Friday, January 30, 2009

It's the (second) most wonderful time of the year

4 witty remarks
What, you thought I meant Christmas? I'm talking about clearance time! January/February and July/August are when I do most of my shopping for the kids: when the previous seasons are being cleared out of the stores (to make room for, y'know, swimsuits in January) I buy up all their clothes for the next year and store them in those big Rubbermaid totes, along with all of my Goodwill and garage-sale finds. I get a lot of good stuff for ridiculously low prices and my kids haven't figured out yet that their clothes are always a year out of style. Generally, something has to be at least 50% off to catch my eye (unless it's something that's harder to find, like coats or pajamas). Today I went to Target, Old Navy (all their baby clearance is an extra 50% off!) and Walmart (I know! I hardly ever shop at Walmart. I'm not one of those anti-Walmart people, I just don't like their stores. Although the gear oil lawsuit thing is probably not necessarily their fault. When quality control analysts do their job, everybody wins. But I digress) and brought home a seriously good haul. And since I had nothing else to blog about except complaining about all the snow, I thought I'd share.

I came home with a huge pile of clothes for Porter - adjustable waist cords, buttondown shirts, a hoodie and some other goodies - for like twenty bucks. Given that he hasn't outgrown all of his size 3's yet and they may be good for another year, I think his fall/winter '09 wardrobe is pretty much set.

Betsy is a little more difficult, since she's at the awkward age between toddler and tween. Call me crazy but I don't like the idea of decking out my little six-year-old in Hannah Montana or High School Musical. It's hard to find anything good for her, let alone on clearance. But I picked up some cute velour trackpants ($5) and a huge stack of long-sleeved T shirts ($3 each) at Walmart. Since the shirts are plain, I think I'll dress them up with some of my scrapbook supplies. Goodness knows I have enough foam stamps, ribbons, and buttons laying around that I can spare a few. Who wouldn't love to have a bunch of unique, custom-designed tops?

Okay, these were for me. I couldn't decide between the black and the yellow, so I got them both. In my defense, they were five dollars a pair (which is the exact same price of a pair of shoes at Goodwill). A little different from my usual style but I think they're so cool and vintagey-looking: you'd have to be dead inside not to love the little ruffles on the vamp! My sister Emily is always telling me that I need to get over my fear of ballet flats (Emily loves ballet flats. Emily got married in a pair of ballet flats. Even though her husband is like eight inches taller than her) and that there's nothing wrong with a little toe cleavage. I'm not sure if these technically qualify as ballet flats because they have that darling narrow strap and a kitten heel that you can't see but I'm not a shoe person so I don't know what else you'd call them.
So, just when I thought I'd get away with a minimal amount of damage, I discovered the toy clearance at Wal Mart, which was marked down an extra 50%. I thought I'd take a peek and see if there was anything worth putting in storage for a future gift giving occasion. I ended up having so much that a complete stranger (a really nice lady) went to the front of the store to get a cart for me, because I couldn't put it all in the stroller.
I picked up this neat, insanely detailed jungle playset for Porter's birthday in April (fifteen dollars). Check out the spider web! And the rocks shaped like a gorilla!
A radio-controlled car, also for the P-man's birthday (fifteen bucks). I think it will be a lot of fun in the basement, where there's hard floors and lots of wide open spaces. And being that he's a guy, he does love the remote control.
A ball-rolly thing for Amy's first birthday (twelve-fifty). It plays really annoying music when you roll the ball down the track. Think I'll be taking the batteries out of this one.

Oh, and the much-coveted Barbie MyHouse that Betsy originally wanted for Christmas but didn't get because Santa didn't feel like buying all the little furniture sets separately. (Don't feel to sorry for Betsy - she got a bunch of art stuff instead.) It was packaged together with the living room and dining room sets for a whole seventeen dollars, and I got the last one. Poor Betsy is going to have an awfully hard time waiting for her birthday to get here.
So, blog-readers, what are you shopping for these days? While you're at it you may want to pick up some mouth socks, which is what all the cool kids are wearing these days. Everyone knows only lame-o's put their socks on their feet...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Ten items or less

5 witty remarks
1. Amanda Ripley, author of The Unthinkable, is going to be on 20/20 on Friday night. I've been recommending the book to everyone - it's one of the most interesting things I've ever read. (The title and cover makes it seem like it's a scary book, but for me at least, it had the opposite effect.) So if you don't have time to sit down and read a whole book, catch the TV version of it instead.

2. One of my very best friends just opened up this Etsy store. Cute!

3. How's this for cool: a craft-themed line of scrapbooking supplies (from, of course, American Crafts)!

4. Porter and I discovered Wubbcasts the other day (YouTube with Mom is an important part of his after-bath ritual) and I think I am addicted. Porter really likes the water fight; my favorite is the hopelessly-earwormy Don't Lie. You are powerless to resist its catchiness...

5. I've heard the same song on the radio on my drive into work every day for weeks. Is the universe trying to tell me something, or is it merely a case of diegogarcity?

6. Look look! Mother-daughter dresses! And mother-daughter shoes! Oh, the possibilities...

7. I am so glad that all of the drugstore-brand cosmetics manufacturers have jumped on the whole mineral-foundation bandwagon... because that means I can finally afford it. And it makes my skin look awesome.

8. So, Butler basketball is doing really awesome this year. But, is anyone really surprised by that? I mean, at some point doesn't the word 'Cinderella' no longer apply?

9. I analyzed batch # 24601 today. And no, I did not pile all the lab equipment into a barricade and climb on top of it waving a flag. I did hum a little to myself, though. (It was a 5W20 semi synthetic, in case you're wondering.)

10. My babysitter's kid is finally gaining weight, now that she's started him on solids. She's also been feeding him some of the extra milk from my freezer and the doctor told her not to because (and this is a direct quote) my milk is "not fatty enough." Gee, I guess that explains the appearance of Amy's thighs...

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Back home again

3 witty remarks
I really had to hit the ground running - I was gone Sunday through Wednesday and then I worked Thursday and Friday. Now I have a little bit of time to re-group but I also have to prepare a talk and a Sunday school lesson tomorrow (and catch up on groceries and laundry). It was fifty-one degrees in Alabama on Wednesday and minus eleven in Indiana on Thursday. Hmm, maybe I should have stayed.

I took a lot of pictures, mainly because I am the one person in the family who can be reliably counted on not to cry. (I'm not a horrible person, I swear. Even onions don't usually make me weep.) Grandaddy's funeral was really nice. I would describe it as more sad-bittersweet than sad-tragic, and when you really think about it, we should all be so lucky to be remembered like that. Emily, Catherine, Laura and I sang 'Amazing Grace' (reprised from Grandma's funeral three years ago - I think Mom just really likes to hear us sing) and we had some time to rehearse it in the hotel the night before, so I felt like we were able to do the song justice. Grandaddy was retired Navy, so he had the whole military funeral, which was neat. This is my favorite shot:

After they folded the flag they presented it to his widow (it's a long-ish story; she's not actually our grandmother, but they were married for 34 years and we all like her a lot) but later she gave it to Mom, which I thought was a really nice gesture. After the funeral we went back to the house (which is maybe a 3 minute drive from the cemetery and funeral home) and talked with all the family and friends. Grandaddy's church had sent a lot of food - fried okra, sweet potato pie, probably the most delicious cornbread I've ever put in my face-hole - and the Autaga County sheriff brought a ham. I had a really nice time chatting with my relatives before Emily and I had to hit the road again.

Here we are all in our fancy clothes:

Seven out of the eight grandkids were there (all except for Rob, who just got to Germany. Because he's in the Army. Grandaddy was okay with that; he was just relieved Rob's not a jarhead.) and two of the great-grandbabies. I just brought Amy, while Matt and the kids stayed home. It was really hard for Amy to absorb that much love and attention, because like all of my offspring, she's pretty shy and retiring. Although I'm a little concerned because I left home with a three-toothed (or tridentate - ha, I knew all that Latin would come in handy someday) baby but I returned home with a quadrident. So I think she might have been switched out of the hotel or something while I was sleeping.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


8 witty remarks
He was 76. He will be missed.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The New Year

7 witty remarks
We rang in 2009 in fine fashion, with family members (and a free turkey from work). Catherine took the bus out from Philadelphia, where she goes to art school. I hadn't seen her since 2006, so that was fun. Emily drove up from Ft. Campbell (where they will shortly be leaving, so we had better enjoy the proximity while it lasts) with Gavin and a fetus. And Mike and Mandy came up from Bloomington with Miles and a Wii, both of which were played with to the enjoyment of all. (I threw a strike on my first ever roll of Wii bowling, and promptly quit while I was ahead. Also, I stink at Mario Cart.)

Since all the cousins were together, we decided to line them up against the wall and shoot them.
With cameras, I mean.

Anyway, it was the first time Em, Cath and I had all been together since Emily's wedding, over two years ago, and we had WAAAY too much fun. We threw an air mattress on the floor and basically had a big slumber party (as much as that's possible when one woman is nursing a baby, and another is hugely pregnant) and did facials and talked about shoes and whatnot. Granted, the three of us shared a bedroom until I was 16 or so, and it wasn't nearly this much fun.

Anyway, in some not so good news, my Grandaddy is pretty sick with pneumonia, so we're hoping that turns out well. But in really great news, my brother's girlfriend Celeste is now no longer my brother's girlfriend, she is now his fiancee because Kevin asked her to marry him and she said yes.

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