Friday, March 26, 2010

Conversations with Daniel

Tonight while helping me make dinner he was looking (and eating) intently at the onions I was cutting. He suddenly said, "Mom, onions have layers!" In case you miss the movie reference it comes from the movie Shrek. Apparently he's starting to understand it now.
The other day when we were picking out his new glasses, I put a pair on him, he  took them off, looked at them and said very seriously, "Mommy, these are Grandfather glasses." As you can imagine, we didn't get the "Grandfather" glasses.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Okay, I'm finally getting our Iditarod pictures posted. This was the beginning with the presentation of the colors.

The kids and I were right there at the starting line. Not exactly the best place to be with little kids by yourself. It was really difficult to see.

A state trooper dog sled.

This was a video clip but for some reason isn't downloading as video. (I don't have the patience tonight to figure out how to change it.)
The dogs were SO anxious to go. The wanted to run and once they started you could just see how much they love to run.

This is DeDe. She is a famous Iditarod racer. She is in all kinds of commercials up here for the local cell phone company.
This is a friendly Tibetan Monk who was visiting Anchorage for the Iditarod. He helped entertain Daniel while we waited for the race to begin. Paul was working security so I had the kids by myself. In the future I think we will wait until they are a little older to go as it was really hard by myself and we didn't get to see a lot. (Most of the pics. are taken by someone else who could see.)

And the Lyman Genes Win Again...

So my Dad's family does not have the best genes when it comes to eyes. There are a lot of various problems in my extended family and in my own immediate family. Yesterday I took Daniel to the eye doctor as the day before he had been squinting like crazy to see across the room. We have been watching his eyes since he was 2, as they could tell that he was near sighted but not enough at that point for glasses. They said that it is unusual for kids his age to be near sighted so we should watch it closely. Thus the visit yesterday. It was a good thing we did as we discovered that he has to go into bifocals. (Pictures to come in about a week once we pick them up) He has become very near sighted (thus standing so close to the t.v.) and is far sighted as well and we're pretty sure he's very color blind. Guess there is a reason he's having a problem learning his colors. Sorry to pass on the bad genes Daniel. Reagan I hope you have better luck.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Crazy things about Alaska

Here is a list of things we have found interesting or crazy or both here in Alaska
-We finally got our cars registered this month. To our surprise we discovered that in Alaska they don't have safety inspections here. But they do have emissions testing which costs an insane $60. So when you go to get your emissions done (VA friends) thank your lucky stars yours costs so little. Why would you have emissions but not safety? I think that is a little crazy. Luckily they are discussing getting rid of the emissions.
- Ever hear of a "Fur Rondy"? Rondy is short for Rendezvous. The Fur Rondy precedes the Iditarod (post coming soon about the Iditarod)  and goes on for a week and a half. It celebrates the fur industry here in Alaska. They have things like outhouse races, running with the reindeer races, a charity ball that includes contests for the longest and best beard. Only in Alaska... We didn't make it to any of the festivities but next year we are definitely going to. It looked like so much fun.
-Frequently I complain to Paul that they really need to paint the lines on the road with a different kind of paint as you can hardly see them at all. You never know if you're driving in your lane or not. He always replies, "No one drives in their lane anyway, so what would be the point?" He's right, at least during the winter with all the snow. Your lane half the time becomes the turning lane of the opposing lane of traffic due to all the snow. 4 lane road? Forget it until they get around to plowing the road, it's down to at least 2. You might think, well that's not bad, but when it snows frequently, they haven't necessarily cleared the snow from the last storm yet.
-Speaking of driving here- Are there any other states out there where it is legal turn right from the 2nd turn lane? You're approaching the intersection. There are two right turn lanes. Unless there is a sign you can always make a right hand turn from the right turning lane. But here you can also turn right from the other lane.
-In Alaska they have 5 seasons. Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter and Break up. What is Break Up? It is the time when all the snow and ice melts. Here they don't use salt to melt the ice and snow, they use dirt and gravel to give you traction. So as you can imagine as all the snow melts everything becomes filthy. Forget having a clean car or clean clothes during this time. Rain boots become a must not necessarily because of rain but due to all the puddles. (Post about that will be coming soon.)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Saying goodbye to Daddy again

Once again we had to say goodbye to Paul again. This time luckily it's only for 6 weeks. He left at 2:30am this morning for Sacramento to attend a class for the Military so that he can "reclass" from Infantry to Communications. Luckily most of the stuff he will be studying he is already extremely familiar with from his time at Ft. Bragg.
As a special treat we went to Cold Stone for ice cream last night. Oh so yummy. I had been wanting to go for my birthday earlier in the week and we had just never gotten there. BTW if you've ever had my parents homemade ice cream, Cold Stone's peanut butter comes pretty close! We kept the kids up until 12:30am last night as we had to take Paul to the airport and he wanted to spend time with us. So we got a late start on the day waking up at 9am. Hopefully the time will go quickly. Daniel is already asking if we can go back to the airport and pick up Daddy.

Ever Shop Walgreens?

One more post about my finds. But have you ever shopped Walgreens? I would have never have thought about shopping at a drugstore for anything other than drugs and related items. If you shop it regularly, it's expensive. But if you shop the ads and coupons, as my friend says "Walgreen's pays me to take things out of their store."
Today I went to Walgreens and this is what I bought- (Note, Walgreen's give a 15% discount to the military so these are the prices with the military discount)
Excedrin 250 count-  $13.17 - the $4.00 Walgreens coupon,- the $2 man. coupon. (Like Target they allow coupons from their store to be paired with coupons from the man.) Final Price-$7.17
Gold Medal White Flour 5 lbs.-$2.46 - the $0.77 WAGS coupon,- the $0.75 Man. coupon Final price- $0.94
Hefty Zip Lock Bags 17 count- $0.97 (on clearance) -$0.20 man coupon Final Price-$0.77
Reynold's Foil 20 ft.- $1.52 -$0.68 WAGS coupon, -$1.00 man coupon Final Price-$ Free + $0.16 money  maker.
Windex Multi surface-$1.95 (clearance) -$1.00 man coupon Final Price -$0.95  + I mail in the receipt and the UPC numbers for a $5.00 rebate Final Price after rebate- Free + $0.71 money maker for each of the three I bought.
Kleenex- $0.99 -$0.75 when you buy 3 Final Price- $0.74
Off Brand HP Ink Cartridges $3.65 (on clearance)!!!!! Okay this was my favorite find today as it is so expensive to buy ink for printers. I bought all the black ink that I knew would work for our printer that they had (4). I couldn't remember what the number was for our color cartridge but I'm seriously thinking of going back now that I've looked at my printer.
Planter's honey roasted Peanuts- $2..29 (clearance) this was more it looked good and I was hungry.
Reeses cups (mini)$0.28 -Reagan and Daniel helped themselves so I had to buy them...
So in conclusion- According to my receipt I spent $35.28, my total savings was $64.34.

It was a good day shopping. I also checked out a store here that I can drop the kids off in the playland while I shop for an hour. Heaven! Everyone was so much happier! Well worth the drive of a few more minutes.

Monday, March 15, 2010

My new hobby

For the last several months couponing has become my new hobby and unlike most hobbies it actually saves or makes me money. Try and do that with most hobbies.Yes there is the cost of the newspaper ($4.11 a week) and ink and paper for the printer, but balance that with my trip that I just took to Target.
I paid $151.16
I saved $120.33
For a long time I was a coupon skeptic. Those of you who know me well know that I make most meals from scratch and we like to eat pretty healthy (except when it comes to dessert) and a lot of the coupons you see are for prepackaged processed foods. So I thought I'd never find coupons that would do me a lot of good. Boy was I wrong!
What did I buy at Target?
Diapers and Pull-Ups- Target is having a sale this week that makes Huggies $7.00 and Pampers diapers $8.50 then I had $2.00 or 1.50 off Manufacturer coupons and Target coupons for $1.50 (Target allows you to one each of  their coupons and a man. coupon for the same item) This made the diapers/pull-ups around $5. If you've ever bought diapers and pull ups you know how expensive these can be.
7th Generation multi surface cleaner- $1.00 each after coupons
Clorox toilet bowl wand starter kit- I've been wanting to try this for a long time as toilet bowl cleaners are just disgusting. I had a $5.00 off coupon and there is a $5.00 mail in rebate for this online. This makes it cost essentially $1.19 -Oh and take that $5 off the total I paid since I'll be getting it back.
Gillette Body wash- Free (2)
Olay Body wash- Free (1)
Gillette clinical strength deodorant- normally $7.94 I got it for $3.94
Aussie Hairspray- $1
Aussie Mousse- $1
Band Aids- $1 (If I had only printed off more of the Man. coupons those would have been $0.04!)
Gillette Power Fusion Razors- Free (2) + I got a $5 gift card for the next time at Target- Moneymaker! Take that off my total spent. (I could have gotten 2 more but thought that 2 was enough for now.)
Gillette Power Fusion cartridges- 12.79 + $5 gift card-Take that off my total spent.
Venus Embrace Razors-for two I paid 11.88 + 5.00 gift card Take that off my total spent.

So with my gift cards and rebates that brings my total to $131.16 that I would have spent and 140.33 that I saved. There were a few other things like milk that weren't such a good deal that I have left off. But you get the idea. I had to go buy a binder for all my coupons (2 in. and growing!) as I quickly outgrew the accordion style coupons holders that you see. Then I put baseball card holders in it. Today was my first day shopping with it and it was much easier. Some other deals I have gotten in the recent past? Last week it was fruit snacks for free or at most $0.50 at the grocery store. The week before 4 packs of light bulbs for $0.50. I stock up on what I find so I don't have to buy it again until the next deal comes around. No one complained about the 10 boxes of fruit snacks last week.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I Won, I Won, I Won!

Okay, so I don't win things very often but maybe my luck is changing. At Christmas I won this beautiful key ring from my friend Genevieve.
Then today I received a phone call saying I had won a free carpet cleaning for one room in my house! They are coming tomorrow to clean my living room floor and it comes at a great time when my carpet cleaner has been on the fritz for the last month or two. One more thing to make me happy. 

Is cheer leading an inate quality?

For about the last 2 weeks Reagan will say, "Ready, Okay" and jump, over and over again. She sounds just like a cheer leader and I cannot figure out where in the world she could have come up with it, as I'm pretty sure she's never watched a t.v. show with cheer leaders in it. Could cheer leading be a quality that they are born with? Scary thought!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Daniel's Prayer

At lunch time today Daniel said the prayer over the food and this is what he said-
"Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for the yummy yogurt that I got out of the fridge so we could eat. In the name of Jesus Christ Amen."
The reason why this is funny/cute is because he is constantly getting in trouble for getting into the fridge or pantry and pulling out whatever looks good to him and eating it. Lemon juice, chocolate chips, hummus, you name it he's pulled it out and at least tried to eat it.
I've been bad about posting lately and I will try to catch up later today. In the mean time enjoy the new look. I decided it was time for the snow men to go as March is here (one of my favorite months) even though we have gotten at least 3 feet of snow out there in about the last 18 hours or so. (That's not counting the few feet that were already on the ground and it's still snowing.)