Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodbye 2011

2011 was good to us.
Although Josh lost his job with Pulte, he was very fortunate to get a job right away with Brewer. He is also working hard at getting his own business going as a satellite retailer for Dish Network and Directv as well as Century Link.

I got my new Nikon camera in May and I love taking pictures with it. I have faithfully followed Sheryl's site and saved our family right around $8000 this year just by using coupons.

Haylee turned 4 and started preschool and loves it. Although she likes to aggravate her sister, she also loves to play with her and comfort her. She is an awesome big sister.

Natalee turned 1 in April and is our little trouble maker. Her latest adventures include climbing on Josh's desk in the office, pulling Haylee's toy bin on top of her and climbing up the latter onto the top bunk.

Jackson turned 9 and is just the smartest, patient dog. He loves his sisters and loves all the treats/food they give him.

Charlotte joined our family in November. She is a spur thigh tortoise and just as cute as can be. She was born the end of August so she's just a couple months old. She loves walking around the house during "turtle time" which only happens when Natalee is asleep as you can imagine what Natalee is capable of :)

January marked the 12th Anniversary of my Dad's death. Hard to believe it's been that long. I miss him like crazy. My cousin Vanessa got married and Haylee was the flower girl. We went to Disney On Ice, surprised Dustin with all new appliances for his house and celebrated Hannah's 5th birthday.

February brought cold weather. We had a record high of 44 degrees on the 2nd. We celebrated Sam's 17th birthday (a little late), I attended Cami's baby shower and I met Jane Seymour at a special movie screening.

March brought the arrival of baby Hunter, the first child for Cami and Justin. We celebrated Danielle's 16th birthday, I got my blood taken all by myself for the first time (hey that's a big deal) and I stopped my thyroid medicine because I no longer have thyroid issues.  We took Haylee to see Sleeping Beauty at Broadway Palm, went to the Ostrich Festival and Josh and I enjoyed a weekend in Sedona without the girls. Jackson turned 9, we went to the zoo and sold our golf cart.

At the end of April Natalee turned one. I cant believe how fast she is growing up! We went to Disney On Ice "Disney Classics", Josh started working for Brewer and I had lunch with a long time friend April who I hadn't talked to for years. We visited the Easter Bunny, celebrated Easter at Cracker Barrel and Haylee went to the dentist (still in no cavity club).

May meant 8 years of marriage for Josh and I as well as Josh turning 29. We celebrated Mother's Day, I took Haylee to see "African Cats" and the girls got their pictures taken. Me and the girls went to the grand opening of the new Disney Store at Chandler Mall, my Bachelorette Mondays started, Haylee and Daddy went to see Rio and Timmy became a teenager.

June is always a busy month. Haylee and I went to Jeanne's end of the year show (can't wait to start Haylee in dance lessons), we celebrated my 28th Birthday at Red Robin followed by Krispy Kreme for my free dozen donuts and Haylee had her Rapunzel 4th Birthday Party. Haylee and I went to see Seussical at Broadway Palm, we had a mini "staycation" at our resort in Scottsdale and everyone came out to swim and BBQ. We celebrated Father's Day at Outback (and released balloons for Dad), I had a lame Velveeta House Party and there was a massive Power Outage in Mesa.

July brings hot weather, like 118 degrees in Queen Creek! We celebrate the 4th at Schnepf Farms, had a play date with April at the mall and Josh and I had a date night at Outback where I had "the best dinner ever!". My Mom and I enjoyed a girls day out and went to see "Monte Carlo", I attended my longtime friend, Jessica's, baby shower and we took the girls to AJ pool. Me and Josh took turns taking Haylee to the movies ("Zookeeper" and "Mr Popper's Penguins"), more trips to the mall with April and Josh took Haylee to Cinderella at Broadway Palm.

August means another month of staying inside. I took the girls to the Kids Club at the mall, Haylee and I got our hair cut and Haylee started preschool. My Mom and I went to see "The Help", the girls had well visits at the doctor and got lots of shots :( and Haylee had a "date" with Grandma to see "Cars 2". Josh and I both got to take Haylee to Olive Garden and then to see "Smurfs", Haylee and I went to Jake's party at Chuck-E-Cheese and we celebrated my Mom's Birthday at Red Robin.

In September we decided to brave the movie theater with Natalee and took her to see her 1st movie "Winnie the Pooh". My Mom and I put together a bridal shower for Sharron, I started birth control (which only lasted 2 months) and we went to the Oktoberfest at Combs High School. Josh and I took Haylee to see "Dolphin Tale" (her favorite movie), Josh and I both went to our new dentist and we celebrated Jen and Dustin's Birthdays.

October brings slightly cooler weather finally. My Mom and I went over to Jessica's to see baby Adalynn, we went to Sheryl's baby shower at Amazing Jake's and Mom spent 2 weeks in Hawaii without us :(. I took the girls to the zoo with Kayanne and Cami, we went to DeWitt's Stables and Mother Nature's Farm. We went on our family vacation to San Diego for a week which included Sea World, the San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park. We went trick or treating with our adorable little butterfly and bumble bee.

November was the start of boutique season. My Mom, Haylee and I went to several awesome boutiques, we went to Vertuccio Farms and Charlotte (tortoise) joined our family. We went to Brewer's company picnic, had a yard sale and went to Danielle's dance recital. With my Mom's help, we had our family pictures taken, we celebrated Thanksgiving at Kaysi's and again on Saturday at my Mom's and we hit the stores at 10pm on Black Friday. We started decorating for Christmas, Josh and I went to see The Christmas Carol at Broadway Palm and Haylee had another no cavity visit to the dentist.

Finally the awesome month of December! We took the girls to the Polar Express in Williams, went to Bearizona and I got strep. We celebrated 10 years of being together, went looking at Christmas lights and had our annual baking day. Josh and Haylee went to The Nutcracker at Broadway Palm, we made a gingerbread house and had a 3 day Christmas celebration. We hit the stores for after Christmas sales, had a girls day out with my Mom and went to see "The Chipmunks" (with all 3 girls) and the girls made cookies with Grandma. I took Haylee to see "Puss in Boots" and we rang in the new year partying at our house eating yummy food and playing the wii. Josh let off firecrackers and both girls stayed up to watch the ball drop at 12am!

Whew. I can't believe how fast the year went. Before we know it it'll be Christmas again! Happy New Year!!!

End of Year Totals

All year long I kept a savings spreadsheet of all of the times I shopped at Fry's, Albies, Safeway, Bashas, CVS, Walgreen's and Walmart using coupons. The savings below shows just how much it pays to use coupons!

*The total amount of money I spent on my couponing trips was $1953.93.
*The coupon savings (face value of coupons) from all of these trips was $3078.83.
*And the total savings (coupons (face value), bonus coupons (some stores make all coupons $1) & VIP/Card Savings) was $7672.75!!!!

The above "total savings" doesn't include what I saved by price matching at Walmart. Unfortunately their receipts don't calculate the savings. So I would say my total savings was aroud $8000. Pretty awesome I'd say :)

Everything I know I learned from Sheryl at Centsable Shoppin and I am so thankful for her! It is all very easy, just time consuming, and anyone can do it.

Here's to $10,000 in savings for 2012!

Christmas 2011

On Christmas Eve, Haylee put the cookies out for Santa and then both girls went fast to sleep. They know Santa won't come if they are awake so they don't mess around.

 Santa came!!!!
Christmas morning the girls came downstairs and Natalee ran right towards her Jeep and got in it. She preferred to sit in that most of the time instead of opening gifts. Here is a run down of her gifts (so I can remember)-
 Santa- Jeep
           Mrs. Potatoe Head
           Princess Tent and Tunnel
Us-  Furreal Dog
       Minnie Laptop
       Cash Register
       Veggie Tales Sing Along

Stocking-  Cheetos (she did ask Santa for chips)
               Elmo Books
               Animal Crackers
               Princess Notepad & Pencils
I'd say her favorite was her Furreal Dog that walks and makes noises. She really liked him! As far as her stocking, she loved the Cheetos and M&M's. She carried them both around.
Haylee scoped out the bike first which wasn't really a Christmas gift (it was Hannah's) but she just wanted her baby dolphin pillow pet. I kinda felt bad because she rushed through every gift just waiting to open that one special present. I put it in the very bottom of her stocking and she was so excited when she saw it. That was one of her favorite gifts.
I loved her facial expressions when she opened a couple other presents. She is too cute!
Santa- Rapunzel Doll & Dress
          Easy Bake Oven & Mixes
Us- Rapunzel Bed Set
      Light & Trace Crayola Set
      Charlie & Lola Dolls
      View Finder

Stocking- Iron Bead Set
              Rapunzel Bottle Cap Necklace
              Baby Dolphin Pillow Pet
              Veggie Tales Book
My favorite gifts from Josh were a tripod for my camera and gift card to get a couple pedicures. I also loved my Oragami Owl necklace that I bought myself :)
Josh got a few things he needed so I'm sure they were boring gifts. I also made him "coupons" for Suns Game, Dinner & A Movie etc. so that we have more options when date night comes around.
Jackson got a bone and a new food and water dish. He also got some treats in his stocking. He was a happy boy.
Charlotte got a bag of rabbit pellets that we use in the bottom of her container.
We had a wonderful Christmas and I was totally surprised Natalee left the decorations alone for the most part.

Christmas Eve

We spent Christmas Eve with my family this year. We had a traditional dinner of ham, twice baked potatoes, sweet potatoe casserole, fried corn, pretzel salad, cherry salad, deviled eggs and rolls. My mom also made her infamous cheese ball and rum cake. Everything was delicious.

After dinner it was present time. In my family everyone buys for everyone, we open gifts one at a time and Jackson even gets a present.
Again Natalee really didn't care too much to open gifts. She did like her giraffe that Grandma got her though.
Haylee's favorite gifts were her dolphin and dolphin poster, squinkies and Clifford books.
I love Haylee's facial expressions!
Although I ddn't get a picture, Josh and I got the coolest gift ever from my Mom. We got several babysitting "coupons" good for a free night of babysitting and we even got one coupon for a weekend of babysitting!!!!
Natalee loved her gingerbread man book, her M&M pillow and her Minnie cup.
I loved when the girls opened a present from Grandma that they really liked and they ran over and gave her a hug.
After all the gifts were opened it was pj time!
And I have to add these pictures of Natalee with her cousins because I thought they were cute!