Saturday, December 12, 2009

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree ...

you brought with you a lot of memories! Go ahead and laugh ... I'll wait.

This is the first EVER Christmas away from my Mom and Dad and Sister. Wow. Unimaginable to me. 29 (+ a few years, I'm 29 forever!) years of Christmas' together ...

I'm Desperately Seeking Holiday Spirit. And what better way to get in the 'spirit' than to get a Christmas tree and decorate it w/the kids?

So, we go over the Arkansas river and up through the mountain valley out of our little town of Florence ... into the next town over to find a tree.

And a tree we found at a grocery store LOL ...

I do have to admit, it is a beautiful tree and smells very nice. It's actually one of the best trees we've had (since we've been married) and only $29.95! On the roof it goes w/some tie downs and we are set!

Frank had to drag Koda over to the tree...all he wanted to do was hide behind me (yeh, I protect him instead of he protecting me) and bark at it.

Frank did a great job at trimming the tree at the bottom, in fact, some of you will recognize the saw he used. Memory #1 ... ... growing up our family went with another family to the Christmas Tree Farm to cut down our own tree. I can't tell you how many years, but it was over 20 years that we did this. Even when I was married and had kids we did this. In fact, Frank somehow came home one year w/the Christmas Tree Farm's saw.

We tried to make Koda into a wreath, but he didn't want to take part in it.

In comes the tree and up goes the lights. No problem finding the lights what-so-ever. They were in the Christmas tote. Huge problem finding the stockings, tree skirt, and the 2 shoe boxes of ornaments. While moving, the packers packed them up for us, in about 4 or 5 different boxes all labeled "attic / toys" ... ... After searching about a dozen different boxes, we found them, thankfully.

Of course, the cat, Hayden, had to check it all out. The same cat that knocked our tree down last year. I have to watch him closely!

On with the decorating ... My favorite part of decorating is looking through the ornaments. (enter memories 2 to whatever) All of them have a meaning or story to them. They might be handmade by the kids or bought by my family or friends. Some are 25+ years old.

Pulling some of these ornaments out made me smile ... all those family and extended family members that bought me ornaments (and decorations) helped me get through this tough day.

From my Aunt, this ornament is 18 years old:

From my extended family, the ones that we went w/to the Christmas Tree Farm:

From my sister, she brought this back from Hawaii:

and from my mom and dad, one of my favorite ornaments, a black Santa

Our tree is loaded with memories for me. I pulled out ornaments and decorations from my in-laws, my grandmother, my Aunts and parents and my sister and my extended family.

When all is said and done...this was a good day. I brought with me my family, in-laws, extended family, and friends. They are here with us, they just live on my tree.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Trecking out in the cold ...

to do what I do best ... SPEND MONEY! However, I would never spend money with out a deal involved.

Today we woke up to more snow, not much, but enough. To think that Saturday was in the 50's and today is in the teen's!

I grab my partner in crime:
and bundle her up...

13 degrees isn't too bad, right? WRONG! It's freakin COLD! But nothing will stop me from shopping deals.

My van was slip sliding away, I'm from PA, I can dive in this mess! As we were heading out of my ack bassward town, I had to take a picture just to show how beautiful it is here:

We only had 2 stores to go to. Walgreen's being the first. I was armed and ready w/my list. First stop, pharmacy. I transferred a prescription to them and got a $25 check from them to use on a future purchase (not to be used on prescriptions)...heck, I'll transfer to them for FREE money!

At Walgreen's I got:
3 ALL Laundry Detergent HE
2 Snuggle Laundry Fabric Softener
2 boxes Kleenex brand tissues
2 Skippy Peanut Butter
1 LARGE container French Roast Maxwell House
5 boxes Triscuits
1 Walgreens brand startch
Total: $73.xx
After sale prices and coupons and the $25 gift card, I spent: $2.xx

As we were leaving Walgreen's, the bell ringer said "HAPPY HOLIDAYS, ladies" ... I know, they are supposed to do this, but it's rare I hear Happy Holidays and not Merry Christmas...Happy Holidays IMO is what I should hear, as not everyone celebrates Christmas. So, we gave him some money. And really, at 13 degrees, he deserved something for ringing that bell!

Next stop was City Market (AKA King Soopers ... AKA Kroger):
I got:
4 cans Dole Pineapple Rings
8 cans Dole Mandarin Oranges
2 lbs Ground Turkey
5 I Can't Believe it's not butter Butter
4 4pks Hunt's Pudding
5 lbs Clementines
1 candy bar, for my partner in crime
Total: $50.xx

After sale prices and coupons, I spent: $28.xx

I got all of this for $30!! Now tell me that coupons don't save money? Tell me that coupons are for JUNK only. HA!

My partner in crime was absolutely wonderful today ...
even in the cold!

Here is a picture driving back to our ack bassward town ... it might be backward and slow w/the times, but it sure is gorgeous.

Monday, November 23, 2009

I can't bring the family out here w/me, but I can bring my favorite foods they make!

I didn't want to miss out Dad's pickled eggs, he makes them every Thanksgiving, so I pulled out the recipe he gave me and got to work!

3 Cans Red Beats 1 1/2 Cups white vinegar 3 tbsp Salt 1 1/2 cups sugar 3 tbsp Pickling Spices 1 Large onion (Sliced into rings) 18 eggs (Hardboiled and peeled) In medium size sauce pan mix red beat juice, vinegar, salt, sugar, and pickling spices. Heat to a boil. In large jar put in onions, then beats, then eggs. When sauce boils, pour over top of onions, beats, eggs...let sit for 2 hours, then refrigerate. Best to let sit/soak in fridge for 1 to 2 days ...

I can NOT wait to taste them! I hope they taste like Dad's! Here were my steps today ...

Step 1: Pull out badly written recipe - from my newly made recipe binder. Use Morse code to figure out and wonder to self who Karen Shumate is ~ my dad's name is William. Snip. Pull. Tug. Begin.

Step 2: Remove rather large dog from kitchen so I can walk back and forth from counter to counter. Open w/can opener. Pour. Measure. Stir.

Step 3: Scream at kids AND dog to get out of the kitchen. Use sauce pan big enough so you do not have to wipe off pink splatter marks for the next 4 weeks. Mix. Boil.

Step 4: Screw it and mix all together - I'm sure it will turn out in the end. Throw pans in sink. Wash hands. Wipe pink splatter from face. Pick up hair balls that pulled out of dog when stepped on. Call in kids to apologize for the wicked witch that yelled at them over something they won't even eat. Sit and wait.

8 years ago ...

on November 23rd, Black Friday to be exact, my little BooBoo was born! Happy Birthday, Kristopher!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Approximately 8 months old...

1 1/2 years old

First day of Kindergarten, age 5

First year of soccer, age 5Kris now ...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cheap diapers, if you can stand going out on Black Friday!

I know many of my readers have babies and/or are going to have a baby ...well, here is a deal that even if you aren't a 'couponer' you can do :)

Please note, limit is 3 per customer (have a friend? Take them!) ... valid on Black Friday only from 12am to 1pm!

Buy 2 Fisher Price Happy Days Diapers at $5 per 23 to 50-count package
(limit 3, must buy at least 2 to get this price--available from 12 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Black Friday)
Use 2 $2/1 coupons here
$3 per package after coupons

That is a great deal on diapers!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Good thing these were cheap...

My pride and joy shoes are Sketchers flip flops. I have a 'collection' of 5 (now 4) pairs and wear them all the time. I found these latest ones for under $8 shipped ...

I was taking pictures of the kids today in the snow, while wearing my flip flops, and had to take my shoes off before coming in...I left them on the porch.

I take the dog out to pee and find this:

He's lucky these were cheap ... not to mention lucky he is cute.

So, my puppy now has a name brand chew toy.


Here are 2 wonderful freebies! I had to share :) Thanks goes to moneysavingmom!

Free photo ornament:
Here's how to get a free custom photo Christmas ornament:
::Go here and login in or sign up. Then click on "Photo Gifts" and then on "Ornaments".

::Choose between the two ornaments which are $12.99 and create your custom photo ornament. Only the $12.99 ornaments work for this promo code so be sure that is the price of what you add to your cart otherwise it won't work.

::Go to checkout and use promo code mallornament and it should take your total down to $0.00.

::Checkout paying nothing for your free ornament!

If you place a separate order you can get 50 FREE photo cards:
Order 50 4x8 photo cards. Once you put them in the cart, use the code newbaby at checkout and you should get the cards for free--including free shipping! You must create an account to use the code.

Have fun!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Walmart and the savings to be had!

I really do not like Walmart...never have, but here in Colorado, I have very little choice of where I can shop. At least the cashiers are friendly, unlike in my 'old' hometown!

I decided to make a list of the deals at Walmart that I found by reading a mass of blogs. I pulled out all the coupons I needed for the trip and set out w/4 kids (1 extra) in tow. Oh, now, give me a break, it was a rainy day, I knew the kids needed something to do! ;)

I purchased a total of 54 items ... the total before coupons was: $73.00 ... after all my coupons were deducted, I paid: $41.00. That averages to about .76 cents per item. I'll list the items, if you want to know what coupons I used, let me know and I'll tell Or, come visit at for the Walmart forum, and find them.

The price is pre-coupon price...

Milk - $2.27 (no coupon)
Bread - $1.38 (no coupon)
Lunch Meat (Hillshire Farm) - $3.00 (No coupon)
2 Spaghetti O's - .88 (no coupon)
4 pks - Great Value Noodles - $1.00 (no coupon)
4 pks McCormick Brown Gravy - .50
2 Welch's Sparkling Juice - $2.97
1 Honey Bunch's of Oats - $2.50
2 Reach Floss - $1.12
2 Frozen Healthy Choice Dinners - $1.88 & 2.00
3 Danimals Crush cups - $2.12
6 pouches Starkist tuna - $1.00
2 Starkist tuna to go kits - $1.67
10 pks Kotex Lightday pads (20 ct) - $1.00
1 Axe Trial body wash - $.97 (no coupon)
1 Bod Spray - $.97 (no coupon)
1 Hot wheels car - $.97 (no coupon)
2 McCormick Taco Seasoning - .50 (no coupon)
1 Boys T-shirt - $1.00 (no coupon)
1 Boys Shorts - $1.00 (no coupon)
2 Halloween Chip's Ahoy - $1.50 (no coupon)
1 Great Value Chips - $1.75 (no coupon)
1 Great Value Cheetos - $1.38 (no coupon)
2 Frozen Mac/Cheese Meals - $1.08 (no coupon)

For the record, the kids were rewarded for their time ... we went to the duck pond to feed the ducks...on this cold rainy day :)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The 1st Visitors!

Our first house guests, my sister and nieces, came to visit over Halloween weekend ... I was overly due for seeing some people I knew, but anxious about my first ever house guests! I found things to clean that I don't think I've ever cleaned before ...

Much to our surprise Denver, where they were flying into, had a major snowstorm. In OCTOBER who would have thought this would happen? Kristi and I searched the web about the storm and roads and finally she made a decision to just go ahead with it and come. I had a 2 hour drive to the airport and I was going to get there no matter what! Thankfully, I took Frank's car for the 4wd ... which I had to use on a major highway in Denver! My van would never have made it ( I would have walked to get there if I had to). After 4 hours (3 driving and 1 sitting in traffic due to an accident) I made it to the airport and received the hugs I so desperately needed!

Being they are from Florida, I think they were a bit cold when we got outside...but my nieces loved seeing the snow! We only got about 2 inches in my town, so they were a bit dissappointed, but they did find some to build a leafy snowman:
(Sasha and Kristopher, cousins)

As the weekend went on, the weather warmed up, not near what they are used to, but enough to enjoy being outside ...

Halloween was a mess of costumes and candy ... and a load of fun for the kids. The girls all dressed as Cowgirls and looked just gorgeous!

My boys, well, they are boys ~ I think I can call them gorgeous as well!?

I have to admit, Colorado is just gorgeous! I was so excited to show my sister all the mountains! We even went to visit Royal Gorge and flew on a Skycoaster 1300ft up over it...yes, Jakob, my sister and I flew over the Gorge!

What a thrill!! I calmly FORCED myself to do it! After having a near freak out on the bridge that goes over the Gorge, I can't believe I did it ... but glad I did!

The visit was awesome ... Koda, the dog, barked at my sister for 3 days and my niece for 4 days, but other than that, I had a blast and can't wait for them to come again!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Join me...

at ............... check out all the freebies, internet deals, internet printable coupons, store deals w/and w/out coupons etc.

All kinds of talks going on...couponing, what's for dinner, your household cleaning list, your kids, or just plain ole' chit chat about nothing at all, we got it!!!

They are currently running a new members contest! Come check it out ... see what it's about! Please use me, Kerri as the referral!!

Thursday, October 1, 2009


it's off to a new coupon site I go!! just opened their internet doors today!! I'm so excited about this that I wanted to share with everyone!!

We've been behind the scenes getting it all ready to debut. Kurt, Steph and Steph are the 'owners' of the site and are just wonderful! They are very outgoing and CARING!!

There are deals posted, regular chat forums, or just news to read. Learn how to coupon, get a heads up on deals at your local stores, or just come to see me!!

I'm there as IRREK (that is Kerri backwards in case you didn't notice) ... hope to see you there!!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Happy 4th birthday to my baby!

Official Birthday 9/20/05

1st Birthday 9/20/06

2nd Birthday 9/20/07

3rd Birthday 9/20/08

4th Birthday 9/20/09

My little Princess is growing so fast...soon she'll not want me around...but I know, later, she'll be my best friend.

Friday, September 11, 2009

9/11 ~~ 8 years ...

Amazing how fast time passes! 8 years ... just amazing.

I'm just going to link you to what I blogged about last year ... click here

Do you have a story? Memories? Link me....or share here.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Introducing ...

Kodiak (AKA Koda) ...
5 mths old
40 lbs

So, yeah, we got a dog. Honestly we just went to LOOK at the puppies. Never intended on bringing one home even though we called the landlord just to ask, just in case.

I'm such a sucker for animals!! Koda is so far a wonderful dog! He is outside during the days and in the garage sleeping at night. He loves the kids, especially Jake, and hasn't growled or snapped at fact, I can't even say he has jumped on them. He seems content on laying outside chewing a chew bone or running up and down the yard w/Juliana or Kris, or going for walks with Jake. I hope he keeps it up! What a beautiful BIG dog!

A total new beginning for the boys ...

So, here we are, just about 4 weeks into our new lives and we are adjusting quite well. The kids are keeping me really busy, physically and mentally, that I have no time to worry or think of things that bring me down. I just wish I could say the same for my mom & dad and my mother-in-law and father-in-law.

(hanging in our new home)

The boys started school 2 weeks ago. In our little town, there is only 1 elementary school, 3 teachers per grade, so even though the school is larger than where they went before (Falling Spring), we didn't have a choice. We did attend the Open House and all 4 of us were a bit lost, not only in the school, but in the 'faces' as well. Really sad that I didn't see my friends I grew up w/their kids, or the neighbors of my in-laws that my kids grew up with. So, we sat alone, but together, that works just fine for now.

The first day of school was only 3 hours. The entire morning I paced and worried about them. I worried about them making friends or hating their teachers or not being able to find their bus (They don't number the buses here! You go by the driver!). Well, good news, they found their bus, they LOVE their teachers, and have made numerous friends. Kids are resilient aren't they!? Of course I have some first day of school pictures!

A total new beginning ... my boys did GREAT!

Friday, August 28, 2009


When we came out to visit in April, it was so brown! I remember living in Wyoming and missing the East Coast and all the green ... I didn't want that again, it was so ugly, so depressing!

Driving into our new (little!) town I was pleasantly surprised that it was GREEN!

Ahhh man, Jake, you stink!

The drive went better than I thought. At the last minute my brother-in-law, Joe, decided to come see the area (possible job opportunity for him, which, by the way, he is moving here! Yeah!) and drove out Frank's car for us. The car would have gone freight, but this saved the company some money AND added extra room for us, thankfully!

The drive was really uneventful...the first day was tough, I was so worried about the cats (Petey meowed for hours and wouldn't relax even though he was sedated), upset about leaving, and well, just worried in general. We made it through that day and the cats did awesome in the hotel room, so I was able to finally relax.

(Just had to share this picture ... never would I own WHITE sheets and comforter w/a black cat. LOL)

Every day was about the same, we drove for hours, stopped and peed, drove for hours, stopped at a hotel ... ate. The 10 year old kept his daddy awake, by stinking up the van and Ana slept 1 x the entire 4 days! Kris was with his Uncle in the other car and from what I understand, slept a lot!

(Only time Ana slept ... only time Kris was in our van w/us)

The 3rd day, we decided to stop at my sister-in-laws, Maria, to see her and the family. We only had to drive 3 hours that day, which was a nice break. Maria was a great hostess! I love her Mexican cooking!!! The cousins got along great and the cats liked hiding in strange places ...

The last day of driving was filled with excitement! We were finally going to see our new home! The drive started out like all the rest of the days ... including Jake passing gas. It got so bad that I finally had to step in ... "Ahhh man, Jake, you stink! Knock it off right now or you're grounded!" Jake swore up and down it wasn't him! We kept blaming him ...... then it hit me. CATS.

Ever try cleaning out a dog crate with a wad of poop in the blanket while 2 cats try to climb out along side a highway?