April 27, 2009

Decorating - Benneconomy 101- part 2

We bought a new sink for the guest bath this weekend. Here is the old one he removed. The old sink is only a year old. Tony cracked it taking the pipes out but there was a hairline crack in it anyway. This is the new one. He already added the new faucet here. We found it on clearance at Home Depot.

The same weekend we got a really good deal on this gas grill. Last month we were in Home Depot and this grill was on sale for $399. When we went in the store 2 weeks after that it was marked down to $199. This weekend the same day we bought the sink it (the grill) had been marked down even further for $149. When Tony walked by the grill he did a double take. We went over to the sink shopping around and chose this one.

Then he asked one of the store clerks about the grill and after haggling a little he was able to talk the store manager down to $109. Amazing! My husband is amazing. Here's the brand new grill. We needed a new one but we weren't shopping for one.

We are almost ready for the summer.

April 26, 2009

The Grocery Game - yeah I played it and ....

For the past 12 years Tony has done all the grocery shopping. I used to hate it and have been accused of not knowing how to shop for a bargain. Honestly I did not, so when I took over this responsibility I went shopping with a list of course and used the weekly circular ad to find bargains. I was stunned at the register at the cost of food these days. The total was over $250. I put some items back to bring the total under $200. I decided to go online to find coupons to help bring the cost down some. It was not easy finding the exact coupons I needed. I even tried going directly to the company website to find coupons. I used suzycoupons.com, mycoupons.com, coupons.com an I even found coupons on ebay.com.

So in my quest to be the best grocery shopper I found a great website www.thegrocerygame.com. If you decide to sign up please use this email address so I can get credit for referring you, ucanshopnsave@gmail.com. That is my junk email address for coupons and offers. The first time I used this service I saved $99.47 in coupons on my grocery bill and I was SO HAPPY!!! The second time I saved about $45 and this month I've saved over $60. My total bill was $198 and change, the instore savings from using my discount card was $40 and I had $60 in coupons. I paid $83 for $198 worth of groceries. OKAY!!! Can you see me doing the cabbage patch dance....? go Pammy, go Pammy....Ok so go sign up for the 8 week trial for $1 and put my email address down as the person who referred you. Let me know how you do with your grocery shopping:)

April 24, 2009

Central control?!! Central control?!! We've lost contact.....

I've been thinking about this for a while now but just recently have been able to put this into words. I dreamed a dream of days gone by when my extended family and my immediate family were close and tightly connected by love and common traditions. I have spent my life so far being thinly connected to my extended family and wish that my children were able to have closer relationships with their cousins, aunties and uncles. My children have some aunties that they have not seen for several years, a least 7 or 8 years. I have stopped making excuses and have finally moved on in my mind to the point where I feel a weight lifted off of me and the guilt I must have felt about it is now gone. I know now that it is up to me to create and memorialize my children's events and experiences. If is for us, Tony and I, to be to stewards of this.

There is a great love in my family. My children love each other and enjoy spending time together. I watch them sometimes as if an outsider so I can soak it all in. Thank God Families are Forever and we can be together always in heaven.

April 20, 2009

Signs of the time

I'm so excited! My signs arrived today:) I'll be posting them all about town and in the Atlanta area. I have 50 to begin my campaign. I've been in business for 8+ years but have never used this kind of marketing. I've heard good things about it and I'm hopeful. Here's what is looks like;

I had to buy the H-frames separately from the local Fast Signs because I forgot to order them from http://www.supercheapsigns.com the online company where I ordered the signs. I'll let you know if the signs work. I hope to get a lot of contacts this way.

April 14, 2009

Rain, socks and Italian night.

It's raining again! This is getting a bit ridiculous. It's raining right now. It rained yesterday, Sunday, Friday, Thursday, Tuesday, Monday, the previous weekend...aaahh I can go on and on. Poor Dutchy has been cooped up in the garage for quite a few days with he exception of walking her.

Today I plan to buy new socks for everyone. I can tell from the laundry that it's time since the lost sock basket is full of orphans. I'll also do a little grocery shopping as well.

Tony cooked last night and it was so good. We has spaghetti. Not your normal run of the mill spaghetti but the kind that makes you want to slap somebody...lol. I did all the chopping. He added red, yellow and green peppers, onions, ground turkey, turkey kielbasa, and chicken which he seasoned separately with different flavors. Of course fresh garlic and lots of it and chunks of tomatoes. The pasta was al dente the way we like it and I made one of my awesome salads. Topped off with cheese and garlic croutons. We also had garlic bread. Sounds dreamy doesn't it.

April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

We went to church. We returned home. The children rode their bikes after we ate lunch. Then we had an Easter egg hunt. Tony took a nap in his chair. I clipped coupons, wrote out my grocery list for tomorrow, baked 4 sweet potatoe pies and washed 8 loads of laundry. Now the children are playing video games because they know that today is the last day for those games. They are not allowed to play during the school week. Now I'm sleepy.

Tony fired up the grill this evening and grilled some chicken breasts. They were yummy. We all had the sweet potatoe pie for dessert. I conitnued with the laundry while Tony put the girls in the bath tub. He's such an awesome Dad. I called downstairs to the girls for them to come up and take a shower when Tony yelled up.."Pamela, they're already in the tub. Awwwww, he's so thoughtful. Tomorrow all the kids go BACK TO SCHOOL...WOOOOHOOOO!

April 11, 2009

Decorating - Benneconomy 101

We are starting in the guest bath like I mentioned before. Here is the after photo for the paint. I forgot to take a before photo but from this point on I will take before photos. The color is from Ralph Lauren paints. We took a swatch from the Ralph Lauren swatches and used Glidden paint which is more economical. Tony added crown molding to the ceiling and framed out the mirror. I would have preferred a round mirror but this will do for now. I also hate the counter top in this bath which may be changed later. Next we'll tile the floor. We've choosen this tile in the large 16" squares. It contrasts to the walls perfectly. Home Depot has them on sale this month. We've done quite a lot of window shopping.

Here's what is looks like so far. Remember it's a guest bath so it's smaller than the other baths. What do you think?

Right now this is linoleum on the floor and I can't stand it, the tile will look much better.

Crown molding at ceiling

New lighting will replace the chrome lighting. The chrome is just a year old but I prefer the brass.

With the brass towel bar and fixtures the sink and doors knobs will compliment each other better. After the bathroom is done I will post a list of the items that were replaced and their cost.

April 10, 2009

Yes, it snowed in Georgia!

It snowed in Georgia last month. We actually got about 3 inches which is a lot of snow for us. The children loved it. It was the first time they had seen that much snow and to see it stick to the ground. Usually we just get flurries. Even the dog had fun. The snowflakes were quarter-sized. Here's Kyra enjoying the first flakes.

Everyone grabbed their light jackets and put them all on. Justin wore both his jackets, two pair of pants and most of us had socks on our hands. Who is Georgia owns real winter gear? It was big fun for the family as Dutchess (the dog) got involved.

She's a black, female, American Pitt bull Terrier. We didn't trim her ears or tail. We didn't want her to be perceived as a vicious dog. She's sweet though but will chew up anything that will fit in her mouth. She was eating the snow, running and having a ball.

We used the snow off the cars to make snowballs. The Halle & Kyra even made a snowman. We were the only family on our street who went out to enjoy the snow. They probably thought we were crazy. We knew it would last for a short time.

Here Tony is getting ammunition off the truck as Wesley and Justin hide behind the van. We later all ganged up on Tony with snowballs. It was great family fun. Afterwards I made hot cocoa for everyone and Tony made a fire.

It was cozy as we all thawed out in the family room. This room has not been painted yet as you know we have just started the decorating. One thing I love about the house is the way it stays cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

April 9, 2009

How to raise emotionally intellingent children

Having a high level of emotional intelligence in your children is the best way to ensure that they live a happy, successful, and responsible life as an adult. Here are ten ways to help your kids attain a high degree of emotional intelligence:

1.Model emotional intelligence yourself

Yes, your kids are watching very closely. They see how you respond to frustration, they see how resilient you are, and they see whether you’re aware of your own feelings and the feelings of others.

2.Be willing to say “no" to your kids

There’s a lot of stuff out there for kids. And your kids will ask for a lot of it. Saying no will give your kids an opportunity to deal with disappointment and to learn impulse control. To a certain degree, your job as a parent is to allow your kids to be frustrated and to work through it. Kids who always get what they want typically aren’t very happy.

3.Be aware of your parental “hotspots"

Know what your issues are—what makes you come unglued and what’s this really about? Is it not being in control? Not being respected? Underneath these issues lies a fear about something. Get to know what your fear is so you’re less likely to come unglued when you’re with your kids. Knowing your issues doesn’t make them go away, it just makes it easier to plan for and to deal with.

4.Practice and hone your skills at being non-judgmental

Start labeling feelings and avoid name-calling. Say, “he seems angry," rather than, “what a jerk." When your kids are whiny or crying, saying things like, “you seem sad," will always be better than just asking them to stop. Depriving kids of the feelings they’re experiencing will only drive them underground and make them stronger.

5.Start coaching your kids

When kids are beyond the toddler years, you can start coaching them to help them to be more responsible. Instead of “get your hat and gloves," you can ask, “what do you need to be ready for school?" Constantly telling your kids what to do does not help them to develop confidence and responsibility.

6.Always be willing to be part of the problem

See yourself as having something to do with every problem that comes along. Most problems in families get bigger when parents respond to them in a way that exacerbates the problem. If your child makes a mistake, remember how crucial it is for you to have a calm, reasoned response.

7.Get your kids involved in household duties at an early age

Research suggests that kids who are involved in household chores from an early age tend to be happier and more successful. Why? From an early age, they’re made to feel they are an important part of the family. Kids want to belong and to feel like they’re valuable.

8.Limit your kids access to mass media mania

Young kids need to play, not spend time in front of a screen. To develop creativity and problem-solving skills, allow your kids time to use free play. Much of the mass media market can teach your kids about consumerism, sarcasm, and violence. What your kids learn from you and from free play with others will provide the seeds for future emotional intelligence.

9.Talk about feelings as a family

State your emotional goals as a family. These might be no yelling, no name-calling, be respectful at all times, etc. Families that talk about their goals are more likely to be aware of them and to achieve them. As the parent, you then have to “walk the talk."

10.See your kids as wonderful

There is no greater way to create emotional intelligence in your child than to see them as wonderful and capable. One law of the universe is, “what you think about expands." If you see your child and think about them as wonderful, you’ll get a lot of “wonderful." If you think about your child as a problem, you’ll get a lot of problems.

Having a high IQ is nice, but having a high “EQ" is even better. Make these ten ideas daily habits and you’ll give your kids the best chance possible to be happy, productive.

April 8, 2009

MTA decides against her

So the verdict is out for Maria vs. the MTA in New York City. The judge has determined that the transit workers responded within MTA guidelines by notifying the authorities immediately. If you have not heard this story yet, Maria is a university student who was traveling on the train at 2am. She was approached and then chased by an assailant who grabbed her, within eyeshot of a token booth clerk, then dragged down a flight of stairs where she was repeatedly raped. The token booth clerk used their emergency system to alert the police. During the assault Maria screamed for help over and over. Another train pulled into the station. The crime was spotted by another MTA employee on that train. This employee also notified the police. No one came to her aid or spoke out in protest. Watch the video of Maria when she appeared on the Today show. What do you think? Is the MTA wrong? Should the employees have done more? http://www.msnbc.com/id/21134540/vp/30105077#30105077

April 7, 2009

Decorating, puppies & snoring....

Yesterday, after working a full day Tony came home and painted the guest bath. The plan was to paint the guest bedroom tonight but that didn't happen. He called to tell me that he had found a puppy. A chiuaua. The moment I saw her I melted. She looked just like this. She was so affectionate. She sat in my lap. The kids were ooooing and aaahhing, except for Wes. He saw the puppy and said "ASPCA". Tony brought our dog in to meet her (an American Pitt Bull Terrier), she's very sweet. The pup snapped at her. Dutchess (our dog) was jealous but didn't try to bite. After we talked (all of us) we decided that it wasn't fair to Dutchess to bring in a new puppy. Especially since a little dog like this is definitely not an outside dog. It wouldn't be fair to have Dutchy outside or in the garage and the puppy in the house. We could tell from Dutchy's wimpering that she was jealous and wanting to come into the house as well. Long story short. She's gone. We gave the pup to a neighbor who was happy to have her.

It's late and we were going to watch a movie tonight but here from my office I can hear him lightly snoring...so much for that. I'm going to watch Keith Olbermann online before I go to bed. I'll post comments about it tomorrow.

April 6, 2009

Spring Break

I've been so busy. I'm tired. I've spent the last 4 weeks working on the ABC Montessori school fund raiser which is over finally, getting my Melaleuca business back in gear and it's been exciting, starting to decorate finally and of course just being Mother and wife around here. I'm still amazed at how busy the children keep me. Wesley can be a full time job if you let him. Justin was succeeding at being as low profile as possible. This is how he stays out of trouble while he's not doing school work or chores. I guess he figures that since he's the middle child it might be easier to over look him, so he can do whatever he wants to. Halle and Kyra are constantly arguing. I have decided that I will just put them outside, no matter what the weather is doing, just so I don't have to hear it. Tony works all the time. Right now i'm listening to Wesley sing with his iPod on, off key and loud, the girls are running up and down the stairs and Justin is waiting for me to take everyone for pizza while they check out the local Karate dojo. If I had my choice today I would take a 6 hour nap. I'm not complaining...just making observations. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE being home, it's just these darn spring breaks. Now I understand why families pack up and go. We should have planned something. Tony started painting the guest bath last night. When it's done I'll post some pics.