Sunday, December 29, 2013

Zoo Lights & Train at Library

Having a Columbus Zoo membership is a true blessing! We are able to go to the zoo anytime and spend as little or as much time as we would like!! We love going to see the Winter Lights. It was cold but that is expected in December in Ohio. We had a great family night at the zoo!

The next day we ventured downtown to the Columbus Main Library. They had a train on display during the holidays. We took Parker last year and he loved it. He could see over the fence and this year he was able to see everything on his own! :)

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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Winter Break Fun: Randoms!

After Christmas we had some random fun times! Parker got a build a fort set from Uncle Jimmy. It was a big hit. The for they built was barely big enough for Parker and then he made daddy join him. And then Parker wanted to build puzzles inside the fort.

Parker took a bath in our big tub and he is just being his normal cute self! :)

We took a trip to visit Natalie, Carter and Jackson! Sarah and Barrett where there too. Hoping to get the group pics soon! :)

Parker loves baby Jackson! Can you see the love on Parker's face?? He was mad because we had to leave. :)

Who doesn't love a kid in a white undershirt?? :) Parker helped Grandma Terry pack for Hawaii!! He loved playing with the suitcase was has the spinny wheels! The day before Grandma Terry and Popa left for Hawaii we went to lunch and wished them well!!

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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas 2013

We had a great Christmas! We spent time with family and friends and relaxed. We hosted Christmas Eve dinner at our house this year for the Gibbs family. It was my first time making a ham and I was pleasantly surprised that it turned out so well. Everyone enjoy good food and quality family time. All of the kids had a great time playing!

Opening gifts :)

Trent, Chris and Kenda

On Christmas morning Grandma Terry and Popa came over. Parker opened his gifts and then we ate all-day-long! Uncle Jimmy came over later in the day for round two of Parker opening gifts. It was a very relaxing day. We loved every stress-free minute!!

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Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Polar Express 2013

For Christmas Grandma Schupp treated her entire family to tickets for The Polar Express! There where 30 total family members that rode the train. It was a FANTASTIC experience. The kids LOVED every minute!!

My parents came too so we decided to rent a van. It decided to ran VERY hard on the drive to and from Dennison Ohio. The trip was about 2.5 hours each way. The weather could have been worse, it could have been snow!! It did clear just long enough for us to stand outside and wait for the train. We where very lucky.

Parker and Popa being silly!

Parker received new pajamas from his elf Chuck! They have the airplanes from Planes movie!

Parker loved spending time with his extended family. Cooper was so much fun!!

Parker, daddy and Grandma Schupp! Such a great time!

The magic!

Hot chocolate, fun games, sing-a-longs and lots of memories!

Thank you Grandma Schupp and to Aunt Jackie for helping plan everything!! Love you all!

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Friday, December 20, 2013

Winter Fun!

Here are a collection of pics of events before Christmas. It was a busy month!

Parker had a special visitor waiting for him the same day he ran into Santa! He named his elf, Chuck-E-Cheese but we will call him Chuck for short. Parker literally ran into Santa during a visit to the donut house with his Popa. They are regulars and happen to run into Santa on their visit.

Grandma Terry and mommy made Parker a felt Christmas tree that he could decorate over and over again!

Daddy reading books to an audience! :)

Parker was trying so hard to tie this dog's shoes :)

Parker and mommy being silly!

Parker got a new super cool hat! We LOVE it!!

And the annual school Holiday Program! Parker learned so many new songs and did a great job singing them all!! He was super cute!

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Monday, December 16, 2013

Emergency Fund

At the beginning of our third month on a budget our dishwasher decided to start leaking. We had established a small emergency fund so that IF something came up during our money makeover we would have it covered. Luckily we had enough to cover the new dishwasher. Ray used his employee discount to save us a good chunk of change. He then put his handyman skills to good use by installing it himself. Parker helped too!

Doing dishes by hand was an inconvenience but not the end of the world. Don't get me wrong I was very thankful once the new one was installed and working. We were back in action before the holidays!! It felt great to have cash set aside to make this purchase. That was a big step for us!!

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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Hot Chocolate & Craft Time

Winter in Ohio can be a little crazy. We decided the best way to pass the time was to drink hot chocolate and be crafty!

The elephant mug was mine when I was little. My dad painted it for me and my name is on the trunk. Parker loved it!!

Pinterest is our favorite place! Ok, so it' my favorite and the family just has to deal with it!! :) Parker helped make a snowman for his bedroom door and then worked on designing one of a kind place settings for his grandparents. They plates where a hit with the grandparents!! :)

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Friday, December 13, 2013

What Are We Saving For?

We currently lease both of our cars. Did I mention we leased these cars on the same day? Yeah, double stupid tax being paid here!! Needless to say we are counting down until our leases are up, January 26, 2015. We can't sell our cars, we would have too much negative equity. So we are going to stick it out and just save!

The current plan is to save as much money as we possibly can and purchase two cars. Ray drives less than 10 miles a day to and from work. He is a car guy but knows that having an in expensive and paid for car is better for everyone. I drive a little further to work and we want to have a bigger more reliable car for the family. I will be getting a minivan! I will put it on the table now so it's not a surprise to anyone later. :)

A great friend told me, "The best time to look for and buy a used vehicle is when you don't need one!" We are currently looking so we have an idea of what is out there. It's exciting to have a plan and working the plan. We know what we want and we are going after it!!

Any car recommendations??

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Sunday, December 08, 2013

Life Skills: Undressing Yourself

We like to make things fun! Parker loves to do everything himself especially dressing and undressing. So we made it a fun game! :)

YouTube Video

He is going to love to watch these videos when he is a teenager! :)

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Making Memories with Popa & Grandma Terry

Parker loves helping in the kitchen. Popa and Grandma Terry let him help make eggies at their house. So when they came to our house to make dinner he jumped right in. Popa loves to help Parker learn new things. The video cracks me up everytime!

I am so grateful that Parker has loving family that want to make memories! These experiences will last a life time! :)

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Saturday, December 07, 2013

Parker being Parker :)

Here is a silly collection of Parker being Parker! :)

He loves his light up turtle that Uncle Jimmy got him. Love these pics

Parker + Pudding = cute

Warmer November allowed us time to play outside. Swings were taken down for the winter but the slide still works.

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Monday, December 02, 2013

Second Month of Having a Plan

Wow, it's December 2nd already! Time flies when you are having fun!! We have finished our 2nd month of being on a budget and actually having a plan! If you didn't read my first post click here to read from the beginning.

We started our journey on October 1, 2013. The first month we had to figure out how to work together and to communicate how we would spend out money. We also used this time to change habits and communicate with friends and family. For me it was letting co-workers and friends know that eating out was no longer a first option of visiting and catching up. I had to ask my lunch dates if it would be OK if we packed lunches and visited that way instead of dining out. If dinner plans had already been made I kept those plans and took the opportunity to fill friends in on the life changes we were making as a family. So far so good!

They say changing or creating a new habit takes 21 days. It's now been 60 days since we started and I have to say many new habits have been formed and many old ones have gone by the way side. Here is a run down of our changes...

- Have not bought soda for the house in 60-days

- We have been soda free for 30-days, we have them on occasion if provided at an event. Not totally soda free but maybe 1 a week if that. Pretty good either way! :)

- We (Ray & I) have both lost weight. I have dropped 10lbs and Ray has dropped a belt notch! Ray doesn't weigh himself so measurement is a bit different :)

- We all have new Nalgene water bottles that we use on a daily basis.

- In the month of November we ate out ONCE! This was for Parker's birthday, so a good reason to celebrate!

- We started a food calendar to track our meals in hopes we can build a calendar for the future with past data :)

- We have been shopping at Aldi's for 90% of our food and the other 10% (meat/chicken/lunch meat) at another local grocery. I have been trying out and comparing Giant Eagle, Kroger & Sam's for meat.

The first month was tough. The second month has been easier. The third month includes Christmas. The difference from month to month doesn't scare me anymore because we have a plan. We are talking and communicating more than ever before. Now that we have a plan all we need to do is execute the plan. I want to list all of the items we won't be doing this Christmas but I want to make sure I am perfectly clear that we are not really giving up anything but in turn gaining our sanity back and planning for our future. The "to-do" list around the holidays can be crazy and for us enough is enough...

* No mailing of Christmas cards. Might do a yearly recap here and email out to everyone.

* No gifts. OK, so Parker is getting one big gift that will save our sanity but that is it. No gifts. This also means no wrapping paper, no gift tags, no tape. We have plenty from years past.

* No new decorations, use what we have and make the rest with stuff we've got! Pinterest is good for new ideas on using old things. It can also drive you batty wanting to buy new things but I am using it for "up cycling"

In general my sanity will be spared. Ray won't worry about the credit card bills that would pile up in the coming months. Parker gets happy parents who love him unconditionally and are trying to teach him that it's not about the PILE of presents you receive. We are very excited to have completed our second month and to be starting the third month on the right foot, with the right attitude and a plan!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Parker is 3!

Our little boy isn't so little! Parker is 3 years old now!!

He had a great birthday party with friends and family. He loved his Spiderman cupcake holders and loved all of his gifts. It was fun having his party at our house.

Parker is a smart cookie! Here are his favorite things to say and do right now:

- Seriously mommy, seriously! (yes he learned that from me)

- He loves to pretend to make food

- He will follow along with TV shows when they ask the audience questions

- He loves the movie Rio

- He loves to sing and dance, mostly sing. He will make up random songs and sing them when ever and where ever he is (example below)

- He loves to give random hugs and kisses

- He also likes to act out scenes with his Spiderman and Batman figures.

YouTube Video

Below are pics of Parker and his BFF Brycen. We took cookies to daycare for Brycen's birthday. We ended up doing this a day early but we wanted to be the first to wish Brycen a happy 3rd birthday!!

Parker's actual birthday fell on a Wednesday so we decided to treat him and us to dinner out! We went to Fusion Japanese Restaurant. It a guaranteed win since it's dinner and entertainment. Parker loves eating with his chop sticks, loves the eggies and he especially loves the "yum yum" sauce! Great time had by all!!

I also don't want to forget to also note a few other items about Parker at the ripe old age of 3! :)

- He weights 35lbs

- He is 37.5 inches tall

- He can now stand up and pee. He now clears the toilet :)

- He was discharged from the cardiology unit at Children's Hospital. He is healthy and no need to go back!

- He checks multiple times a day to make sure no one has taken is "junk" (private parts). Dr says this is normal! :)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Looking for FREE!

I have a need to shop and to work on projects. So to fill this need I have turned to looking for free projects. I am not ashamed to say I look for items people are throwing away, I am a trash picker! :) Here are some items that we have literally picked out of the trash and transformed into something new for our home! :)

Parker loves his new school desk. It's been a great addition to our office.

Who knew that an old print drawer could look so nice!! His cars look great hanging on the wall.

The plant stand has been spray painted brown and looks brand new now. In the spring it will have flowers :)

This table to picked from a friends Facebook post. Now it has a new home and repourposed!

I have found a new way to have projects on a budget!! Anything you want to give-a-way you just let me know!!

Friday, November 01, 2013

Hotel Gibbs

At the end of September we had some special house guests. Uncle Larry, Aunt Suzie and Bella came to stay with us. Larry and Suzie has just sold their home in Rhode Island and needed a place to stay before relocating to Hawaii!! Parker loved Bella (the dog) but after two weeks still wouldn't get hear her. She is the best dog ever but Parker didn't believe us. :)

Parker loved having new friends at the house. He was so excited to see everyone and misses them very much. It's never a dull moment with this group so needless to say we had a great memorable time!! :)

Parker loves his Aunt Suzie so much! He talks about them often and can't wait to see them in Hawaii!! :)

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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Fall Fun!

The weather this Fall was warm then cold. Mother Nature couldn't make up her mind. We took advantage of the nice days by getting out and exploring some local events. Parker also took a field trip with school to a pumpkin patch. He picked out his favorite pumpkin and brought home lots of straw in his pockets!! He had a great time!

We also went to a local Monster Truck event. The family who owns Sampson Monster truck lives in Circleville Ohio. They open their property for a day for visitors to see the trucks up close and personal. Parker loved being about to see and touch the trucks.

Parker loves craft time. He loves using cutters and glue. We used a battery operated t-light candle to illuminate his creation.

We decided to take a Friday off work and school to enjoy a family fun day. We went to the Circleville Pumpkin show in the morning. Ray and I hadn't been in a very long time. Now I remember why we didn't go back. There were blocks and blocks of food and a small area of pumpkins. Seeing we are trying to save money spending tons on food was not in our plan. So we walked the whole event and then headed home. It was a nice morning so we enjoyed the drive and the walk :)

That evening we went to the Columbus Zoo for Boo at the Zoo. It was a BEAUTIFUL night. The weather was perfect!! Everyone loved Parker's costume. Our little Buzz Lightyear was a hit!! As you can see he was super cute.

Halloween night ended up being a rainy cold mess so we didn't go trick-or-treating. Parker had gotten treats from school and from our neighbors so that was enough for us. We had a great Fall!

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