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.