Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Holiday Shopping

This year, I've done all of my Christmas shopping online.  I really didn't plan to, but it ended up being easier and saving money.  On Black Friday, most retailers offered the same deals online as in the store, plus, I looked on RetailMeNot and was able to find coupon codes for free shipping, a discount, or both.  Additionally, I use Ebates when I order online (and remember) and get cash back.  Last Christmas, we got a check back for about $30.  And you can't beat getting paid to shop.  As you do your shopping, you should check these out!

So far, I've only had 2 small mishaps, but both were quickly resolved.  And out of about 20 holiday packages, 2 problems isn't bad.  One problem was with an order placed at Express.  The items ended up being out of stock after I placed the order and I was bummed because they were 40% off that day.  The customer service was AMAZING.  She told me what colors they had in the sizes I needed, gave me the 40% off, plus an extra 15% off for my troubles AND free overnight shipping.  She was so friendly and so willing to help.  The other problem was with the postal service.  The had a "substitute" carrier who placed my package in the wrong box.  After filing a claim, the package was quickly returned. 

And the best part, it's so fun to see what package will be waiting for me each day!

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Thanksgiving vacation has been AMAZING.  We have been blessed to be able to spend time with almost all of our family (both sides) and with each other.  I've been so busy enjoying my family that I didn't get around to blogging all week, so I thought I'd do a quick recap.

I took off work Tuesday and we headed to my parents.  We got there around 2 and spend the day and evening just lounging around.

Wednesday was another day of mostly lounging.  During the day, my cousins and uncle came by.  It was great to see them.  That evening, my grandmother made lasagna and my cousins, uncles, and aunt came.  Since we missed Christmas last year, it's been almost two years since I've really been able to spend time with them all.

Thursday, we woke up and headed to spend the day with Anthony's family.  We had an AMAZING Thanksgiving, complete with my first completely from scratch cheesecake.  I was very proud of myself.  We headed home that evening and at midnight, we headed to Walmart.  Complete chaos!  Before going to bed, we got online and did some online shopping.  We were able to get almost all of the items we had wanted (that we'd seen in the ads) at the same price and with free shipping.  Some we were able to get even cheaper because of coupons.  And we will get cash back on all our purchases as a result of using ebates (message me if you want details).  Since we had gotten most of what we needed, we decided we would not be up shopping at 4am. 

Friday, we slept in a bit and then headed out to pick up a few things we wanted to get on Black Friday.  Because we waited, the crowds weren't bad at all.  Picked up some sheets for our king sized bed we hope to get this summer, as well as a few gifts.  We got home and I helped Mom put up her "Snowman only" tree.  And then, one of my brother's friends and his fiance stopped by.  He is a Marine and we rarely see him.  He will be getting married next weekend and we are so happy for them both.  It was great to get to visit with them both.

Saturday, we had to head back home.  I was really sad to have to leave.  It's so nice to be surrounded by family.

This Thanksgiving, I had so much to be thankful for.  I am thankful that Anthony returned safely (minus having his foot ran over) from Iraq.  I am thankful we were able to go home and see so much of our family, as we weren't able to do this last year.  I am thankful for the loving family that surrounds us.  I am thankful for all that God has provided us with this year. 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Nutcracker

Today, I got to see the Nutcracker for the first time.  I was so excited and have been looking forward to it all week.  Our town has this cute little theatre and each year they put on the Nutcracker.

I wasn't really sure what to expect, as I can honestly say I have never been to a ballet.  I was very impressed with the performance and enjoyed it greatly.  I was disappointed that time passed so quickly and it was over before I knew it.  I left wanting to learn ballet (although I'm guessing I'm a little too old for a beginner class).  I look forward to seeing the Nutcracker again next year.  I think this time, I will try out a different performance, perhaps in Dallas area so that I have something to compare it to.

The rest of the weekend will be spent preparing for the week ahead (laundry, cleaning, shopping) and putting up the Christmas tree!  I can't wait!

Monday, November 15, 2010

What a Wonderful Monday

I did NOT have high expectations for today.  I slept horrible because Anthony was gone.  And it was a Monday.  But, today turned out pretty amazing, and here's why.

-Nobody cried today in my class!!!  First day in over a week.
-I came home to find out Anthony doesn't have to be back at work until shift time tomorrow.  (They have been doing an exercise and he was having to work 5pm-6am, which doesn't allow much us time, or much sleep time for him.)
-I don't have to cook.  When I found out Anthony would be home for dinner, I started to plan dinner.  He insisted we eat the leftover chicken enchiladas so we don't have to throw them out.
-And best of all, I found these when I was forced to go to Walmart since the commisary was closed.
Now, on to enjoying my Oreos and watching football with my honey!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Shwoo, I'm Still Alive

I wasn't sure I'd make it.  What happened you ask?  Twenty 6-7 year olds who haven't had more than a 2 day weekend since the beginning of September and a teacher who needs a break.  That's what happened.

This year, our district decided they wanted to get us done with school before June (very rare in Texas with the new rules that started a few years ago).  In order to do that, they took away almost any extra day off.  We still have the big ones, but no little 3 day weekends.  It has resulted in some exhausted and antsy students, as well as teacher. 

My students wouldn't listen unless I yelled.  Then, I think they were just too scared to speak.  (I don't yell on a regular basis, I blame it on my exhaustion.)  There was not a day this week that didn't bring tears (not mine).  Tears because they were in trouble.  Tears because they didn't do what they wanted.  And today, tears because I caught him trying to steal from my treasure chest and took away both the earned prize and stollen one.  And not little tears.  Big sobbing, screaming tears.  Wednesday, I really wanted to throw a fit too.

I have never been so tired in my life.  I'd come home and just collapse and do nothing.  I was so pleased that Anthony wanted to go enjoy free dinner last night because I wasn't sure if I'd have the energy to cook. 

And I am so thrilled that it is the weekend.  The only thing I have to do is attend a birthday party tomorrow, which I am looking forward to.  The rest of the weekend, I plan to just rest and lounge.  No house work.  No errands.  Heck, I don't think I'll even do laundry. 

And after today, I only have 7 more work days until Thanksgiving break.  I can't wait!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thank You

It's that time of year again.  Time to honor those who have served our country.  Veteran's Day has a more personal meaning this year, than ever.  I couldn't be more proud to of my husband and all that he does. 

(My favorite veteran)

Another very special veteran, my granddad

So, to all the men and women who serve, THANK YOU!

Sunday, November 7, 2010


I am sure most of you have heard of the wonderful promotion Shutterfly is having where bloggers can earn 50 free holiday cards.  I LOVE Shutterfly!  I have made several of their photo books.  We used them as Christmas presents with wedding pictures and to document vacations and important events.  I think it will be neat to continue making them and have a whole shelf of books that tell the stories of our lives.  We've even made a couple calendars and have one hanging in the kitchen now. 

     Last year was my first year for photocards and I couldn't have been happier with them.  This year they have lots of new styles of both photo cards and holiday cards.   And what's better than great Christmas cards...FREE.  You should go over and check it out!  Here's the link for the promo.  It's so easy, you just have to chose some of your favorites, add some links, and write about Shutterfly.   

And here are some of my favorites:

I've already been playing around with the photos in different cards.  Now I just have to decide on one card.  That'll be the tough part!

*Edited after recieving Shutterfly email.  Just a helpful hint, submit your form and wait for a response before you post your blog!  It took less that 24 hours for me.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Weekend Recap

This weekend flew by and I was so busy I didn't even have time to write about it Sunday or even Monday. 

Saturday-Anthony and I slept in.  Until 11.  I thought my internal alarm was permanantly set for 9, but I was wrong.  I was so completely exhausted from last week and my body needed the rest.  When we got up, we cleaned house and ran some errands.  Some of our friends came over to watch the Rangers game and grill burgers.  We enjoyed having people over and a Ranger win.

Sunday-Lounged around until 1.  Showered and ran some errands.  Made some spinach dip, no good Mexican tortilla rolls that went in the trash, and chocolate covered pretzels.  Several of the other firefighter wives and a couple of their husbands were taking their kids trick or treating and invited me to tag along.  We all brought food and ate before the trick or treating.  I had a lot of fun hanging out with them and their kids.  After that, I came home and crashed.

Monday-It was definately a Monday in first grade.  I came home and Anthony was bored.  Headed to the mall and picked up the boots that I blogged about here, except in black.  I can't wait to wear them tomorrow.  Then, instead of coming home and cooking we picked up Chic-Fil-A.  We came home and watch the Rangers game and then crahsed.

It was a wonderful weekend, but I can't wait for next weekend so that I can get some rest.  And, as for the Rangers, I was very sad to see them lose, but very proud of them for how far they came.