before deciding we would go to the homeless shelter. I know they need the help too, but I was a little leery about taking the boys to it.

I'm so glad we did! The house manager was so grateful for our food and even offered to take the boys on a tour of the facility.  It was a warmer day so it was empty, but they got to see the sleeping area, a family room area and learn how many people come through each day to stay or eat.  I was even able to get the phone number for their volunteer co-ordinator and Rooster and I are going done once a month to serve food. Tater really wants to go, but I think we need to wait until he is older. 

Tater's teacher asked what he did over the weekend and he told her we went to the Walking with Dinosaurs show on Saturday then the homeless shelter. I asked if he told her why we went to the homeless shelter and he said "umm no", so I'm wondering if she's thinking we're blowing our money and then getting a free meal at the shelter. Kind of made me laugh. 

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January 21, 2009


Detoxifying seems to be the newest thing in diet pills.  On the surface it makes sense to me. I'm sure our body retains some of the bad things that go into our body-it absorps vitamins and minerals so I would think it would hold on to some junk too.

According to Orovo Detox retained toxins can decrease our metabolic rate and result in weight gain. Something interesting to think about.

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Where to get coupons

I've had some questions about where I get my coupons so I thought I would write a quick post about where I get them.

The majority of my coupons come from the Sunday paper, but I get 5 copies of the paper so that when things go on sale I can buy in bulk.

I was surprised to see that some Sunday papers don't have a lot (if any) coupons available. If that's the case for you, I have bought coupons in the past.

Ebay: A great place to find some of the better coupons is on Ebay. I have no problem paying for  coupons (or technically paying someone to cut out the coupons because selling the coupons is illegal) if it means I'm getting a killer deal on something.  I have bought coupons for toilet paper from Ebay and ending up getting 2 cases of toilet paper for $2.00. The toilet paper was free and I paid the seller $2.00.  I also got 80 bottles of Gatorade for about $3.00 after buying on Ebay. 

Coupon Clipping Service: I have ordered coupons from the coupon clipper before and have been pleased. I've ordered at the first of the week and had them by then end of the week. It can be harder to get the coupons you want from a clipping service bacause they seem to go fast. You also have a minimum order, pay for the coupon and then a small handling fee.

Printables: I regularly use printables. Some good sites to go to are:
Box tops
Really any manufactures website will most likely have printable coupons. If not send them an email letting them know you like their product and ask if they can send you some.

Use prescription transfer coupons. This is a great way to get gift cards for use at your favorite store.

I use rebates a lot, but only on items that I would buy anyway. My last rebates included $10 rebate on 2 cases of water. I paid $10 for the water so free. $25 rebate on $150 grocery store purchase and $20 rebate on chicken. 

My very favorite website is Pinching Your Pennies. On this site you can go to a forum set up for your state (I think they have most of them set up) and there is grocery store lists (from the ads) matched up with what coupon to use and a rating on how good of a deal it is.

You can also find coupons and rebate for trade and trains that you can join to swap coupons. 

I hope this helps a little any way - thanks for your comments and questions

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Planning for vacation

With the hope that our trip to Africa will go through later this year, I've been looking into what needs to be done. None of us have a passport so that will be the first thing on the list.  The amount of vaccinations we will need is crazy and has put a bit of a sour note on the trip for Rooster.  He's not thrilled with the idea of having to get shots to go on a trip. I'm not looking forwrd to it either, but it will be so worth it! Another thing I need to look into is obtaining travel medical insurance, I don't even know if our insurance would cover anything over there. There are a thousand things I need to do but I'm hoping the director of the outreach program can point me in the right direction.

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January 20, 2009

Feeling Good!

Until today, it really didn't sink in what a momentous event in history we were going through. Honestly, I didn't think that we would see an African American President so early in my lifetime. Or see a woman come so close to winning the nomination.

Growing up a white girl with inter-racial parents, in a fairly reserved community, there were many times in my life that I was shunned by whites and blacks as well. I had a step-dad, who stepped in and became the father that my dad never was and it was difficult for me to understand why the color of his skin should make a difference or why the color of my skin should make the same difference to others.

Watching the inauguration proceedings today gave me so much hope that my children will grow up in a different world than I did.  Don't get me wrong, I'm the person I am today because of my childhood and I am grateful for every minute of it. My children have grown up never identifying with race, instead they see people for what kind of a person they are and for that I am forever grateful.

I've been conscious of not discussing my political views here because I feel they are very personal. Quite frankly I live by the rule that you should never discuss politics unless your up for a heated argument. Race and politics aside, I feel so much hope and promise when I listen to Barack O'bama speak. Hope that we can live in a world with more peace than we have today. Hope that my children have a promising future, filled with tolerance and love. Hope that the decline we are seeing in so many aspects of American can be reversed.

I know so many people are sick of hearing the word "Hope" but without hope where would we be?

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January 16, 2009

Nursing Degree Online

Quite a few years ago, I decided to pursue my degree in nursing. I went to a local university and got my Certified Nursing Assistant license, with the intent of continuing on to get a degree in nursing.  When I finished the course my boss asked what he could pay me to keep me in my position and actually agreed to what I said, so I stayed. Shortly after I had Roster and never found the time to fit in classes and clinicals with a new baby and a full time job.

I recently found an online MS nursing program and it made me start thinking about going back to school. With Saint Xavier University's nursing program most of the course work is done online with a weekend of campus experience.  This type of program could fit wonderfully into a busy life. I could do the online work at night after the kids go to bed and Twitch would be here on the weekends with the kids. This may just be the motivation I need to finish up my bachelor's degree!

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January 11, 2009

Hi! My name is Mindy and I'm an.....

Addict! I'm not trying to make light of the troubles addict go through, but if it's possible to be addicted to shopping, then I am. I guess a more accurate statement is I'm addicted to saving money.  Honestly, I get the same rush shopping that I get when I walk into a casino.

I haven't been coupon shopping lately because everything I've been doing has been half-arse, shopping included. But when I made my latest shopping trip all of the signs indicating that I might just be a bit wacky came back. 

The rapid heartbeat when I go over my list, the light head I get after all the discounts come off and my need to gloat to everybody about my savings all came rushing back. 

So, if you'll indulge me while I gloat one more time, I'll share my latest trip to Albertson's.
First transaction:
16lbs of Iams dog food
5 boxes of Toaster Strudel
4 boxes of Cheerios
10 boxes of Fruit Snacks
2 bottles of Tide
2 cases of water
4 boxes of brownie mix
6 bottles of Pantene
5 tubes of Crest
Total before coupons: $104.65
Preferred Savings: $59.26
Store Coupons: $3.00
Total Savings: $86.86
I paid: $104.65
I also have a $10.00 rebate on the 2 cases of water so they will end up being free.

Definitely not my best shopping trip but this one was necessary to get the next transaction to work.

Second Transaction:
2 gallons of milk
8 boxes of Rice A Roni
2 boxes of popcorn
4 bags of feminine hygein products
4 bottles of shampoo
16 lbs of pork chops
15 lbs of chicken
10 lbs of potatoes
Total before coupons: $147.12
Bonus Buy Savings: $38.44
Preferred Savings: $22.50
MFG Coupons: $68.00
Store Coupons: $6.48
Total Savings: $135.42

I paid: $11.70!!! I was so freakin' excited. I received $60.00 dollars in catalinas from my previous order which I used on this transaction.

When I was regularly coupon shopping we had a massive amount of food storage built up and I was saving enough to equal a part time job. I really need to get more organized and start saving some money!

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January 8, 2009

Make it stop!!

I'm done! I want the snow to stop and the temp to raise from 5 degrees to ohh around 75.  I've lived in Utah most of my life and I really should have gotten over my adversity to the snow and the cold, but I really haven't.  We just had 2 days of almost non-stop snow and are in for more tomorrow.

A good friend of mine, who has done my hair for years, moved to North Carolina not far from the Outer Banks. I'm so jealous when I look at pictures of her and her dog frolicking on the beach as I'm sitting with socks, sweats, long sleeved shirt and the portable heater blowing right on me.

I'm thinking now would be a perfect time to go visit and I could even get my hair cut at the same time (it's only been 4 months since I've had it cut - I'm still in mourning).

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January 2, 2009

Happy 2009

I've decided that I've really taken New Year's Eve for granted.  New Year's Eve is always spent at our house and I stress and clean and cook for 2 days before.  This year we managed to fit over 50 people in our house that is not set up to hold that many people, which at first stressed me out, but once I relaxed a bit (okay, a few Coconut Rum and Sprite drinks probably helped) we all had a fantastic time.  We hadn't seen some of our friends since last year and it was good to catch up.

I didn't get too many pictures that turned out for some reason they kept getting worse. Again, it could have been the cocktails but I'm really wondering if at some point you just have to replace the memory cards because the pics by the end of the night were really just horrible.

Rooster ringing in 2009

Tater bringing in the New Year

This my friends is what Twitch looks like after 1 too many shots of Tequila - good thing  we only let loose once a year! BTW I'd appreciate it if we kept this pic as our little secret, I'm not sure he would be too thrilled with this moment of sharing. 
What happens at Mindy's house doesn't always stay at Mindy's house - It just might end up on the blog!

By the end of the night this is how the pictures were turning out?!?!

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 Christmas was fantastic this year.  On Christmas Eve, we had dinner with friends then we all went to a live nativity play. We go every year and every year I'm amazed by the play. It's done by a family in the town next to us.  They do it in the front yard of the house and it's complete with Mary and Joseph, roman soldiers, the angel on the top of their chimney (which was a little scary this year because of the wind) donkeys, llamas and horses.  It's such a nice time to reflect on what Christmas means before the madness of Christmas morning begins. 
Unfortunately, we missed church service this year because we didn't get to the play until late.

We had a massive storm come through Christmas Eve through the morning so we cancelled our trip to Brigham to have Christmas Day with the family.  My Grandma was released from the rehab center for the day so it was a hard not to go, but the roads were horrible so we stayed home and let the kids trash the house!

Friday was spent at my parents. My mom made us homemade lasagna, that was fantastic. We spent the evening exchanging gifts and talking then slid our way home. The roads didn't look like they had seen a plow or a sandtruck since the storm the day before. 

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!

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Writer's Block

I've been MIA for awhile. It seems I've been in a funk and haven't been blogging lately. Really, I think it's been so insanely busy around here that I haven't taken a minute to do anything for myself.  Blogging is really my release and I need to make sure I set some time aside to do it.  So before I long on to work tonight I'm going to write a few posts to get myself caught up since Christmas.

insurance online

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