Thursday, February 26, 2009

Brighton Blade 2-25-09

The Eyes Have It
By Krista Clinton

A couple of weeks ago, three of the five members of our family had to go to the eye doctor. The appointments were made months in advance, the children were taken out of school, the drive was made to Denver and the parking fee paid. Then the receptionist informed us that the doctor was on vacation that week and, even though all of the other patients were called and rescheduled, our family was somehow overlooked ... but we could reschedule for two months later! Ugh! I was very proud of how calmly I walked away.

But I believe that every bad situation can be turned into a good one. So does my husband. So, being the strict rule-driven parents that we are, we decided to play hooky for the rest of the day and head to the Children’s Museum for a fun-packed afternoon.

If you’ve never been to the Children’s Museum, for whatever reason, you need to check it out. The price is right for only $7.50 per person or you can buy a one-year membership for $80. The cool thing is that you can try it out and pay the regular price and when you leave, if you decide to get a membership, can put the admission that you already paid towards the membership price. Or you can go the first Tuesday night of the month for free.

When we first walked in, there was an old fire truck for the kids to climb all over and play in. There were plenty of fireman hats and jackets for the kids to wear to help them along in their role-playing. The room was also jam packed with manipulatives to teach the children what to do in case of an emergency; who to call, what to say and what to do. The boys loved this area.

Upstairs there is an art room. Now, we are an art family, so a lot of time was spent painting, cutting, gluing and stamping. This is a parent’s dream...all of the mess and not in your house.

Right across from the art room was the coolest room ever. It was loaded up with recyclables and tools. And I mean serious tools – saws, screws, safety goggles – they had it all. Each child can pick an instruction page on how to make something, what you will need and then head to a station to build their object. Our family made a helicopter, a train and a car.

After the building is where we saw the boys separate from the girls. Our daughter spent a lot of time making her car all by herself and then headed back to the art room to “decorate” the car. The boys moved on to explore the train room, the sports room and the animal playground.

We all met back up again just before the museum was to close. The kids had a blast and didn’t want to leave. It was a great afternoon, and I can’t wait to go back again when our friends come to visit on spring break. I didn’t have my camera the first time since we were supposed to be at the doctor’s appointment, but I’ll be sure to have it handy next time and post some pictures on the blog.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


My sister and I have challenged each other to give up something for Lent. My precious Jennifer has given up bread...God bless her dear soul! I have also done the unthinkable...given up coke! Aarrrgghhh! I am fountain coke's biggest fan! I have also gotten into the habit of having one coke per day....and spending the whole day sipping from and relishing the one can.

Today started fine until I picked James up from school and then had to bypass the cokes in the garage as we came in to make lunch. That will be the hard part for a while I think.

So, the history of lent...I have no idea! I do not go to a Catholic Church and the only thing I know about Lent is that you should give up something that you love. I don't even know why. But, I've been thinking about it all day and thinking about how I can turn this want that I have for Coke into something for God. I decided that I will use my cravings as a reminder to thank God for all that I have in my life (did anyone see Oprah today?? Scary stuff what some people have lost during this economic crisis!). It will be a reminder to me that I am a spoiled rotten little girl and that I should be more grateful for the things that I do have rather than the things that I cannot have.

I also believe that denying yourself something you love can build character. It can also give you an opportunity to replace the one thing with something you have not done or tried before...or in my case, just a healthier option like the apple juice I had today at lunch and the water I will have with my dinner.

So, what about you? Are you giving up anything for lent? What are you replacing it with? Are you doing it to enjoy the challenge or do you have a spiritual goal that you would like to attain? I'ld love to hear about it!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Pancake Tuesday

It's's a real holiday. Also known as Shrove Tuesday. Always the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. I remember celebrating once with my dad where we had so many different kinds of pancakes, we even had peanut butter and jam sandwiches made with pancakes. There were plates and plates of pancakes. The memory looks like a Dr. Seuss sort of book with pancakes here, pancakes there and pancakes everywhere! And lots of sticky syrup!

We had disgusting healthy pancakes (as my husband calls them...but he ate some and they are scrumdillyicious!), plain pancakes and apple pancakes. We also had sausages and cereal. Yummy Yummy Tuesday is what I call it!

Cat Food

Some friends of ours have gone on vacation and left "Fish" in our care. Not to worry, he is being watched very closely...although I'm not sure this is what they had in mind....

Monday, February 23, 2009

Another Day, Another Hike

We went hiking again at Walker's Ranch on Saturday. This time we brought a friend of Kaylee and James. It was a beautiful crisp day...perfect day for a hike!

Jimmy had the camera this time and so there are no pictures of him..but he was there....photographing the whole journey!

We saw three deer...I know there are only two in this picture. The third was a little bit further down. Maizie even found some deer antlers...she was a superstar in my kids eyes for that treasure find!
A picnic lunch.
There is one spot where you have to cross a small frozen creek. I was the last to cross...and apparently the heaviest because I broke through and my feet got soaked! I wrapped my feet in mittens and a scarf and Jim laid the shoes in the sun to dry for sweet!

Maizie is just the sweetest child. Just before this picture she was walking along with the kids and then came back to tell us she was going to cry because she was just so thankful for going on this hike. I told her mom that I would trade her for one of mine!!

My little man cub in hibernation!

James and I were eating apples and Jimmy was standing right in the sun when we tried to take this picture...James and I were blinded for a few minutes after that!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Finding a Place to Put Everything

So, with all of this grocery gaming and coupon biggest issue is where to put all of this stuff! Now trust me, I'm not just buying things because they are cheap (well, maybe I did that with the Hostess cupcakes today but I've never bought them before and they WERE CHEAP!). I am getting things at rock bottom prices and I know it will get used so I'm buying it...the grocery game calls this "stockpiling."

I just had to clean out my bathroom cabinet to make room for all of the toilet paper that I've been buying. I found it for $3 today though and you can't pass up Charmin toilet paper for $3!!

My next mission is to find a place to put all of my paper towels. I have overloaded the cabinet on top of the fridge and I still have 16 more rolls to put away! Again, I found Brawny for only $5 for 8 rolls so I had to buy two packages! And to think I used to get excited to pay $10 for 8 rolls at Target. Nuts!

I do have one question for you. If you do NOT do the grocery game or clip coupons, tell me one reason why. I've been asked to do a breakout session at the ladies retreat on all of these saving ideas and I'm thinking of debunking myths. So, tell me why you don't do this and I will try to find a way to prove you wrong! haha This is so up my alley! haha

I can't wait to hear from you. You can email me at or it's always more fun when everyone gets to read your you can leave a comment on here. I know you don't always leave comments but this time it would REALLY HELP ME!!

I Got the Real Thing!

Yesterday morning I woke up singing my new favorite song. I pray that when you read these lyrics that you will feel the power of God holding you!

The One True God
by Mark Harris

I don't have a God I can put on a stand
Or a God I hold in the palm of my hand
I have a God that's holding me
And I don't have a God that I can create
In the place I live with the money I make
I have a God, He made everything

So I don't need a temporary man made deity
When I got the real thing
I got the real thing

He's the Lord of all the earth
The maker of all things
He alone is the one true God
Kingdoms rise and fall
But even through it all He remains
The one true God

I don't have a thing that I got on my own
I don't have a care that I carry alone
But I have a God who's carrying me
I don't have sin that He doesn't forgive
And I don't have a heart that is worthy of His
But I have a God who still loves me

So I don't need a temporary man made deity
When I got the real thing
I got the real thing

Who is this King of Glory
The Lord strong and mighty
Who is this King of Glory
The Lord strong and mighty
Who is this King of Glory
Who is this King of Glory

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

We Suck as Puppy Parents

I am very sad to say that we have given Moose to a better home than what we could offer.

I would love to say that he was a crazy hyper puppy that was eating through our home and money. But he wasn't. He was relatively calm for a yellow lab. He was loyal. And the only thing he ate through was the kids toys and a ton of food!! Oh, and one wicker coffee table/storage thingy.

We do not have a fenced backyard and it was not fair to Moose to not be able to get out and run around. We took him to the dog park but not very often. With three kids it was hard to even get him out for walks.

And frankly, the responsibility is more than I could stand. I hated HAVING to get up in the morning to let him out and feed kids are finally sleeping in a bit and now I had to get up for a dog??!! It was pure annoyance for me!

All bad reasons.

We won't do this again unless we have some land and some kids who will actually walk the dog. I will miss my Moose.

So sad.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I Wrote a Book

Okay, so I wrote a book last night. I know...amazing right?! haha

It's just a short children's book about a little girl, named Kaylee, of course, that is going to stand up for God by praying over her lunch in the cafeteria. It's a bold statement for a little girl who hates to be different but her daddy told her that if she stands up for God, that He will stand up for her.

But now I have no clue what to do!


I have been researching publishers. I need an illustrator. I did send a cover letter and a manuscript to one publisher but I can't seem to figure out how to do the rest of them...they all require something different and you have to find that information which is a lot harder than it sounds.

Anyways, pray for me. I'm thinking that if this is God's plan then I will find a way to make this work. I really want this to glorify Him. If it works out then I have plans for several more stories along the same lines.

And...if you are an agent, illustrator or publisher reading me!! haha

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentines Pictures Gone Awry

Okay kids let's take some cute pictures so I can blow them up for all of the grandparents. You are so cute in your Valentine's clothes. Hold your signs up!

Okay Kaylee can you smile??
I know it's amazing that she is smiling but boys I need you to look at me!
Great job boys...Kaylee stop being a brat and smile! are not walking away...get back here and enjoy this darn it!

Fine...let's take a picture of you crying and see how that looks! Great job boys!

Okay, forget Kaylee...boys you are adorable!

Sorry to the grandparents! No cute 8x10 of your heathen darling grandchildren. It did turn out to be a cute blog though. xo

Friday, February 13, 2009

Brighton Blade 02-11-2009

The Sweeter Side of Valentines
By Krista Clinton

Saturday is Valentine’s Day. In our house that means it is time to pull out all of the pink and red whatevers, put on our cute little heart shirts and make some crafts, and more important, make some memories.

My husband believes Valentine’s Day is just another day made up by the chocolate companies to make more money. I happen to think that Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to teach our kids what love is and show them how just a small token can brighten up someone’s day and that lesson can be utilized any day of the year.

I really enjoy making Valentine’s cards with the children to give to their classmates. I know there are a million picks at any store but it’s just too easy to buy them, write your name on them and then forget what you even gave two weeks later. How much more fun to sit around with a bunch of craft supplies and make an afternoon of memories with your children.

This year my youngest has picked play dough for his friends. It’s so simple and inexpensive to make. You can find a recipe on the Internet. We will tint it red or pink, roll it into a fist-sized ball and put it into some heart covered plastic bags. What fun for his friends and even more fun for mommy and son to be working together, cooking, cutting and playing all afternoon.

My middle child loves word puns and is learning all about reading and writing in kindergarten this year. We decided we would buy a Valentine’s pencil for all of his friends at school. We will also cut up some red and pink construction paper and write “You’re All Write” on them and attach them to the pencils. Of course, there will be plenty of stickers and glitter to “spice” up the construction paper. So much fun getting to use our scissors and practice our writing!

My 9-year old has chosen a fun captured heart project. We will get some heart shaped chocolates and then we will cut a heart the same size out of pink and red construction paper. We will write a note such as “You’ve captured my heart” on each heart. Then we will take some wire and shape it into a heart, put the paper note with the chocolate on top inside of the wire heart and then use the wire to wrap around and capture the heart inside. We will then attach pink or red ribbon and make necklaces and bracelets out of them and use the captured heart as the pendant. This project is a bit more complex but I can’t wait to see the joy on my daughter’s face when she sees that she can accomplish something so difficult and make it look so pretty.

I’m looking forward to all of the fun that will be had while making our “lovely” creations. And I’m quite certain, beautiful or not, the kids will enjoy making their creations, feel proud of their accomplishments and enjoy lots of laughs...I’ll post the pictures on the blog to prove it!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Grocery Game

Oh my gosh! I have never loved grocery shopping so much in my life! I am the first one up on Sunday morning so I can run downstairs and get the paper and then log onto and let the savings begin!

Today I bought $268.90 in groceries and only paid $143.03!! That's crazy nuts! I'm getting things so cheap that I'm buying lots and stockpiling them to have for the future. Pretty soon I'll only have to buy meat, produce and dairy. It's fantastically ridiculous!

If you want to try it out you can do a 4 week trial for only $1. If you do, make sure you put my email as the referral so I can get some more weeks for free.

I promise that you will love grocery shopping like never before!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Valentine's Crafts Galore!

All three children have Valentine's Day parties coming up on Thursday and so today was the day to get the Valentines made. And what crazy fun we had!

Kaylee made the neatest little gift for her friends. We have only done some of hers since they are the most time consuming, but they are also really great for her age. We found the idea at . I believe it is called Captive Heart. It's a 20 gauge wire formed into a heart. Put a heart shaped chocolate, with a heart shaped note on the back, inside and then use 32 gauge wire to capture the heart inside. We then attached ribbons to them. Kayee was able to make the big heart herself and attach the ribbon...I got to do the capturing. It's really quite fun and so very pretty.

For once could she stop hating taking pictures??!!
Here is one close up...sans the grumpy girl!

This year we celebrated James' journey through Kindergarten by making pencil flags for his friends. It was great work for James because he had to cut out each of the flags and write his name on the back of each message (I wrote "You're All Write" on the flags for him). He also got to have fun and make a fantastic mess by using glitter and stickers.
Here he is enjoying the glitter....

This is a dark picture but the boys were really enjoying their projects.
James' final very cute!

Jagger was a very big boy and helped me make play dough for all of his friends. It was great fun getting to measure and mix all of the ingredients in the saucepan. It was also the first time he got to use the stove and he did very well holding the handle with one hand and stirring the thickening mess with the other hand.
I have to say, this is some serious chef work going on here!

And what fun would making play dough be if you couldn't test it out before you wrapped it up?!
Now for all of you that I've inspired to get out the craft junk with your kids and have a fabulous time...stop reading now!
For those of us that do this often and know what is to come, enjoy the pictures at my expense!
A girlfriend and I were talking about nannies one day. She said that she wouldn't want one except for potty training. She hates the chore and she wants a "Potty Nanny!" I disagreed and said that I would like a "Clean Up Nanny." I don't want to miss the fun of the crafty activities with my children...but I sure hate the cleanup afterwards!
The disgusting play dough mess...and yes, it's still soaking in my sink!

The paper, wire, scissor mess....
And you know the glitter that James was's been banned from my house! I don't know how well you can see this but when I enlarge it on my computer it makes me cringe! (That big red thing in the middle is dropped play dough.)

The kids enjoyed every minute of our craft-making Saturday. And even though it was a lot to clean was so much more fun than just writing our names on a box of candy.

James is a Dancing Machine

Last night James and Kaylee's school held a Snowflake Ball. It was a dance from 6-8 and all parents were invited...children were not allowed to be dropped off alone since it's an elementary school. So, our little family got all dressed up and off we went to the Ball.
I was expecting Kaylee to be the only one to really enjoy it. She, and her girlfriends, had been talking about who they wanted to dance with and they had been very particular about they way they looked while getting ready. Of course my shy little girl just sort of "hung out" at the Ball. There is no dancing to be had for a nine year old girl! She did spend most of her night completely and totally embarrassed by her parent's dancing skills. Her look in this picture says it all!
Jagger is very much like his sister. He absolutely would not dance....until the last ten minutes! He much preferred to be held and walked around by daddy. These shy children of mine!!

Now...for the reason of this James is a Dancing King! He immediately asked me to dance when we arrived and pulled me into the middle of the floor. And then he quickly moved on to some much prettier girls...let's count them.

We'll count me as one.

Two..and this was his favorite dancing partner. He twirled her around the floor like a party animal! At one point he was dancing with her and had three girls in line to dance with him next. My little stud!




Six...and this is number two's mom!! She made him jump high and even flipped him. He was very impressed with her skills!! haha

Six little ladies for my James! What a little charmer he is!!
What a wonderful night for the children. I was totally amazed at their different little personalities and so thrilled to see my James in his element. I can't wait for next year's Ball!!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Obama's Stimulus Package

I'm not a political person and I love Obama from what I've seen of him. But....this just really makes me angry!

According to the bill, which the Democratic-controlled House passed despite unanimous Republican opposition, funds are prohibited from being used for the "modernization, renovation, or repair" of facilities that allow "sectarian instruction, religious worship or a school or department of divinity."

What this means is that any school that has a group that meets for any kind of religious function or group would not qualify for the stimulus.

Could someone please tell me what the point of this inclusion is other than to just totally anger Christians???

Here is a link to the full article

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Eating Out Takes on a Whole New Meaning

Jimmy received a small bonus yesterday and we decided to go wild and take the kids out to dinner. Yipppeeee!! We were so wild we went to Applebee's since it was Wednesday so the kids could eat for only 99cents...oh ya...there's no stopping us now!

Well, I have to tell was not an extremely fun time. The company was great...but I get that every night for free in my own home. The food was okay...I ordered the steak and I think my hubby's steaks taste way better (and they cost half as much!). I think that if we are going to make a big deal of going out then we really need to go somewhere that will make it worth our while. Applebee's is okay but I can cook all of that food at home. I need to go out for seafood or somewhere that I can see a show while I'm eating....really make it a grand night.

The biggest issue we had was the cost. Since we are so money conscious right now with all of my new resolutions, it was hard to enjoy being frivolous. First of all, the bill came to $30 which isn't bad but I got $140 worth of groceries on Sunday and only paid $ that $30 is the equivalent of a half week's worth of groceries!

While scanning the bill we realized that Jim's ice tea cost us $2.40. Are you kidding me??!! I just bought 80 teabags for $2.48 this weekend....80 teabags!! for the same price as his one ice tea!! Crazy!

My $9.99 7oz steak dinner was loaded with little costs. I did upgrade to add shrimp and parmesan which cost me $1.99. I asked the waitress for a baked potato for my side and was shocked to find out that I was charged .99cents to get it loaded (I thought that was standard as a side dish). Then I also ordered a side caesar salad which was $2.50. ten dollar dinner really was a fifteen dollar dinner to get it how I wanted it. My choice, I understand, but it adds up so quickly!

The Oreo shake that was offered to the children was $1.99 each. I told the kids no...which is crazy because I ALWAYS let my kids eat dessert at the restaurant. I explained to them that the $6 it would cost me to buy the three shakes could pay for a whole pint of Cookies and Cream ice cream which they could eat for three or four nights.

Maybe this whole money saving thing is going too far...I'm starting to become cynical! Oh well...I'll just go drown my tears in all the money I'm going to never eating out again!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I Need Help

Hello all my favorite blog readers!

I have been asked to do a craft with my third grader's class at the Valentine's Day Party next week. I love crafts and have done internet searches but would love to hear suggestions from you!

Thanks in advance for sharing all of your favorite ideas that you've done with your children and your classrooms over the years!