Friday, May 14, 2010

Sunday's are going to be a breeze

Church for the last eighteen months has been quite an adventure to say the least. In the beginning it was hard hauling in two infant car seats, 1 diaper bag, and Alyssa and Kelsie's church bag. Kevin had to work a lot of Sunday's and so it turned out that usually I just went to church with the kids by myself. I felt like the ward service project because I was constantly needing help at church. You could always hear when our family was at church by the way that Leah and Audrey would scream during sacrament meeting. Some weeks I had to resort to calling our old bishop's wife to see if she wouldn't mind picking up our older girls so that I could stay home and give the babies a nap. As the babies got a little older and weren't in their infant car seats anymore, things actually got a little bit more challenging. Now I had to carry both of them into the building plus all of their belongings. When they began walking guess what? They no longer wanted to hold still during our classes so we would spend our two hours of meeting chasing babies around the building. Good times for all. Now that Leah and Audrey are at the magical age of 18 months they get to go to nursery. With my older two girls, I think that I cried when I dropped them off at nursery for the first time, but oh how happy I was when I got to drop off my fifty plus pound of energetic one year olds. They were so happy to be there, and they have just loved nursery. I have been sneaking them in for the last couple of weeks to get them used to the idea. They didn't even flinch when I left the room, they are loving the nursery. The nursery teachers are great, and I trust them deeply with my girls. Last week they made Mother's day cards with their pictures inside. Leah's card was signed Audrey, and Audrey's card was signed Leah. It was pretty cute. I guess when you are not used to seeing them that they are easy to get mixed up. Anyway, church is going to be a breeze, and I actually will be able to hear what is being said during the lesson.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tennessee flooding take 2

inside of the Opryland hotel
Downtown Nashville

Vanderbilt University downtown Nasvhille

Downtown Nashville

Hard Rock cafe Downtown Nasvhille

Downtown Nashville

This is like waking up to a bad dream, this whole flooding experience is so surreal. I find it odd that not only did we experience the worst winter storm in Tennessee but now we are experiencing the worst rain storm in Tennessee. There is something so wrong with this picture. I couldn't sleep last night and kept thinking that when we woke up, our house would be underwater. Luckily it wasn't but so many homes in our area and surrounding areas are.

The next county over is under a strict water conservation after one of the city's two large water treatment plants was shut down. These companies are completely emerged in water. They are asking residents to use half of their normal household water, and also asked that you didn't shower, wash clothes, or wash dishes. Can you imagine? Again, we are lucky because so far we have been able to do those things. With this just being the next county from us, I am not sure if we will be under the conservation soon.

The Cumberland river which runs through downtown Nashville has completely flooded, spilling water into Music City's historic downtown streets while rescuers using boats and Jet Skis plucked stranded residents away from their flooded homes.

The flash floods caught the city off guard, and thousands of residents and tourists were forced to flee homes and hotels as the river rapidly spilled over its banks. The rapidly rising waters led to the deaths of 18 people in Tennessee, including 10 in Nashville.

This is terrible you guys, and it's so sad to see all of the people who have been affected by this storm. One lady on the news said that she had recently lost her job, and now her home was completely under water. She also doesn't have any flood insurance which seems to be the case in a lot of these stories. What a tragedy for the whole state of Tennessee.

May 2nd just isn't our day

parking lot next to our post office

This used to be a sidewalk by the post office

coming into the grocery store where I shop

neighbors house that was affected by the storm

my neighborhood

my neighborhood

You know I am really starting to hate the date of May 2nd. It's my sister-in-law's birthday and I do like that. Everything else about the date is starting to really stink. You remember last May 2nd when I posted pictures of our basement flooding right? Well, can you believe that again our basement flooded on the very same day as last year? The day has been crazy and the weather has been even crazier. The morning started with a phone call about 5:30 a.m. from a sweet friend. She called to warn me that a tornado was heading our way in about five minutes, and told us that we should take shelter. Now that I think about it, I did hear the tornado sirens going off just a few minutes before she called. Because I have never heard them before, I didn't think anything of it. Immediately we turned on the news and saw that our city had cancelled the tornado warning but had issued a flood warning instead. Just what we needed...more rain.

Our crawl space is in a terrible location, and water seeps in just as fast as the rain is coming down, and when the rain is coming down by the bucket-fulls, not exactly a good situation. I cringe whenever I think about it raining because I know what disaster is going to happen next. You guessed it--a flood.

The rain continued to pour down. I am used to the Tennessee rain storms but this was unlike anything that I had seen. There was so much rain. As we continued watching the news, it showed city after city getting flooded, freeways were closing, and not only were freeways closing but people were also getting stranded on the freeways. Major streets were closing, homes getting swept away from the flooding, people dying, people stranded on top of their homes that were now covered in water, major power outages, lack of water at the emergency shelters, the list just went on and on. At one point the state of Tennessee declared a national weather emergency, and told people that they couldn't drive anywhere and were ordered to stay put.

Our house didn't float away in the storm, and thank heavens for that but our basement did flood. We stopped counting after we pumped over 350 gallons of water out. The carpet was replaced after our last flood a year ago, and we didn't want to have to replace it all again. We are going to try letting it air dry. We will see what happens.

I'm a little stressed right now as we are also in the middle of trying to get ready for our trip to Utah in less than three weeks. I feel like I have so much to do in such little time. We will be okay though and we will get through this just like we have gotten through everything else.

What a crappy day!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Couponing.... I'm addicted

I will be the first to admit that I love to find a good deal. True my husband will tell you that a better deal would have been to not purchase it in the first place but what does he know? I tend to disagree, and constantly seem to be on the search for a great deal. I have always been pretty good about using coupons and searching out the best deal before purchasing something.

When I lived in Utah, it seemed like the deals were a lot harder to find. I think Utah is a prety competitive state when it comes to couponing. So many large families who are all trying to do the same thing.... save money. I just found myself not wanting to use coupons as often because nine times out of ten when I would go and try to get the deal, the item I was looking for was gone.

I love living in Tennessee just for the simple reason that couponing is easier here. You can simply go to the store, and find what it is that you are looking for. I shouldn't say always, but I would say over 90% of the time that's the case.

This was my weekend for couponing. I spent several hours yesterday gathering my coupons together so that today I could go off alone and gather up my deals. I was rather pleased with myself when I got home and laid everything out on my table.

Just for fun I would like you to comment on what you think I paid for my groceries. Who knows, I may even throw in a prize if you come close to the actual cost. Go ahead, just take a guess. Oh yeah, the piggy bank is not included. I put him in the picture because I feel like we are saving so much on groceries when I use my coupons. In case you can't tell from the picture, here is what I bought.

2 tubes of Rembrandt toothpaste $7.99 each
1 package of skittles .89
1 box of Benadryl cream $4.39
1 Schick Hydro shaving cream $2.97
5 Ban deodorants $4.99 each
6 boxes of pasta $1.49 each
12 rolls of Cottonelle toilet paper $5.99
2 packages of Oreo's $3.50 each
1 box of shredded wheat cereal $4.99
1 box of grape nuts cereal $4.99
2 boxes of Raisin Bran $4.39
1 tube of mascara $4.99
1 box of Midol $4.99
1 box of Bayer aspirin $2.19
2 tubes of Crest toothpaste $3.19 each
1 box of Prevacid $22.49
1 pro clinical Colgate toothpaste $7.99
4 jars of Peter Pan peanut butter $2.33 each
1 gallon of milk $3.50
My total on this order was $22.00. Can you believe that? Just for the Prevacid alone without coupons would have cost me what I paid for my entire supply of groceries.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Leah and Audrey happenings

Where has the last seventeen months gone? I ask myself that same question every morning as I look at these two sweet and busy little girls. It really just seems like yesterday that I brought them home terrified to no end, wondering how in the world I would ever be able to take care of two babies at a time. Now seventeen months later here we are.

I was recently going through some baby clothes and found a preemie onesie that we had for Leah. The onesie was way too big for her when we first put it on her, and now judging by her size. You would never guess that she was only 5 lbs. 9 oz. when she was born. I was so sure that she wasn't going to live very long because of her size, and would call the newborn nursery at the hospital almost daily for advice on how to care for her. I was so worried about her when she was born. She wasn't eating very well when we first brought her home, and maybe I have over compensated for that now. The girl never stops eating. I love her and all of her chubbiness.

I still get the usual questions from strangers such as "are they twins?" "are you sure they aren't identical?" "are you done having kids?" The best comment came a few weeks ago. It was made by a lady that I don't know super well but knows that our girls are twins. She wanted to know how old Leah was. I quickly replied that she was 17 months. She then asked specifically how old her twin sister was. I looked at her dumbfounded and said, "she is also 17 months, they are twins!" It was a classic blond remark, but none the less I couldn't help myself from laughing. The comment got even funnier when she then asked if they were identical twins, or mirror twins? (mirror twins? Aren't those the same as identical twins?) I said they are neither. She was beyond confused at that point, and luckily it was time for me to go home at that point in our conversation.

The biggest news happened last month when Audrey decided to finally start walking. Leah started walking when she was about fourteen months, and Audrey decided it was her time. She now walks all over the place. Her preferred form of transportation would still be to be carried, but I am trying to make her walk.

Audrey's hair is so dark and very curly. So far she is our only child that has kept their dark hair since birth. Leah's hair is very light and is very straight. Both girls are completely different in looks and personality. Audrey is much more photogenic and is always smiling. Leah will smile but it takes a lot of work to make her do so. However, one thing that will always make Leah smile is her shoes. She LOVES to wear shoes. Preferably her red sparkly wizard of oz shoes. She even takes naps in her shoes. Weird I know. I guess she takes after Kelsie with her fashion sense.

These two little girls consume a lot of my day, and not a whole lot gets done around the house. If I do manage to get something done, they are right behind me undoing whatever it was they I managed to get done. We call them our little tornadoes, and believe me they are.

I am telling you right now that pictures just don't do justice of these two. They are even cuter in person. I love having all of these girls in our house, I really do! Right now life is going great. I can't complain!

Alyssa happenings

Well for one thing, Alyssa got a new look. She now has braces and looks so cute with them. I thought that the lisp was going to last forever, and I am so glad that it only lasted for a week.

Alyssa has really come out of her shell this year, and I give credit to her wonderful second grade teacher for that. The quiet and reserved little Alyssa is now just a happy and energetic eight year old.

Alyssa is still 100% tom boy, and wants nothing to do with "GIRL" stuff. After getting her nails painted she said that she looked ugly. (should we be worried yet?) Of course since we don't have any boys in our family it's okay because we have Alyssa. She will dig in the dirt, hold bugs, and she knows how to use tools. The other day we went outside to find her fixing Kelsie's training wheels with a wrench in tow. It was the funniest thing, and even funnier that she knew how to use the wrench properly.

Alyssa has a strong bond with her Dad, and the two of them speak whale or something. It's a language that the rest of us don't understand I swear. They tell jokes that only the two of them understand, they think alike, they act alike, they are just alike. It's so sweet to watch the two of them together. A strong bond with a Father is something that I never had, and I am so thankful that I get to see this through the shinning eyes of my daughters.

Alyssa continues to excel in school, and is just enjoying second grade. She makes friends easily, and is really loving Tennessee. She is looking forward to going to Utah in a few weeks where she will be getting baptized.

Alyssa keeps us entertained that's for sure. She is such a good helper with her little sisters, and they look up to her so much. Even little Kelsie's friends can't get enough of Alyssa. Oh how we love our sweet girls.

Video of Kelsie reading The Nose Book

One other thing that I wanted to post was a video of Kelsie reading. A lot of people have asked me to record her reading, so here you go. She is a very good reader.

We were driving by Shoney's one night and some of the letters were out on the sign and so it only said HO. I didn't think much of it until Kelsie pipes up from the back seat and says, "Mom, what's a ho? My response was, "ummm, it's just what Santa says."

Kids say the funniest things.