Friday, November 26, 2010

Promised Picture

Here is the picture of Mateo from Sunday morning at church.  I promised I would share it in an earlier blog post.

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!  I will post lots of pictures later.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

We celebrated Thanksgiving with Antonio's family early because his mom was heading out of the country.  Here are some pics from Thanksgiving on the Simpson side...

This is my Eliana and Chris, my sis-in-law and her husband.
The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is always at my grandmother's house and I always eat WAY TOO MUCH because I don't get cookin' like that any other time!  Here are some pics of the food...yummy!

I don't know how she makes it, but she makes THE BEST cornbread ever!!  I could have eaten this whole thing by myself (if no one else was there), but I had to share.

These 2 girls are gonna be trouble in a few years.  6 weeks apart and 20 miles apart = double trouble?

This is my plate (which was cleaned in no time)!

My sweet, laid back child decided he didn't want to eat anything at all, so this is what he did instead...
...Good thing he was rescued by Grandmommy and Granddaddy so he could sit at the 'adult' table.

Tatum and Mya sang several songs for us that night.

My mom found some Halloween costumes on clearance and bought them for the kids to play dress up.  This kept them all entertained for a while.
...and I decided to try one on too.

Mateo sure loves his Uncle Cyp.  He taught him how to play cards at Thanksgiving.
We all stayed at my parents house that night and all 4 kids took a bath together the next morning and had a blast.
And this last picture is a normal one for Mateo...he is wearing Tatum's boots.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Christmas Planning 2010

Several people have asked me the last few weeks of ways I am cutting back the amount of money we are spending for Christmas this year, so I thought I would blog about few things.

1. I started really trying to use coupons.  This means that I have to actually make out a menu and grocery list for the week.  While this make take a little extra time, it is nice to not have to figure out dinner ideas at the last minute.  Anyway, once my list is made, I search for coupons.  I also try to make my menu around what is on sale at the grocery store.

2. We rarely eat out anymore...maybe once a week and that is nothing fancy.  I went back to August 2009 to look at our online checking account and it literally made me sick to look at all the money we spent wasted eating out.  WOW!

3.  So those are 2 ways we are saving a little money, but I also have plans to make several of the Christmas gifts that are given this year.  Thanks to some great bloggers out there, I have so many things I can make.  I would post about them here, but can't because some of my readers will be getting these presents in a few weeks.  Don't worry, I promise not to give out any of these house shoes this year!

4.  Finally, I found a website where you can do surveys on your own time and get paid to do them.  I have read about these things in the past, but just didn't trust that they were real.  However, I tried this one out because a close friend told me about it and while I'm definitely  not getting rich off of the surveys, I have made $117 since mid-July.  Around here, every $1 counts, so I am excited that I earned this money by just doing a survery or 2 while watching tv late at night after the kids are in bed.  When you want to get 'paid' you just request a check.  The website says to allow 3-4 weeks to get the check in the mail, but I usually get it in 3-4 days!  Anyway, you can go HERE to check it out and sign up for FREE.  I promise there is no catch!  They send emails of available surveys and you do them if you want, and if you don't have time, then don't do it.

Are you planning to cut back this Christmas?  If so, I would love to know how you are doing it!

30 Days of Truth: Day 12 → Something you never get compliments on.

I would definitely say that I never get compliments on my cooking.  I may just be thinking more about cooking these days because the holidays are coming up which means I like to do lots of baking (I can bake, just not really cook I guess). 

So the gigs up, I am no Martha Stewart, Paula Deen, or Rachel Ray!


Monday, November 22, 2010

50 FREE Holiday Cards from Shutterfly

I saw this awesome deal on someone else's blog and wanted to share this great find with you too!  Since Tatum was born, I have tried to do my best to send out Christmas cards and even try to include pictures.  She is 4 now and I think 3 years I got them out at the last minute, and 1 year they didn't go out at all.  Thanks to Shutterfly, I have a great chance to get them out on time this year. 

Shutterfly has some very cute cards and I just need to narrow down which one is 'THE ONE' for this year.

THIS one is super cute and I can put lots of pictures on the card.  It is very hard for us to get a great picture of Tatum and Mateo together and we won't even attempt the whole family, so this card would allow several cute pictures on one card.

When we get Christmas cards in the mail, it just makes my day.  I love to see growing families and sometimes people even write a little about big events that happened throughout the year.  THIS next card would be perfect for me to write a little about our year and still include pictures too.

However, I think THIS next card would be even better for me since I can just list the top 10 things for 2010 and put our pictures at the bottom.  

And I sure hold out hope that one day, yes one day, we will be able to capture that perfect family photo.  When we do, I will be sending out THIS card!!

The selection at Shutterfly is so impressive.  I have no doubt that everyone can find the perfect card to send out this year!  If you are a blogger, go HERE for your chance to get 50 free holiday cards too!

30 Days of Truth: Day 11 → Something people seem to compliment you the most on.

Compliments...hmm.  Well in the past, I got compliments on my physical self.  Hey, don't laugh, I was kinda cute back in the day...ya know, before kids and all.  Don't worry, I got a few other compliments too.

Now compliments now include my great sense of humor, honesty, and dependability, great driving skills, etc.

BUT, my #1 compliment that I hear WEEKLY would have to be on THESE...

And while I might miss my 'high school skinny' body I wouldn't trade these two for the WORLD!  Also, while I might not be the best parent, have the best parenting skills, etc.  I DO think that Antonio and I make some great looking kids. (ifidosaysomyself).   Sometimes I feel like I am 10 yrs old and playing dress up with my dolls....except my 'dolls' are my kids now.  Am I the only one that likes to dress my kids up cute from time to time?  Mateo looked precious yesterday at church...he was sporting a mohawk AND a tie!  I know my style and the way I dress my kids doesn't fit everyone else's taste, but Antonio and I agree on what the kids wear.  Mateo has never, nor will he ever wear smocked anything or any other boy we may or may not have.  We have a few other 'rules' when it comes to dressing the kids, but I will have to do another post on that.  So, if I can get my hands on the picture that our KidsLife director tookyesterday of Mateo, i will post it.  Anyway, that's all I have.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Halloween 2010

This post is only almost 3 weeks late, but in my defense, I didn't realize I hadn't blogged about Halloween yet.

Mateo was a dinosaur this year and Tatum was Ariel.  While Mateo is SO laid back and a 'go-with-the-flow' type of guy, if he doesn't like something he will let us know it!!  (He does not like the dr., getting haircuts, or the I am thankful we have NO carpet in the house!) 

Well, knowing this, I decided we needed to warm Mateo up to his costume, so about a week before Halloween, I made a big deal and let Tatum try on her costume and asked Mateo if he wanted to try his on too.  He surprised me with a quick yes.
Even when we got it on him, he was all smiles and thought he looked so cute I guess because he was prancing around and showing off.
He would even GROWL on que as well.  I thought that maybe he was going to enjoy this!
And 5 minutes in, his face changed to this....
He wanted nothing to do with the costume....he wanted it OFF!

Tatum had fun trying hers on too, but I realized how big it was at the neck.

We brought my full length (dirty, falling apart) mirror that I use in the mornings from our room so they could see themselves.
The Friday before Halloween, we went to Fall Festival at our church and my sister and her family joined us too.  We met up at their house to get a few pictures and change Mateo there.

Here are Mya and Tatum.
Let me tell you, these girls are so cute together!  I think our future is going to be full of fun.
Mateo fought putting on his costume, but once we got out in the cold he loved it.  It was good and warm, so I think we were all happy.
Here are all of the kids on our side of the family.  Notice that Mateo doesnt have on his costume yet.  I still wasn't sure he would wear his costume, so I had a Memphis football player as his Plan B costume.

Mateo and Daddy

Halloween night, we decided to take the kids around the neighborhood to a few houses.  Here are a few pictures before we left.

I am so thankful we decided to take the wagon because it was perfect.  The kids could ride between houses if they wanted and I didn't have to carry them.
Tatum and Mateo were SO into the trick-or-treating!!  I figured Tatum would be, but Mateo was too.  He would RUN up to the houses and try to knock on the door before Tatum got there.  Now it was another story when the people actually came to the door.  Tatum would get so shy and not talk and Mateo would try to grab the candy out of their buckets. 
We even ran into friends from school that live in our neighborhood.  This was the best group picture I could get.  The boys are in class together, but N is a year older than Tatum.  However, upon seeing each other, they ran and gave big hugs.
All in all, we had a blast this Halloween!!!  They got so much candy which they liked, but it is fun for Antonio and I to see them grown enough to enjoy the holidays.  I can't wait for the rest of 2010!  Tatum has been asking me every morning for a week if TODAY is Thanksgiving.  We will be making a chain for Christmas so we can see how many days until Christmas I think.

We are celebrating our 1st Thanksgiving tonight and I can't wait!!  Have a great weekend!!