Sunday, September 26, 2010

We Came, We Saw, We Conquered

Foote is back into the "I have to get in shape fast before the hunting trip." I on the other hand, am a consistent work out all year long type because it helps me stay sane. Although I have to admit that since being pregnant my workouts have changed a lot. I said I was going to run all the way until my due date, because I know a lot of women do, but I am lucky to do a mile before I have to walk not because I feel winded, but because all the pregnancy parts of me begin to protest very loudly. I have tried to convince Foote that he should try to be the work out all year type so that he does not have to do the one-month crunch in an attempt to not die when he goes hunting, but it is yet to happen.

Foote decided that he wanted to do the incline on Saturday to get in shape. I told him maybe he should start by just running a couple of miles on flat ground, but he was determined. What is the Incline? It's a sort of stairway up the side of Pikes Peak; you climb about 2200 feet in elevation in just over a mile.

Here is a clip that I found in a paper article that sums it up:

"It is unbelievable to think that people or even a machine could scale such a grade. In numbers, it doesn't sound so bad; the climb starts at a little over 6,500 feet elevation and ends at 8,644. According to the US Geological Survey, the average gradient is 41% with the maximum being 68% and is 1.02 miles long."

Foote invited some friends of ours, the Rigbys to do the incline too. He then came home to tell me he had set it up with the Rigbys to go on Saturday. I don't ever remember saying that I wanted to go, but I was invited and I can't pass up a challenge. So now our whole family was going. Remember I am almost seven months pregnant. I hear about the incline from my die-hard running friends that go and run it every week trying to beat their time. The last thing I want to do is go climb thousands of stairs to the top a mountain with a three and four year old. But there is also that part of me that is always a sucker for something that sounds like a challenge.

First thing I notice on Saturday morning is that no one brings small kids to do the incline. The Rigby's are newlyweds and so don't have to worry about getting kids to the top of the mountain. In fact I don't think I see anyone doing the incline under the age of fifteen. I am sure people thought we were either cruel or crazy parents. We made it to the top it took over two hours, but we did it. I actually had no problems I really did not even get winded because I had Brooklyn and she wanted to stop so often and rest that I never went long enough to get really tired. Brooklyn spent about half of the hike claiming that she did not "know how to climb stairs" even though she just climbed several hundred.

I probably ended up carrying Brooklyn for about a quarter of the way up the Incline and about all the way off the mountain so that was the hardest part of the whole hike and extra 40 pounds on my back and the extra 20 on my front. She was so tired that she fell asleep on my shoulders and snored in my ear the whole four mile hike off the mountain. I was like everyones motivation no one wanted to get passed up by a pregnant lady carrying a three year old.

September is almost over AHHH! Where does the time go. Although I am starting to wonder if we are ever going to see fall here in colorado. It has been nice to be able to enjoy an extended summer. Here are some of this months fun moments.

The girls and I attended a baseball game with our friends Angie and Cassidy Johnson. This year Aly was finally brave enough to pose with Sox the Fox while Brooklyn Was to scared to go anywhere near him.

We went to the balloon glow over labor day weekend the girls loved the balloons so much that I could not even get them to hold still for a picture they kept turning to watch the balloons light up.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Girls, Girls, Girls

Foote has his ringtone set to the Beastie Boys hit song Girls Girls Girls. It was funny because his brother turned to him and said, "Girls Girls Girls, Seriously?" He replied "this is my theme song, all I have girls" girls, girls and now........yes another girl. I know this is old news for people who see us on a weekly basis or talk to my mom, but for others, (drum roll please) this is me finally, at six months announcing that we are expecting girl #3. We are due Christmas Day. I am blessed to have easy pregnancies so really the only low part of the pregnancy was that the doctor made me stop running for three months. This was a really hard adjustment to make (runners may understand). So I compensated by becoming a master at spin class. I am attempting to run again, now that I have permission. The truth is, I am just to pregnant. The girls are excited and love to peek into my belly button and tell me that they can see the baby like it is a peep hole. Brooklyn tries to convince me on a daily basis that the baby wants to come out, as if I am holding her prisoner and it's time for her time out to come to an end.

I am excited, but all of the sudden a little overwhelmed as I realize I am now a mom to three girls, and a lot of what they learn about the type of mothers and wives that they may some day become will depend on the example I set......too stressful to think about.

Friday, September 10, 2010

ER Adventure

With girls that think they need to climb everything in sight and have dare devil blood running through their veins. No matter how much I try to convince them that they can just walk down the stairs, that they don't have to slide down the banister, or that no matter how good they think they are at swimming they really cannot quite swim on their own yet, they refuse to listen. So it was only a matter of time before we ended up in the ER. Here is our first stitches incident. Aly split her chin open while cannon-balling into the bath tub. I can not even count the amount of times I have asked them not to jump in the tub, but it still has not deterred them from their jumping in the tub contest.

Aly was so proud of her stitches that I am not sure that it was a good thing to take her to the ER she loves to tell everyone about how brave she was and displaying her battle wounds. I overheard her talking to a friend and it really sounded more like she was giving tips to her friend on some possible ways to get an injury that might be ER worthy.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Good Intentions

I am plagued with being a woman of good intentions I always have a list about a mile long of things that I would like to do. The trouble is that only about a fraction of them end up happening and turning out the way I had hoped.

Todays projects included getting a treat made and delivered to all my visiting teaching sisters, planning family home evening for my family and extended family, making an ice cream birthday cake for Foote, and delivering primary thank yous to all the people that helped in my sharing time over a week ago, and plan a outline for my joy school meeting. Not to mention just all the normal day to day stuff.

I tried to hurry and get my cookies baked so that I could meet my companion at 2:oo to deliver the treats. Baking usually ends up being a pain for me because I rarely bake because I definitely don't need to eat any sweet treats. I was out of eggs so I did a store run to get my eggs and ingredients for the ice cream cake. I begin again to bake only to realize that I don't have any brown sugar so I hurry and load the girls back up in the car and race back to the store and buy some brown sugar. I come home and realize I will need to get not only the cookies finished, but the ice cream cake done as well or it won't have enough time to freeze so I get the ice cream out to soften and start to make my cookies only to realize that I am out of vanilla.....Ahhh! I am now down to the hour to get cookies made and plated and the ice cream cake finished and I am out of time......How important is vanilla really? And to top it all off the tears of frustration begin to fall (I am pregnant after all). Aly who has been at my side the whole time wanting to help asks, "Mom why are you crying?" How to answer this question without losing it? "I am just sad because I wish I was a super mom, but I am not.".....Aly thinks about this for a minute and responds....."Didn't you know all moms are made with magic?"......sigh how does a four year old know exactly what to say to make me smile?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Summer In a nutshell

Busy Busy Summer. Camping, road trips, family reunions and swimming.

We started the summer with a campout to the sand dunes. That sand and water is a perfect combination. This year our friends Angie and Cassidy Johnson cam along with us, so that was a fun treat.

Next we squeezed in a couple weeks of swimming lessons. Between lessons and going to the gym the girls have spent hours and hours in the pool this summer.

Next we headed to Salt Lake City for one of our weekend trips (the kind where you spend more time in the car than at your destination.) We were able to be with Brad and Jenny for Jaden's sealing and blessing it was great to finally see their beautiful baby.

Two weeks later we were back in Utah again to celebrate the fourth of July with Foote's brother Bob and his wife Holly. We were there for the blessing of their little girl Alexis. It was fun to get together with all of the Foote cousins and picnic in Uncle Bob and Aunt Holly's beautiful back yard. Uncle Bob let all the grandkids try out his water bottle rocket launcher. We were able to watch fireworks in Pleasant Grove and other than having a few of the fireworks fired into the crowd it was great fun.

The next week Uncle Ed, Aunt Kari and our cousins Hazel, Ginger, and Poppy all came into town, which was a great treat since it has be a few years since we have seen them. We had a Hickman get together. Uncle Brad and Aunt Jenny also came with their baby Jaden so we were able over the next couple weeks to see all our family except Uncle Dan. It was two weeks full of family and picnics, outings, and fun things.

Talia, Hazel, Brooklyn, and Ginger having a great time plying in grandma's back yard

Grandpa and the uncles took all the kids out for a fishing outing.
Grandpa teaching Talia to fish
Gavin displaying his catch
Brooklyn fishing for the first time.

All the little grandaughters were invited to a special tea party with Grandma. They all dressed up and had a great time.

All the little grand kids and Aunt Shanda (so Milo would stay in the picture)

Aunt Shanda singing songs with all the grandkids this must of kept them entertained for over an hour (definitely picture worthy).

roasting marshmellows in Grandpa's backyard.

Good times playing at the park. (I really like the picture with all the grandkids trying to out weigh grandpa.)

Aunt Jenice came a few days later and we had a great time having adventures with her. We also got to celebrate China's birthday with her while she was here.

Aly and Brookie riding bearback for the first time.
The girls at the top of Pikes Peak with Aunt Jenice
Aly exploring cave of the winds with Dad and Aunt Jenice

Thanks for a great family filled summer. We love and miss you all.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Alyisms at age 4

Our Aly,  I love the idea of occasionally doing a Blog just to help me remember how Aly is right now at this age. I am loving how much my girls have started playing together. They will spend hours playing house or pretending to be each others dog or cat. Pretending to be each others pets is their favorite thing to do. Aly's bizarre love of cats has never completely gone away she now splits her time between being Gilbert (her name for herself when she is a cat) and Black (her name for herself when she is a dog). When she is in her play mode she will refuse to do anything for you unless you call her by the appropriate pretend name. I can say "Aly get in the car we need to go." "I am not Aly I am Black you need to say Black get in the car."

Anytime she gets disciplined she will follow me around the house telling me I need to tell her I am sorry for being mean to her.

While I have been able to have Aly try a lot of things like gymnastics, swimming, theater, running, and soccer. Her favorites are swimming and running. Anytime she has room to run she will yell "Mom watch me run like super snap" (a speedy character she got from the Backyardigans). She loves to race and anytime I challenge her to a race she breaks out in a fit of giggles as she tries to beat me.

Aly has just recently started making up songs and singing about everything going on around her. If I tell her to wait in the car. She will break out into song "I am waiting in the car...I love waiting in the car." Her most common song is about how she is super and can do super things.

Aly has an uncanny ability to know when someone is joking even if she has no idea what the punch line means. Foote and I will often be joking in a sarcastic subtle way only to have our four year old breakout in laughter at our jokes as if she understood the whole thing.

Aly is really bright and I am so impressed at how well she reads considering she still has more than a year until she will even start school. Whenever I am reading she will come snuggle up to me and ask me to read out loud, she will lay next to me and listen, even though she has no idea what is going on in the book I am reading.

I have been trying to teach her beginning math concepts, she is fascinated with the concept of zero and always makes comments about zero. "Mom can I have some choclate?" "I don't have any choclate" "You have zero choclate?"

Whenever Foote leaves for work in the morning she gives him a shopping list as if he spends his work day at the grocery store. Most of the time she reminds him don't forget to bring home some strawberries and yogurt. Aly is a fruit addict, if I have any fruit in the house at all she is constantly asking for more. I can not count the amount of times I have come into the kitchen to find her eating a whole box of strawberries or she will bite into a watermelon like it is an apple she says she loves the green part.

Now that she is in primary we get a lot of reproofs to our discipline like "Are you listening to Jesus" or Jesus doesn't like it when your mad at me."

She adores her dad and often tells me that Brooklyn goes with mom and Aly goes with dad as if we have his and hers children. If Foote is home for dinner her chair has to be right next to his to the point that he has no elbow room to even eat.

She climbs on everything I find her on top of my kitchen cupboards and refrigerator on a daily basis. I would probably get really angry about this except when I was her age I did the exact same thing so I feel like I am just getting pay back. 

When she comes up with a bizarre idea she will keep it going forever. Her most recent idea is that she is 10 years old and so for over a week now she has been singing songs about how great it is to be 10 and she keeps informing me that "Mom everyone keeps saying I am 4, but I am 10 and I am getting really tired of people saying I am 4."

Things that Aly currently does that drives me crazy - Maybe in the future I will laugh about these things, but right now they are not so funny. she loves to act like she has no control over her hands. she gives them their own names Hika and Mika and then anything she does becomes their fault. "Aly don't hit Brooklyn." "I didn't it was Hika and Mika I told them to stop, but they are not listening." "Who spilt the water all over the floor?" "It was Hika"...This passing of blame gets really old after a while.  And the Licking....Since she is a dog or a cat about 80% of the day she is always licking my face I HATE this.

We sure do love this girl she definitely keeps life entertaining.

Aly's 101 Dalmatians

Aly took a little music theater class few months ago and had her big show was at the end of April. Her classes part of the show lasts a whole five minutes so I decided to just post it on the blog. Her first line is "Don't worry Rolly we just have to stick together." For some reason she has never been able to say her line without touching the shoulder of the girl that played Rolly. I also love how in the second part of the show she points very obviously to the girl who needs to say her line. These kids are just to cute.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

And the entertainment continues...

Aly playing soccer has become a complete comedy to watch. At least that is what I have to tell myself, or I will just cry in frustration. Let me try to describe some of the highlights of our first three games. Since the age I coach is so young, the coaches are the referees, so I am on the field with my players the whole game. At the beginning of the game, Alyson comes on the field and immediately runs to the other side of the field, where there are no players and no ball, she is just off by herself she then proceeds to run laps around the field and could care less if she is anywhere near the ball. I am yelling "Alyson! Alyson! come help your team!." No response, she just keeps running. At one point she runs right in front of our goal just as the other team shoots a goal to score, she is our last hope and I really am hoping that she will stop the ball. Instead, she kind of trips over the ball while running, gets up, and just keeps making her laps around the field. There are a handful of times that she is in the right place to stop a breakaway by the other team, and will just run right past the other player as they charge to our goal to score. As a soccer player it is hard for me to watch. As we're getting in bed that night Brooklyn asks "Did Aly do good at her race?" I respond "Aly wasn't racing she was playing soccer." Aly says "No I was racing and I was the winner."

Game #2 it is a cold game and my girls play maybe the first five minutes of the first quarter and refuse to play the rest of the game. Aly keeps running out on the field to me as the game is in progress and asking if we can go home now. the few minutes that Chloe and Alyson play they pick up the cones that mark the field and put them on their heads and run around laughing and laughing, and I have to chase them down to put the cones back and remind them we are playing soccer.

Game #3 Alyson and Chloe are on the field at the same time. I usually try to avoid doing this because we only play 4 on 4, so if both girls are on the field it is more like 4 against 2 because the girls very rarely participate. The other team is at our goal ready to score and Aly and Chloe are in the very center of the field with arms locked together spinning as fast as they can in circles and than falling to the ground laughing. At one point Aly sits down in the very center of the field and pulls up her pant leg to check out an "owie" that she got on her leg. Both teams charge past her trying not to step on her and she just acts completely oblivious to the fact that a game is going on. Later, she runs up to me "Mom I have to go to the bathroom." This is a problem because due to budget cuts our Parks and Recreation department has shut down all the bathrooms at all of the parks so we had her go before she left the house, but she insisted she did not have to go. I tell her she will have to go talk to daddy because I can't help her right now. Foote tells her she is out of luck and will have to hold it. A few minutes later he looks up to find her pants down crouching behind one of the cones that mark off the field. YIKES!! I do have to admit though that Aly did at one point in this game go after the ball. You would have thought she had scored three goals by the way Foote and I were cheering. It was probably only about one minute of participation, but its the most effort that she has put into the actual game the whole season and I was so proud.

Friday, April 2, 2010

How I Coupon

I have had several people ask me about my couponing. So I am going to give a step by step on how I use coupons. I am sure that a lot of people do it differently, but this system works form me.

STEP 1 - I get as many of the Sunday coupon inserts as I can. I prefer to get them for free if possible. This part is super simple for me because I pick up all the papers that didn't sell from companies I deliver to, so I just take the coupons from the returns. If you get the Sunday paper or have friends that get the Sunday paper and don't use the coupons ask them to save them for you. Every Sunday there is usually two separate inserts one is called Smart Source and the other is called Red Plum.

STEP 2 - NO CLIPPING! Don't clip coupons until you need them, it takes to much time and you may or may not use them. I put all the inserts in a manila folder and write the date they were printed on the folder. For example, all the coupons I got out of this Sundays papers will go in a folder and I will write the date 3-28-10 in the corner and then put them in my file box.

STEP 3 - On Wednesdays I go to I like this site because it is free. I know there are other sites like the, but they want you to pay for their weekly updates and I believe in doing as much as possible for free. at there is a link on the left side that says coupon deals by state. I click on CO. Coupon mom does the work for you, they get the local sale ads and then let you know what is on sale, if there is a coupon for it, and if there is a coupon, it will tell you the date and insert it was printed in. The websites actually lists all sale items that are in the local add and how much of a savings they are. I personally don't usually buy anything unless it is more than a 50% savings or unless it is something I really need. For example produce rarely goes on sale for 50% off, but it still is cheaper to buy at a 30% savings than full price.

This is a screen shot from The first column is where you find the date the coupon was printed if there is one, and what insert it was in S(smart source) or RP(Red Plum) or PG (Proctor and Gamble)

STEP 4 - I go through coupon moms list and click only the items I need to buy, or will buy because of the great savings. Then I go to my file box and clip only the coupons that I need for this weeks shopping list.

Even though does do Walmart and Target ads, I find the best savings are usually at the stores that double your coupon like Safeway or King Soopers (Kroger or City Market). So find out which stores near you double coupons.

Remember if a store doubles a coupons it means that they will only double the value up to a dollar. For example, a coupon for .40 will be doubled to .80 but a coupon for .75 will only be doubled to the dollar or for another .25

Find out if your store limits the number of coupons you can use per item. For example, the King Soopers that I shop at has a limit of only 3 of the same coupons per shopping trip.

If you come across an amazing deal, but don't have the amount of coupons you want you can sometimes buy them on ebay they are usually sold in lots of 10 or 20. That is why I always check couponmom on Wednesdays so if I decide I need to try and find more coupons I will have time to order and receive them on ebay. I can order the coupons on ebay by Thursday and I get them before the sale ends the following Tuesday. Otherwise I have to get an oversold which can kind of be a pain if the product is actually still in stock and I am just waiting for coupons. You want to just make sure what you pay for your coupons on ebay still makes the savings worth it. For example, I used this technique to get 40 coupons for Ice cream. I paid probably about $8.00, but got 40 pints of ice cream for free. Totally worth it. There is no way I could buy 40 pints of ice cream for $8.00 without coupons.

That sums it up that is all I do. buy whats on sale and buy it with coupons. Stock up on items while they are cheap. After a while you get used to knowing when things are a good price for example, I won't buy cereal unless it is less than $1.50 a box and never buy spaghetti sauce unless it is $0.50 or less for a jar. Meat rarely has coupons, but I don't buy chicken breasts unless they are $1.77 or cheaper and when they are on sale I stock up so that I won't need to buy any more for about a month because it usually goes on sale about once a month.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Back In Business

As many of you know over the last seven years of marriage I have thrown a paper out off and on. I choose to do a paperout because it is a good supplement to our income, but more importantly because it allows me to be home during the day with my girls. If I have to work, I would rather just work a few hours a night and be home by the time the girls wake up. As of this month the paper out thing is back on. So here our the big positives for me. 1.) less financial stress for Foote 2.) Major Audiobook time which is great since my goal this year is 52 books read or listened to by the end of the year. 3.) COUPONS! It is like a secret bonus to have an unlimited supply of coupons. On an average visit to the grocery store it cuts my bill from about $60.00 to about $35.00. But the best is when you get that really good FREE deal that happens a couple times a month. This week it is SNICKERS candy bars. This is good and bad while I love anything for free I definitely don't need the calories of 20 SNICKERS bars.....Oh well I can't pass up a free deal. So as of now I am back in business with the coupon shopping and loving it. It was killing me to pay full price.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Soccer Mom

It's official, I am now a soccer mom. Aly decided that she would like to play soccer, so I signed her up. Of course a few days later I get a call from the Parks and Recreation department asking for parents to help coach. I said that I would be happy to co-coach, but that I also had Brooklyn to watch, so that was all I could do. BIG MISTAKE! a few days later I get a call back to let me know that no one else is willing to coach, so either I step up and be coach or they will have to move kids around and make bigger teams. I am now coaching eight, four year old kids a couple times a week.

Let me give you a glimpse of how my first practice went...We get to the park and Aly informs me as we get out of the car. "Mom you go play soccer. I am going to play at the park." This is not a good sign of how practice is going to go. I have a team of eight, six boys and two girls. Chloe Andersen is the other girl on the team, she is also in Aly's preschool class. Her mom Valerie and I decided to have the girls join together.

I have to bring Brooklyn along because I don't have anyone to watch her. Every time I am not looking she'll pick up a ball and go throw it in the street to watch it roll down to the drainage ditch, then she'll run out into the street to catch it. All the other parents are trying to help watch Brooklyn, but she doesn't make it easy.

When I try to get Aly to dribble the ball she informs me "I don't really want to do anything with the ball so I am just going to practice running." (Just what a soccer coach wants to hear) I finally just have to ignore Aly completely because she refuses to do anything I ask. The other kids are doing pretty well. At one point we play a game called Treasure Island where all the kids have to go get all the balls and dribble them back to the island. It does not matter what ball they get as long as they get all the balls to the island. This game tends to be a problem for the kids that are really possessive of their own ball. Really, the two that are the most possessive are the two girls and by the end of the game they are both in tears, crying and crying and I can not comfort them no matter how hard I try. All the boys are looking at them like "what is the problem? Why do they keep crying?"......Then a few players on the team keep coming up to me every two minutes to ask if practice is over yet because they want to go play at the park......SIGH......Only two and a half months left.

Second practice was so much better minimal tears and the only child I wanted to strangle was my own. She spent the first thirty minutes of practice crying because she wanted to have my whistle because she is a "coach"...There was no reasoning with her. She even trailed along after me passing out orders to some of the other players. So we will see if I can survive being a soccer mom.