Monday, November 30, 2009

Movie Review Monday

In a last minute decision I asked two friends to go see a movie with me on Saturday night. We all wanted to see New Moon and two of our daughters did too. We left two daddies here with 5 kids (two went with us, one was staying at the other girl's house) and we went to enjoy a nice night out.

We got to the theater about 630pm and got our tickets for the 7pm show. I bought all the tickets... three adults and two kids at the military rate for just $34.50. Not bad for a Saturday night showing of a new movie.

I didn't spend anything at the concession stand since I had one friend pay for Lexi's snacks and the other friend pay for mine. We all got our own 1-2-3 Go Box. A fantastic idea, if you ask me. You get a kid's sized drink, a small (or maybe a little smaller than a small) popcorn and a regular sized bag of candy (or snack of choice). I got popcorn, a red icee and peanut m&m's for $7 and it was the perfect amount. Makes it so much easier than trying to share a large popcorn with 5 people and then buying a drink for everyone. Might be a little more expensive, but not much... plus the convenience makes it worth it.

We got in the movie and watched a few previews before it started. Once it started the girls behind us were super annoying which makes me glad I didn't try to go when it first came out. They would be saying things before they happened and were constantly talking about how hot Jacob is and that he could turn them into a werewolf anytime. The two girls we took were entranced in the movie and didn't make a peep the entire time.

I have not read the books so my review will probably be different than those that have read them, but I prefer to see the movies first because the movie is NEVER as good as the book. So here is my opinion...

The movie was great. Bella is forced to be apart from Edward and it breaks her until she realizes that the more danger she puts herself in, the more she will see Edward. She then starts hanging out with Jacob who makes her feel so much better. I felt bad for Jacob with her flip flopping between the two but you can see how much she loves Edward. Very intense at some parts and kinda keeps you wondering what is going to happen next (if you haven't read the books of course). Even if you don't like vampire movies or have never read the books, you will probably still like the movies. My kids love them and I found myself wondering when the next one would be out before I was even finished watching this one.

I will never be a Twilight addict, like some... but I do like the movies and I will probably end up buying them at some point.

After the movie we signed up for the StarPass... it gets you points for every dollar you spend (I think it's 10pts per dollar) and it will spit out coupons on occasion just when buying something at the box office or the concession stand. My friend spent $14 at concessions and a free movie ticket coupon spit out just from using her StarPass (which is free to sign up for, by the way). So if you have a National Amusements nearby, definitely sign up for that. They will even let you claim what you spent that day before signing up (at least they did at our theater, but the manager is super nice).

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Almost Done

I started my Christmas shopping back in March. Yes, you read that right! I shop all year trying to find great deals for my kids and other family members.

It is usually super easy to buy stuff for my kids but then when everyone asks what to get them, I have NOOOO idea. Maybe I should just stop shopping. That would make my hubby very happy but it is my stress reliever. I LOVE to shop and I love buying new things for the people that I love... especially my kids and my hubby. So if I did stop shopping, they would probably wonder who I was and what I did with Bri :)

Anyway... I have finished my shopping for my kids and I am just about done with the hubby. This weekend I knocked out a few more people from my list and already got some Christmas cards out BEFORE Thanksgiving.

So yah, I am ALMOST DONE! YAY!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

My Black Friday Savings

Toys R Us
Spent - $47.32
Saved - $56.17

Old Navy
Spent - $4.96
Saved - $100.49

Spent - $32.08
Saved - $35.00

Spent - $291.84
Saved - $155.99

Spent - $75.93
Saved - $56.88

Spent - $21.38
Saved - $29.99

Victoria's Secret
Spent -$42.27
Saved - $10 plus got a secret reward worth at least $10 but up to $500!!!

Barnes & Noble
Spent - $52.42
Saved - $16.00

Total Black Friday Savings - $460.52 plus what my secret reward ends up being!

Six Word Saturday

***Black Friday is Better with Friends***

Fun Photo Friday - The Rest of Our Experience

After leaving Old Navy we went straight to Kohl's. We got there at 359am... the line was super long and there was hardly any parking. We waited a couple minutes in the car for them to open the doors then headed over. We quickly found what we wanted and got in line. I check the line on the opposite side of the store and to my surprise I could not find the end... both lines merged in the middle of the back of the store, so we stayed where we were. There was no drama and the line went pretty quick.

We got to Target at 445am. The line wrapped around the store and we had considered waiting for the doors to open at 5am before heading in but am glad we didn't. The line went from the front door, all around the side of the building and more than halfway around the BACK of the store. Thankfully the line moved quick into the store and people were NOT crazy. We went straight into the video game section... I got the movies I wanted AND the LAST of one of the video games I wanted. We then headed over the home section where I found the mixer I was looking for. To my surprise I found EVERYTHING on my list and we were in line within an hour. We checked out, took a potty break and got our FREE medium drink!

We then headed over to Walmart. We couldn't hardly find anything we were looking for but did find some great deals. Trista got a Sony Blu Ray player for $30 less than it was advertised for and a game was half off of what she thought it was... so it was a GREAT trip for her!

After Walmart we headed over to Kmart and saw Santa on a bike! He was nice enough to pose for a picture but I swear he was following us :p I found a couple things I was looking for but not everything. The line even went pretty quick and again, no drama.

We then decided to head to my house for breakfast since it was about 8am but when we got home the kitchen was still a disaster from Thanksgiving and breakfast wouldn't be for awhile. Kristina started falling asleep so we decided to head on over to the mall. Our feet were feeling a little better so it was a good break. Unfortunately, coming home first made us just BARELY miss out on getting the free tote bag from Victoria's Secret. I did get a few people crossed off my list and we made it home just in time for breakfast.

Kristina and I ate a little bit of breakfast then us tired out mamas fell asleep on the couch. Kristina left before Trista and I even woke up. We napped for about 30-40 minutes... it was a good cat nap. I then went back to bed after 3pm when my in laws left and slept until 7 this morning.

All in all it was a great Black Friday... it was cold, crazy and crowded but it was FUN!

The check out line in front of us at Kohl's

Waiting at Kohl's
The front of Target at 445am
The side of Target at 445am
The back of Target at 445am
Inside Target
Waiting to check out at Target
Look it's Santa!
See, he's following us!
*I didn't get any pics at Walmart or the mall, sorry*

Fun Photo Friday - Old Navy

We got to Old Navy about 1240am. (Yes, it only took 40 minutes to get into TRU, get what we wanted, check out, wait for Trista and drive to Old Navy LoL) We had hoped to wait in the car for a little bit since it was below 30 degrees outside but there were already about 20 people standing in line. This is the place I wish we had brought our chairs. It was so cold! The building didn't block the wind like Toys R Us did and there was no one selling hot chocolate. Oh, I forgot to mention that... while standing at TRU there was a guy selling hot chocolate from the back of his truck. Donations only, and the profits go to Toys for Tots. If he was lying, that is pretty shitty but even had he said "Just to make a buck." I still would have given him 3 bucks for 3 cups of hot cocoa. It's an ingenius idea!

So anyway... we get in line and start talking to a woman and a couple guys about our experience at Toys R Us. Then up walks a lady that we saw at Toys R Us. She starts chit chatting with us and come to find out... it's the Zhu Zhu Pet ticket lady that tried snagging a ticket and was asking us if we had heard the ladies yelling at her. Little did she know, it was us that were part of that and we just laughed. She ended up getting a ticket and admitted to not knowing what it was for and ended up giving it to someone else.

Channel 8 news showed up and interviewed a couple kids and probably got me and Trista swaying in sync but I don't see it posted online anywhere and I never catch the news. The lady behind us kept trying to get the news lady to let her say "Hi" to her husband but she wouldn't. Thank the Lord! She was annoying. She proved how annoying she was when the doors finally opened. Once again she pushed her way in front of us to get a ticket for the Lego Rock Band game which turned into more drama for us. The guy (and girl) handing out the tickets almost wouldn't give one to Trista because "She already got you one." Umm, no she didn't. She wasn't even with us. I am sure her mom behind us got one of her own too, whom she said she was grabbing it for. There was also a mad rush for the door from the crowd gathering in the parking lot that wouldn't get in the long line that went 4 stores down. They ended up opening the other doors which pissed a lot of people off... you know, the ones waiting hours upon hours to get in. They were, however, only giving out tickets at the door we were at but maybe they should have posted that so people could line up at both doors or they should have handed out the tickets before they opened just like Toys R Us did. Then we could have warmed our frozen toes in the car for a bit without worrying about not getting a copy of the FREE game.

We finally got in, got what we wanted and headed for the checkout. Not before losing each other, Trista & Kristina getting dizzy and running into Rebekah and baby Rin (only 4wks old, so they waited in the car for the doors to open). I got Jacob two pairs of jeans, a long sleeve polo and Lego Rock Band for less than $30 and I spent less than $5 cause I had a $25 gift card. It was soooo worth it waiting in that line. Although there is no way I could have done it without my amazing friends... they made the 2 1/2 hours just fly by.

Waiting in the CCCCCold!

The line in front of us
Waiting to check out
Rebekah, Baby Rin & Heather
The line behind us
Poor Trista got dizzy :(
We STILL look cold :p

Fun Photo Friday - Toys R Us

When we got to Toys R Us the parking lot wasn't too bad. We pulled through a spot on the far end of the parking lot hoping to be able to get out quickly when we ran in, got what we needed and ran back out. The line wasn't too long either. They had carts forming a barrier so people couldn't push their way in the front of the line at the door when they opened and we were just past the end of those carts, near the exit... so not too far back at all. As time got closer we heard people saying that TRU was going to be handing out coupons for their popular items to the first 100 people but we didn't know what it was for. People were speculating and someone else said that it was for Zhu Zhu Pets, the hottest toy of the year... but we never saw them advertised any where. Sure enough, when they came out though, they handed out 100 tickets for those cute, battery operated hamsters. We got ours, but not without a little drama. One woman, who claims to have been in line just behind us, walked up to where we were standing trying to get a ticket. The people in front of us were yelling that she wasn't in line, we said the same thing, and she yells back "My daughter has been standing RIGHT back here!" Ok, maybe that was true but if it was, you could have been standing with your daughter waiting to get your ticket and would have gotten one without jumping in front of other customers. We, however, had not seen her once since we got in line. 30 minutes later, the doors opened. As we got up near the door a woman tried pushing her way through the cart barrier and got into an altercation with the people in front of us. The line jumping woman pushed a 16 year old and the mom was about to beat some ass... actually she threatened to shoot her in the head if she touched her daughter again. I intervened and stopped the fight. I told the people in front of us to just go in and the lady to go back to the end of the line. She said, "Get your arm off of me." to which I replied, "We have been standing in line since 930 (close, but not exactly true) and they have been waiting longer, you need to go back to the end of the line." Her only retort was that they lady in front of us threatened her, which some how gave her the rights to go in without waiting for hours like the rest of us. A manager and security came out and I finally made my way in to the store. I heard they let her come in anyway... but whatever. The store was crowded... I grabbed some cheap diapers to make a diaper cake (I had coupons on top of it) and Kristina & Trista headed over to the video game section. They gave away the game Kristina was looking for right in front of her, and then found the game I was looking for. We headed up the check out and didn't wait for very long. TRU does it where they have arrows where the line goes... usually within an hour of opening the line wraps around the entire inside of the store but we were lucky to get our stuff and get in line within about 10 minutes. I gave my coupon to Kristina for my Zhu Zhu Pet but they wouldn't let her use two, so I ended up paying for hers (and she gave me the cash for it). As I was checking out my total came to $143... and there was NO WAY! It should have been like $80. I always have issues at Toys R Us. I may never shop there again... at least not when I am trying to get a deal. Anyway, it turned out one the video games I was getting was not on sale like I had read on a deal blog (or maybe it wasn't on sale until 5am... they did run some deals starting at midnight and others starting at 5) so I had her take that off and then another game was the wrong game, thanks to the employee back there. And it wasn't only me he did it to... it was EVERYONE that asked for it. We finally got everything fixed and taken care of, but I think checking out took longer than finding what we wanted. We then had to wait for Trista to take a potty break... when we left TRU the line was STILL super long out the door. We then headed over to Old Navy. They were opening at 3am.

In line at TRU

The line in front of us The line goes on FOREVER
I read that several businesses had full parking lots at 130am

The checkouts at TRU around 1230am

Waiting for Trista

Fun Photo Friday - Ready for Black Friday

Sorry for the delay in getting this posted... I came home from shopping yesterday, took about a 40 minute nap on the couch then got up to spend some time with our company before they left. I couldn't keep my eyes open any longer and I finally went back to bed shortly after 3pm (only according to facebook it didn't post until almost 6)... I just got up! So today I will post some of our experience and some pictures from yesterday, Black Friday!

Kristina and I were sitting at my house on Thanksgiving evening trying to take a nap before it was time to leave. Trista was going to meet us at my house at 1030pm and then we would head to Toys R Us. Kristina and I were too excited to sleep so we came back down stairs with everyone else. Around 9pm, one of Kristina's friends posted on facebook that she was heading over to Toys R Us and someone else made a similar comment. We started to panic a little and called Trista. She was sleeping so she hurried up and got ready to come over. She got here about 10 and we headed out.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Thursday

Today is the first time I will have hosted Thanksgiving for family. We used spend it several different places when we lived in Ohio, then we moved to Georgia and started spending it with friends. Last year we did something different and went to Sea World for Thanksgiving. It was a lot of fun.

This year was the first year we could have gone back to Ohio for Thanksgiving since we are only 6 hours away, compared to the 15 we were before. But also the first year family might be willing to come visit us so I decided to invite the in laws and some of my family for Thanksgiving dinner in Iowa.

The guest list includes my wonderful mother and father in law, my brothers in law plus a sister in law, two of my sisters, a friend and her family and a puppy in law! I had invited my mom, her husband and his kids and my dad but unfortunately they won't be able to make it.

The dinner menu is extensive... after all there will be 19 people eating here today.

Stuffing Casserole
Corn Pudding
Mashed Potatoes with Gravy
Sweet Potatoes in the Crockpot
Green Bean Casserole in the Crockpot
Crescent Rolls
Salad from Olive Garden
Pickle Tray
Chex Mix
Pumpkin Pie
Pumpkin Praline Pie
Sour Cream Apple Pie
Banana Pudding

After all this good food it will be time for the Black Friday ads so we can plan our strategy of attack! And I cannot wait!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What's for Dinner Wednesday

Something simple, that is for sure!

Last night I made steak on the grill (luckily the rain let up), baked potatoes and garlic baked broccoli. It all turned out yummy but not as GREAT as it usually does.

John turned the grill on for me and I put the steaks on without turning down the heat. I came back in the house to tend to the potatoes and broccoli thinking it would take forever for the steaks anyway. So I get the potatoes all poked, oiled and salted... put them in the microwave, then cut up the broccoli, tossed in olive oil and garlic salt and put those in the oven.

After getting that done I went out to check the steaks and to my surprise the grill temp was up to 700 degrees!!! I opened it up and flames were surrounding my steaks. I flipped three of them to see the bottoms completely charred... the 4th one was a little tougher as it had actually caught on fire LoL I got that one flipped and took it in to check the inside... it looked perfect on the inside. What is that they say about not judging a book by it's cover?! Yah, it still tasted good.

I turned the grill off and brought in the remaining steaks. Only one of them was cooked enough though so I pulled the potatoes out of the microwave and threw the steaks in for a couple minutes. I do not recommend this cause it makes the steak pretty tough and pulls a lot of juice out of it. It was still good but better with A1 :)

The good part about all this was that dinner was done fairly quickly. John and Jacob got to eat before leaving for Scouts and no one complained. Gotta love that.

And then tomorrow will be our Thanksgiving Dinner so today... yah... definitely simple. I am thinking something along the lines of Kraft Mac n Cheese and hot dogs (if we have any left). Or we could do spaghetti with garlic toast. We will see. And maybe I will come back and let you know :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Time Travel Tuesday

First Date - March 8th 1996

Alexandra Noelle - Born Jan 14th 2001

Jacob Connor - Born Aug 3rd 2002

Kaydence BreAnne - Born Sept 15th 2004
Adam Chase - Born Dec 30th 2005

Sara Mackenzie - Born Dec 12th 2006

Buckeye - Born Jan 6th 2008

Monday, November 23, 2009

Movie Review Monday

I am not even going to try and bore you with all the movies I have seen in the last 2-3 months since I have been MIA. We get Netflix so we are always getting new movies and John and I actually went to the theater not too long ago to see one. I will try and review a good variety... the movie at the theater, a kid's movie and oh, I don't know. Maybe that's it :p

The Men Who Stare at Goats: This was the movie John and I saw in theaters. We went to dinner at Texas Roadhouse on Veteran's day, then went to a 530 showing of this movie. It was still matinee prices and we get a military discount so it only cost us $10 to see the movie. How great is that?! And honestly, it wasn't even worth that. The movie was very lame. It had some funny parts... George Clooney plays a good crazy man, but for the most part we were sitting there thinking WTF?! Yah, so if you do have the desire to see it, I say wait for it to come out on video. It was great to sit with my husband for two hours but maybe a different movie would have been better.

Horton Hears a Who: We just got this for the kids from Netflix. It has been on their queue for ever and John finally moved it to the top so we could see it. Fantastic movie. The entire family loved it. I laughed so hard I thought I was going to pee my pants. Jim Carrey and Steve Carrell are hilarious. Definitely a movie to watch with the family and anytime you need a good laugh.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


OMG I never win anything but I did today!!!!

I won this fancy button :)

Check out The One Minute Writer and my winning post, here

The Way That I Am

Do you know what I hate?

I hate people that say they are going to do something, and then they don't. But that is ME, with this blog. I come on here and say, "Oh sorry, I promise to do better." and I don't. Well, I do for awhile, but then something changes and I have no desire to write anything further. Not very disciplined, huh.

Doesn't surprise me though. There has been nothing in my life that I have kept up with. I have always quit something. I quit dance as a kid, I quit gymnastics, I quit softball, I quit being friend's with certain people, I quit jobs (many, many jobs), and somewhere along the line I quit believing in myself because I knew I would eventually quit whatever it was I thought I could do.

The only thing I have not quit doing is being a mother to all my babies. That does not mean that I believe I am a good mother, or even that I am a bad mother... but more like a mediocre one. Your average, run of the mill, screw them up kinda mother.

That's me... and I am not here looking for any kind of sympathy or praise from anyone. I know a lot of people out there think I am some supermom but I don't feel like it most days. Don't get me wrong, there are days I don't lose my mind, I get my house cleaned, the kids are fed wonderful meals for breakfast, lunch AND dinner and my husband gets some much needed attention too which makes me feel like some sort of superhero but those days are rare.

I am just average. And maybe I can learn to be ok with that... with the way that I am.