Thursday, July 28, 2011

It's a giveaway! Bible verse pillows.

Yes, I realize I have taken an unknown blogging hiatus. It wasn't really planned, and I am working on getting my blog back up to date. So you may have 18 posts in your reader at once all back dated. Ok, not really, but I do apologize. We are in life transition as Mama C heads back to working full time on Monday. I'm trying to juggle baby, house, hubs, & unpacking/decorating my new second grade classroom FOR FREE. It is so sad that I'm basically working, but I'm not getting paid yet. Since I haven't gone back to actual work yet. How awesome is that?

Add to that a sick, teething baby.

C'est la vie.

Don't hate me. I will be back, I promise. Very, very soon.

In the meantime, you MUST go see the blog of my real life friend I've since college days, Ellen. She has a really great blog (and I'm not just saying that because she's my real friend) called the Hairbow Chronicles. Just look at her followers and see my 20. She's that funny. The internet is captivated by her, but I'm lucky enough to know her.

She's doing a great giveaway of Bible verse pillows! Go here, and there are NINE WAYS to enter. Awesome! And tell her Mrs. Confident sent you. ;)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Oh my goodness.

So two weeks from today I go back to work. Which means I am in full out Teacher Get Ready Back To School Mode. Yes, it is such an intense time. It does deserve all capital letters.

Can I say how much I am hearting Target's dollar spot for back to school teacher goodies? And how much I am loving Dollar Tree? Good-bye, Knowledge Tree! I think you have some price beating to do.

At any rate, we had my college roommate, her husband, and their son in town this past weekend. I have 200 pictures that my silly photography obsessed husband took. Yes, I said 200. Why did he do that? We only gave them tours of Memphis which, I assure you, is not 200 picture worthy. Nevertheless, as I dig through those this week, I plan to give some fun blog posts so come back soon.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Jenny & Ted come to visit!

In July, one of my best friends and roommate from college, Jenny came to visit. She married her husband Ted about a month after Mr. C & I got married. So we've known them as a couple their entire married life. We've gone down to Georgia several times to visit them, but this time they came to see us! So we got to take them on a tour of Memphis. It was my first time to meet their son, Ian. It was their first time to meet our son, Micah. Lots of fun was had by all!

We went to the zoo because it is a must see for any Memphis tour.
Daddy and Micah monkeyed around.
Micah said prayers to Buddah (sp?). Just kidding! We only pray to Jesus in this house.
Ian ran the streets!
Mommy took Micah on his first carousel ride.
We tried to convince polar bears to come swim for us.
They wouldn't.

We enjoyed watching Ian and Jenny ride the carousel, too.
After our zoo trip, we took the boys (without naps--yikes!) to eat at Rendezvous.
Note to self: Rendezvous is NOT kid friendly. Nor stroller friendly. Nor tourist friendly.

We were not impressed.
So after our horrid lunch (I mean, there was no other name for it), we tried to salvage the downtown leg of our tour with a trolley ride!

It was a hit.
Jenny with Ian.
The mommies with the boys.
As you can see, it was mid July in Memphis.
That means, it was hot. We were sweaty. And we had only done outdoor activities for the entire day. Also, getting kids to look at the same time as adults...

Doesn't happen.
This is probably our very best picture ever together. Haha!
The boys having fun looking out at the surroundings. Micah was just starting to stand by himself here. Mommy realized she'd never wear this fat roll showing shirt again after these pictures. And I need a haircut. Still haven't done that.
Ted liked to amuse himself.
Daddy played with Micah.

Micah got really sleepy and curled up with Mommy.
Then he looked out with Daddy.
Then he curled up with Daddy.

So the boys were definitely exhausted after all this fun. So we decided to head back to Casa Confident and the hotel to give the kiddos naps for part 2 of our tour.

Micah didn't not nap. Neither did Ian. =/

After the fake naps, we took our friends down to one of Memphis' jewels...Harbor Town to visit the Mississippi River. We walked along the river walk.
Pretended like we lived in San Francisco...
Took some typical Memphis shots with the "M" bridge in the background.
Enjoyed a sunset.
And marveled at God's beauty in creation.
It was so great to see our friends! I hope we don't go two years again without seeing each other!

Monday, July 11, 2011

A tale of four cars.

So you've heard of A Tale of Two Cities, right? I vaguely remember reading it in high school, but that title popped into my head as a good rip off of what has happened to us this weekend/today. This is a pictureless post, but I'll try to make it peppy regardless of the lack of photos.

My car died in my parents driveway two weeks ago, and we took it to be fixed by my father-in-law down in Mississippi. He can work magic on cars (for FREE), but he also works full time. Sometimes fixing cars by him can take a while although we are so thankful he is willing to take his weekends to work on our cars for FREE. This definitely comes in handy for many, many reasons. At any rate, leaving it down there isn't that big of deal because I'm not working & the hubs is off during the day. So basically, we are just a one car family for a couple of weeks. Micah's been sick anyway, so we've been here.

My car was finally (almost) fixed, and we were supposed to go get it on Friday. Things came up (not going to bore you) so we didn't get down there. My in laws left for vacation, so the plan was to drive down today by ourselves in my husband's truck & pick up my car from their house.

Notice, I said those crazy little words: the plan was. Plans. Yeah, they can change very quickly can't they? Yesterday as I stepped in my hub's truck to run out to get the Sunday paper at Walgreens for couponing purposes I discovered the car wouldn't crank.


Fast forward through lots of boring details to this morning when my sister graciously picked me up in my father's car. The plan was to drop her at work, use my dad's back up car to get to Mississippi, pick up my car, return dad's car to sister, and return home. Side note: You see, my sister's car was in a wreck a month ago & the insurance company from the driver that hit her has yet to settle things. So she is borrowing my parents' extra car to get around in the mean time until the insurance totals out her car. It was a five car wreck, and apparently these things take more time the more cars involved. Luckily, everyone involved was safe.

Well. As soon as I backed out of my sister's workplace with my nephew headed towards my parents' house the back up car started acting strange. I barely made it to my parents' house where it proceeded to die in the driveway. Thankfully I did make it to my parents' house. I could just imagine me & my two-year-old nephew walking down the road to my parents' house. See, I've also lost my cell phone.

So, if you are keeping track that would be Car 1 was in a wreck. Car 2 (mine) is down in Mississippi after dying a couple weeks back. Car 3 (hubs) died last night in garage. Car 4 (parents' back up car) died on me this morning.

It's no wonder my mom said, "Maybe you shouldn't drive my car today because the way you're going it will die, too." Isn't life just so much fun sometimes?? Ah, well. It could be worse. It could always be worse. Here's hoping for a better rest of the week.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Doe, a deer...a female deer.

Yesterday was spent kind of lazily as I waited around for our pest control company to come spray the house in the morning. We have about a million spiders that I have killed this spring/summer. I just reached this point after a spider was repelling down the wall toward my son's pack-n-play that I couldn't take it anymore. Usually, I'd just squash them and move on, but we don't know the day our little man will decide to be mobile. So, it was time to make sure he wasn't somehow finding a dead bug on the floor & eating it! ICK!

The rest of the day was very lazy. I mean, I didn't do anything I needed to do. I just know that my days as a SAHM are fastly escaping with my little boy. So instead of cleaning, I played with him. Fair trade? I think so.
Once it finally got cooler (um, 90 degrees versus 95, haha!), we decided to go on a walk in a neighboring subdivision that has lots of big, big trees & winding roads. It's funny because we don't live in the country by any stretch of the imagination (much to the dismay of my hubs). However, we saw this little mama doe with her little fawn. Quite the most precious thing I've seen in a long, long time!

I'm DETERMINED to gt this baby weight off, and my husband is wanting to train for a half marathon. I might let him do that alone, but he suggested a looooonnnnnnggggg (4 miles) walk last night, so we went with him. Glad we did!
Seeing wildlife always reminds me of my trips and summers in Montana. I miss Montana a whole, whole lot and pray for the people of the West quite often.

Quite random, but I'm certain my twenty year old self would greatly laugh at my thirty something self about this blog post. "Really? This is all you can blog about? Baby deer & getting your baby weight off? How lame are you?"

I really wish I had a blog from 1998. That would be so much fun to look back on now, wouldn't it? Motivation enough to keep this blog going so my fifty something self can come back and make fun of my thirty something self.

(That was really random. I do apologize.)


At any rate, this little sighting of our furry friends from a Disney movie scene just made my little night last night. We walked our four miles, and maybe we can go back sometime with a camera that is not my phone. :)

Today we're heading to my in laws home to pick up my broken now fixed car. My father in law can fix anything you give him, and we rarely put our cars in the real shop if he can fix it instead. I'm looking forward to having my car back! I don't really mind though since I'm currently not working & hubs is home by 10 am. It's not like I didn't have access to a car. Poor old thing (the car) is now 12 years old, but she is paid for! So hopefully she'll give us a few more good years before we have to shell out money for another one. Man, I'm so Dave Ramsey these days it is ridiculous. My twenty year old self (that bought this car) just wanted something shiny, new, all the bells, all the whistles, & sporty. My thirty year old self is annoyed by my two-door coupe that isn't really adequate for a family or small child. I wish I could go tell twenty year old self, "You'll be driving this for a while. Get something more practical not pretty." My, how we change as we age!

Y'all have a good weekend! Enjoying meeting many of you through our blog hop! :)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Pumpkins, books, & cleaning.

What in the world do pumpkins & books & cleaning have to do with each other?

Absolutely nothing. Aren't you glad I realize that? However, our life right now is about those things so therefore the strange title emerged for this post. But you want to keep reading, right?

Funny story this silly pumpkin. A student gave me a miniature pumpkin last fall that I set outside our porch with the cluster of other festive pumpkins. The other pumpkins were eventually thrown away, but for some reason the little one didn't get picked up. Fast forward through the winter months where the pumpkin apparently rotted under lots of snowfall (for this year anyway). It was all but forgotten until a little sprig with flower appeared earlier this spring.
Confused by the random growth in the flowerbed, it dawned on me that pumpkin must have left its' seeds as it rotted. So in jest, I told Mr. C he better dig it up if he wanted his pumpkins this fall for his garden. He actually agreed at my joke, and he decided to grow pumpkins in the backyard.

I was fine with that, but I told him he needed to dig it up post haste. The last thing we need is a pumpkin vine growing down the driveway in our suburban neighborhood.
Well, here we are in JULY PEOPLE, JULY. And you see where that pumpkin still resides? That's right. Near our front porch in the walkway to our house.

(We don't use this walkway since we enter through the garage. But I was just asked by a friend if I had poison ivy in my walkway. There's a problem here, people.)

Only now the pumpkin vine is getting longer and longer. I've given my procrastinating husband deadline after deadline or "I'd throw it away." The thing is...the elementary teacher almost can't bear to throw it away. And at this point digging it up would kill it, right?
So we're in a quandary. Do we dig up and transplant or risk looking like the biggest southern rednecks in all the world? I do realize we live in the south, but is there really any reason to further the stereotype? I think not.

At any point, I had to take some documentation of the pumpkin by placing Micah in front of it this morning. It's one of his first year milestones he'll wanna remember. Right?

The rest of this morning has been spent playing, attempting to read Micah some books, playing some more, and soaking in this big boy's smile. Oh, how glad I am to see that smile again!
He's starting to feel more like himself since his surgery last week. Unfortunately, since he is still healing I have to keep him out of the nursery. So we won't be at church for a while. This morning, I also decided to play around with Daddy's fancypants camera. You see, he watches me like an eagle when I use it when he's home. So I thought an impromptu photoshoot sans Daddy's watchful eyes would be fun.
Micah loves his books, but unfortunately he just likes to eat them right now. Maybe one day he'll sit still for me to read them to him.

We also have some Summer Cleaning going on around here. The rest of the world Spring Cleans, but a true teacher Summer Cleans. After all, I have the whole summer. Actually I've had my Faux Stay At Home (maternity leave) status for over seven months. And I'm just now deep cleaning. Such is life. I have a month until I go back.
I posted this pic on FB yesterday wondering if anyone else out there has an uncontrollable lid to container ratio problem at their house? Overwhelmingly, you guys agreed...yes! So I went through everything and threw away any lids that had no mate or any containers that had no mate. It was so cathartic.

(Side note: I was thought cathartic meant purging. Looked it up on dictionary dot com and it means laxative! Ugh. Maybe I should rethink my vocabulary.)
The inside of my cabinet now looks like this (and yes, I didn't take a pic of the before. It was just too embarrassing.) I'd say we still have plenty of containers and bowls left, don't you think?

Since I was still on a role, I did the cooking cabinet, too. Although I do have four muffin pans. (Three big pans & one just for six muffins.) Methinks that is a bit too much, and I probably only need to keep two. However, there have been times when baking for a large crowd that I'd want to back 36 muffins in one sitting. I guess I'm keeping them. Micah's first birthday is coming sooner than I'd rather admit.
Of course, what cleaning day is complete without your little helper?

You may remember in my couponing post that I showed my amazing storage space in the garage and pantries I've collected over the years to organize my things. Well, on the Fourth while Micah slept, I got to thinking about the arrangement of the pantries.
They sure take up a lot of room across the length of my garage with a lot of leftover space behind them. In talking to my husband, we came across a few different scenarios which led to this arrangement...
So I have three pantries in the place where two stood side by side. You see that step to the right? That is the entrance to my kitchen. Now all the pantries are reorganized by categories and just a step outside my doorway. Plus, I'm super short, and now I can actually reach the top shelf because I can step up to their level. Before, I was simply so far down the top shelf became unusable.

That's it. More cleaning projects to come...not that you care. But I feel much better!

Have a great Wednesday! Don't you wish I was a Wordless Wednesday kind of person??

And if you are here from the blog hop, welcome! Comment!! I'm going to go see your blog, too! :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Party like it's 1999. Blog hop.

Wanna meet some new bloggers, get out of your bloggy rut, get some comments, & add some fun new sites to your reader?

How about going over to this blog hop at Jenna's Journey?

And just for fun, I got this link from my Twitter friend named Leah over at her blog. So go check her out, too! She's extremely cool, and I love "meeting" people randomly on Twitter. Believe me, you can actually become cyber friends. Weird, I know.

If you want to know more about The Confident family, feel free to visit our info page here. Or check out my latest fave post with pics of my boy taken by my husband here. Or feel free to check out some of our top blog posts on the side bar. Become a follower or get up close & personal by finding me on Twitter @confidentblog.

A few fun facts about me:

1. Born & raised in Tennessee, and I love it here.
2. I'm obsessed with the mountains--specifically the beautiful state of Montana.
3. I've lived in Montana doing summer missions & visited it five times.
4. I was engaged after dating my hubs for five months. We've been married 7 years this month.
5. I was scared to death of having a child always waiting "for the right time", but I can't imagine anything better than being a mom!

Hope to hear from you soon!

Monday, July 4, 2011

My first (well, kind of) reattempt at couponing.

First of all, thanks to my wonderful husband for keeping the baby today so I could get out of this house! That did wonders for my little soul with our precious sick baby. In addition to that, he took "night duty" last night and ordered me to sleep. That also did wonders for my weary spirit, too. I feel so refreshed, and Micah has had a much better day. Maybe we're on the other side of the hill? I decided to spend my free time attempting couponing again. Isn't that what you did for the Fourth? :)

I used to coupon pretty hard core a few years back, but I'm going to be honest.

It took way too much time. (Sorry, but it is true. Working full time it wasn't worth it to take an additional 5-10 hours to clip/shop on top of grading papers, PTA meetings, & parent conferences.) Now my Faux Stay At Home Mom status has given me some time to try at it again. Granted, I'm going back to work in five weeks. (SUPER SIGH.)

Today, I went to Target, and here's what I bought:
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I spent $37.42 (taxes included). I'm not really sure how great of a deal this is, but I think it is right at half off. My receipts showed I saved $38.33 plus I got $10 in Target gift cards. So I saved more than I spent. I have room to grow in this, but here's what I did (in case you want to copy me this week.) We (read: my husband) are coffee snobs, and sometimes we can spend $10 a bag for his taste in high quality brew. So I would have spent $20 less if I didn't do the Starbucks deal. However, for us it is worth it.

All transaction ideas came from my facebook boards at Couponing Friends and Hip2Save.
I am NEW at this and only have limited coupons. Be nice to me. :)

Transaction One:
1. Starbucks Coffee (the bulk of the shopping trip, honestly, but hubs is an addict! Glad to get it soooo cheap!)

Buy 3 Starbucks Coffee 11 or 12 oz $8.49 = $5 Target gift card
Deal Scenario:
Buy 3 Starbucks Natural Fusion coffee $8.49
Subtotal = $25.47
Use 3 $1.50/1 coupons found here
Paid $20.97
Get back a $5 Target gift card
Final cost $5.32 per bag!

2. Pop Tarts
It was reported that these would be $1.99 a box. They were not, but here's what I did.
My Target had them for $2.14 per box. I bought 3 boxes for a total of $6.42
Then I used two coupons I found using Hip2Save that took an additional $3.oo off.
Paid $3.42 or $1.14 per box.
Still not sure that was the best deal, but I was there, my cashier was super nice, and I figured what the hey.

3. Ortega Taco Seasoning Packets
4 @ $0.69 each= $2.76
I had two dollars off in coupons.
Paid $0.76 (Probably the best deal b/c I've paid close to $0.75 for one packet of taco seasoning but got four today!)

4. Schick Quatro Women's Razors
Buy One Get One Free Coupon ($6.49)
Bought two razors for $12.98
You get a $5 Target gift card.
Paid $6.49

5. Freschetta by the Slice Pizza
I followed exactly what Hip2Save said to do, but I actually stacked coupons. It worked!
So it was 3 pizzas for $5. I had $1.75 in coupons.
Paid $3.24 or $1.09

Total (before taxes): $34.88 + $10.00 in Target Gift Cards
Now that I'm home, I know I could have done better on that Schick deal. I could have used a BYGO free coupon plus a $3 off coupon. I should have paid only $3 and some change. Oh, well.

Transaction #2

I took my $10 Target gift card from the previous purchase and bought:

1. Yoplait Yogurt
$6 for 10
I had coupons in the amount of a dollar off.
Paid $5.00

2. Pop Tarts
Same deal as above.
Paid $3.42

Total (before taxes): $8.42

Paid with $10 Target Gift Card so basically free!! :)

Then, I had to partake of the crazy deal at CVS this week where Coke products are only $0.69 per 2 liter. I bought ten. (No Hoarders comments, please! Haha!)
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And where does one keep all of this?

Glad you asked. Thought I'd give you an "insiders' look" at our garage.
Just note: I live in a 1500 square foot tiny house. The builder here put in amazing storage for its size. Our garage has a step up (or lip) that runs the entire length of our garage, and it is about 4ish feet deep. So we have lined it with these cabinets that you can buy at Aldi's for as cheap as $20 when they go on sale. I have a cabinet for everything. Two for stockpiling household goods & non perishables, one for baby supplies, one for kitchen gadget overflow, and a free standing deep freeze for deals on meat & bread.

Here are two of my "pantries" side by side. They are directly outside my kitchen door, so everything is always getting rotated into the "main pantry" inside the house or the laundry closet in the kitchen when it gets low.
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(Excuse the mess, we're reorganizing so stuff is everywhere.)
So I have four pantries and one deep freeze for storage.
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Oh, and a crock pot that is in dire need of a trip to Goodwill (as is the fuzzy bear whose butt you also see). Haha!

What about you? How do you store what you buy?

I'm determined not to become a couponing nut (as in the TLC show). Today, I only bought things our family would eat. Tacos is always a main dish, frozen pizza is great for those nights you don't wanna cook, and PopTarts is a Casa Confident breakfast staple. (I'll be honest, Diet DP is also a staple for me like coffee for the hubs.)

Oh! One other frugal tip I'd like to share.
Always wondered what to do with those small bits of veggie leftovers? You know, the ones you hate to throw away but there isn't enough left for a single serving? A friend of mine told me about her "stew bag" in her freezer. She just dumps all the veggies in there as her family has leftovers. When the bag is full, time for stew! I thought that was a great idea!

Happy saving!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

I'm not gonna lie. Just some raw truth.

So everything is not always rainbows, sunshine, and unicorns over at Casa Confident. I mostly post the rainbows & unicorns because this is a scrapbook of little Micah's first year (and hopefully years to come). I try to be real in my commentary which is seldom censored, but I'd describe this as a pretty happy place. Overall, we try to be positive people. Although, I won't lie. I could teach a class called Complaining 101. After all, I am a whiner. I'm sad to admit that publicly, but anyone who knows me truly has had the "Mrs. C, Shut UP" talk with me at one time or another.

(It's true. I'm sorry, but I can be a bit "whoa is me the sky is falling" sometimes drama queen over nothing.)

Sometimes things aren't happy. And sometimes I don't wanna pretend.

It's just hard to know what the line becomes on this mommy blogging thing. For example, when is something I post going to embarrass Micah in the future? When do I need to take in account his feelings on the subject? How much blogging is too much information when it comes to privacy? Everybody wants a blogger who is "real" out there, but how much should remain in my own heart?

Anyone else ever feel this way? Yet, I love to write to express myself.. Writing is therapy. (And sometimes....whining is also therapy. And, yes, I realize how many sentences I have started with a contraction back there. For shame!) However, the Bible commands us to do everything without complaining so I try really hard not to.

So what is the point of this post?

Well, in the interest of keeping some things private I will just say we're dealing with a health situation with Micah. It's nothing that is super serious (cancer) or super life threatening (looming death & destruction). However, it is a bit above, say an ear infection. We were at a children's hospital (outpatient) this week, and now Micah's at home recovering. Yes, I know I haven't told you. Yes, we haven't really told our friends. In fact, we just kind of kept it quiet so things could be low key. And I have never had my happy baby be anything other than happy, and now he is just plain pitiful. And I. Am. So. Stinking. Tired. And. Mad. I mean, Mommy is just worn down. I'm exhausted!

To be honest, we also received some news about a prayer request that did not go our way. And the prayers that have been prayed for years are running out of time to be answered. And the Lord slammed a door shut in our face again.

And between these two things--caring for a sick child & a no to the prayer request--I think I may just lose it. Rationally, I know these feelings are stupid. Emotionally? I'm being swept down the Self Pity River. I mean, Micah doesn't have anything serious. Honestly. He's just pitiful, not sleeping, crying a lot, and hurting. I'm not a St. Jude Mom, so I need to get over myself.

Mr. C is just precious to take him and let me sleep some during the day. Mr. C is also precious to remind me of so many amazing, answered prayers from our Mighty Lord. "Don't you remember the Lord doing this, Mrs. C? Don't you remember the Lord doing that, Mrs. C?"

And I do remember. Then I look over at my precious, pitiful son.

When he mutters "Mama" over and over again and those pitiful little hurting eyes look up at me...

There's no place I'd rather be. Seriously. I'm just tired emotionally. This has been going on since Tuesday. So I am sorry for the venting, but I do feel better now. Whining has ended. Back to the rainbows & unicorns.

Or maybe not.

Sometimes it feels good just to be real because like life the Christian walk isn't all rainbows & unicorns either. I think that if we didn't struggle with our faith in the Christian walk at times with trials that I might be tempted to wonder if my faith was actually real faith.

Thanks be the Lord my faith is real. Flawed, most definitely. Hurting, absolutely. Real, no question.

Happy Fourth, y'all.