Tuesday, March 31, 2009

What's in a name?

Note: I realize this post might be aggravating if you don't know my kids names, so if you are curious please send me an e-mail @tjbjohn@msn.com and I will tell you their names.
So, being pregnant you tend to think a lot about names. How do people pick names? Do you like common names or uncommon names? Do you what your kids name to mean something or be named after someone? T and I are pretty relaxed people and just decided to name our kids whatever we felt liked. We didn't make any rules or name them after anybody (even middle names). Plus, how do pick one grandpa and not the other?
We just liked the names. It's not that we don't love and honor the ones who came before us, we just didn't feel the need to name our kids after them.
But, I know a lot of people worry about their kids names sounding good together. T's philosophy is that you are raising individuals and not a collection, so that shouldn't matter. I admit that if you know the B family, and they named their next kid Bob or something that would be kind of crazy. They have a rule that the everyone has to have a different first and last sound from the other kids. That makes it challenging.
Sometimes when I hear someone say what they are going to name their kids, the other person comments on how well that goes with their other kids names. I don't usually even think about that.
People have commented how B is common and C & T are not. Capri (I guess I can name the un-born) will be uncommon too. Most people have seemed to like these names. But even if they don't, I don't really care. They are my kids and I get to have fun naming them. I guess I worry more their names sounding too similar than complementing the other names. I did like the name Stace for a girl, but thought that was too close to T.
Also, I do think about how well it goes with our last name. We have a short last name, so most of the names have two sylabbles. See, another rule broken! Also, poor C has 9 letters is his name. He has more of a challenge writing his name and fitting it on those tiny lines, but it will make him stronger. Notice, that the next child had 4 letters though.
My husband grew up with 4 out of the 5 kids starting with T, but I think they just more like T names than did that on purpose. When I look through books I usually an drawn to M or C names. One thing we have done (kind of accidentally) was that each of our kids middle names start with J. (I know, so does our last name) I don't know if we will keep that up for Capri. Her middle name is still up for negotation.
So, how do you decide on a name? Do you have rules for yourself? How important is it to you?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

A snapshot of Spring Break thus far...

This weekend I braved taking the boys to Utah by myself to see my niece be baptized. I always love being able to witness those special times as it reminds me what is important and how grateful I am for the gospel of Jesus Christ. We got there on Friday and B got to ride their pony Sparky. Their grass is already turning green.

Since it is Spring Break, and my husband is still a tax-working machine I thought about staying
there Saturday night and coming back today. I'm glad I didn't because this is what I would be driving in....
And these are the people I would be driving home with... C who is one sick little boy, complete with strep throat, fever, tummy ache, headache, you name it.

And this guy T, who isn't sick but can be special even when he isn't. Here he is recovering from our trip.Hope you are having a warm and healthy Spring Break. But, don't tell me too much about. J/K I can handle it. As was the opening hymn in church today, at least there is sunshine in my soul today!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Deja Vu

Today B brought home his class picture. I had to get out my picture of me with the same teacher. I probably wouldn't have believed it if someone had told me in 4th grade that 20 years later, my oldest son would have the same teacher for 1st grade.

B in first grade:

Me, twenty years ago, with the same teacher, in 4th grade.
Small world!

Lessons from Hawaiian Haystacks

Is everyone going to be happy when I have a husband to talk you and you don't get to hear every thought that comes into my head?

So, I learned a tip from my friend Krista's private blog that I tried last night. It worked so good that I had to share. I even took a picture but I'm a little tired this morning and did something funky to my camera and lost it.

You just take your boiled or crock-potted chicken and stick in your mixer. I turned mine on and came back in a couple of minutes to perfectly shredded chicken. No more burning your hands off trying to shred chicken. Brilliant.

Another thing I learned is that couponing might ruin my taste for generics. I got a few Campbells cream soups using a Walgreen deal and used that last night for my Hawaaiin Haystacks. It tasted so much creamier and yummier than my generic brands I've been using my whole marriage. I might not ever be satisfied with another cream soup. Let me know if there is ever a sale on Campbells!
Oh yeah, today's RedBox code is MMM325.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


How does everyone else answer questions on their posts? When you ask a question do you go back to see if the poster answered the question in a comment? I don't go back to check when I ask a question, so I never know if other people do.

I never know how to answer. Sorry if I made you come back and look at my blog again if you don't care about these answers.

Jana F-You have to scroll way down my blog list and at the bottom I have frugal people blogs you can check out. They have the codes on Mondays and Wednesdays (but I think Wednesdays are over in March) or you can google free Redbox code or something on those days.

Jana R-RedBoxes are the new way to rent movies. They are like vending machines. We have them at Walgreens, Wal-mart, Albertsons, Smiths, etc. You can go on-line and check out the inventory at the different locations and even reserve movies. The are $1 a day, and I think after 2o or something days you own it. They are so convenient and cheap. Now with one at Wal-greens you don't even have to get the kids out of the car.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Thoughts on couponing...

So, couponing has become a big thing around here. I would dabble here and there, stock up on oatmeal at Albertsons when it was on sale. But lately, I have been reading the blogs that are listed here.

It's amazing what these people figure out. It takes an incredible amount of time making lists, organizing, gathering and printing coupons, and going to Wal-greens 5 times until I could finally the Sense and Spray air freshener in stock that I got for free. (I got the last two)

Don't get me wrong, I think you can get some incredible deals. I haven't posted them because sometimes when someone else posts what great deals they got, I say, how did they do that? I need to do that. I'm not getting every possible deal out there. I would feel obligated to explain how I did it, and most of the time I don't know where I got the coupons or how it really worked out in the end. If you are interested I would go check out those blogs.

Some work out really well, some not so much. I read somewhere how to take about 15 steps to get 5 packages of diapers for $1, and I end up getting them for $30. The thing is that I'm not even sure if that is a good deal. When my life was simple, I would just get the store brand at Sam's. If I was super mom I would make a spreadsheet on price per diaper there, and then compare. But my kids are already so sick of going to so many stores for deals, then I can't imagine doing that!

Plus, I also feel that I'm buying stuff that I normally wouldn't buy because I usually buy generic. You get a lot of name brand foods, but cheap is cheap and free is even cheaper.

I guess I need to find some balance. On Saturday morning I was yelling at my kids to get in the dang car so we could get the free Thomas. Plus I ignore them a lot searching for coupons. Every Monday and Wednesday we have been getting free codes for Redbox (Did you know that Wal-greens has a RedBox now?)

I guess I can figure this is my part time job to save money. But maybe I should set aside certain times of the week to check it out. Will I stop? No, but I should find a balance.

Well, we've got to go get our B1G1 sundaes at Baskin Robbins for FHE, and then when the kids go to bed I've got to go to Wal-greens then K-mart and Albertsons for their double coupons. Wish me luck.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Photo Tag

Caroline tagged me. You have to go to your 6th picture folder and publish your 6th picture. Could be scary.
This is B at age 2 1/2 riding Grandpa's 4-wheeler at his cousins house.

I tag: Katie, Amberly, Nancy, Debbie, Billie, and Takara

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Do you like green eggs and ham?

Happy St. Patricks Day! Our special little leprechaun came and turned out our milk and eggs green during the night. My question is that why did all of my kids eat this up and ask for more, then why are they appalled and thinking that I snuck in poison if they think they spy something "green" in their dinner.

At preschool yesterday C wrote that if he caught a leprechaun he would get a mustang. What would you ask for? Is it too much to ask for your house to be paid off? Just a small little favor from a little man with lots of gold?

T's funny from yesterday was that we were eating lunch with my sisters and mom at Scholtzchy's, and T was more interested in his lemonade than his pizza. So my mom asked if she could have a piece of his pizza. He said yes and she took one bite. Then without saying a word he took the piece from her hands, licked it, and set it back down on his plate. Way to mark your territory T.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The boy who was supposed to be a girl turns 7!

I case you don't know the story and were wondering about the title, they told me at my ultrasound that B was supposed to be a girl, but he came out a boy. We are glad he is!

Anyway, today my oldest is 7! He had a fun filled weekend starting out with going out to eat with dad to Red Robin on Friday, having a party with his cousin and aunt who also have March Birthday's on Saturday, and then having a party from dad's side on Sunday.

He chose a Star Wars mold which had R2D2, Yoda, Chewbacca, Darth Vader and a Storm Trooper. I didn't hand paint them this time, but they were still cute. Hint: If you want an easy way to impress people with your frosting, add 1/2 cup of caramel ice cream topping to your buttercream frosting. I got a lot of compliments.

Our young Jedi master. He got the jacket his is wearing, Star Wars stuff, books, a 20 question game and other cool stuff so far. He hasn't even opened his presents from us yet. He has to wait until dad gets home at 7:00. Having family in town has it's advantages!
While we were at his party on Sunday, I got a call from a district preschool teacher saying that they had an opening and T could come starting today! So, I it was a little difficult getting 4 people out the door by 8:00 but we made it. At breakfast he wasn't too happy when I told him that T had preschool. He wanted to go to C's preschool.
When I went to leave him he got his coat and backpack and said he was ready to go. But I left him and he was fun and told me about all of his cool activities.
This actually makes it so have 1 hour a week with no kids! The first time since B was born 7 years ago. Will I have to wait another 7 years for it to happen again?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Questions answered from last post

Thanks for all of your comments and not condemning me on the sugar.
Here are some answers from your comments:

Everyone come on over to see the nursery any time. All it has is boxes and curtains right now, but come on over. I'm always home!

I found all of those greens (including Kale) at Winco in the produce section. I'm about to try the drink. Wish me luck. Update: I just tried it and blended the crap out of it in the food processor but it was still chunky. So, then I put that in my copycat Magic Bullet. It still has little chunks, and if you close your eyes you can drink it. (Sorry Katie!) It's not terrible, but not great. You definitely need something that will blend it really well. Does anyone have any good recipes for Kale and Collard Greens? No really, I think the chunks were mostly sunflower seeds, so I might take them out next time. I can eat those plain without gagging.

I get the Fisher Price catalog, so they send all of the Little People sets that you can't find in stores. I'm also on the their e-mail list so they send some pretty good clearance deals sometimes. Go to their web-site and sign up.

Monday, March 9, 2009


With B's Birthday coming up I got out the Little People Birthday set. (I have a small obsession with Little People). This morning he told me which one was the Birthday boy because he looked more like he did. Do you think he said...


or B)

Yes, he said B. Oh, the innocence of youth.

We also finally get to have our first visit to the tooth fairy tonight. B has been so bummed that he is the last one in his class to have his fall out. A few days ago he asked what was his in mouth.

His tooth was growing in behind his baby teeth on the bottom. Therefore, it wasn't destroying the roots of his teeth and not falling out. So today he got to go to the dentist and have is tooth pulled. He was very brave.
In case you care, I should have a 24-hour-waiting period before I shoot my mouth and post something like no sugar for two-weeks. What was I thinking? I'm pregnant (it's the one time in my life I have an excuse), hormonal, don't have a husband, and have three kids with severe cases of Spring Fever. Needless to say, I broke down. I haven't made it to the store yet for my green drink ingredients. Now you know.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Curtains done, Today's Favorite, and the Sugar Update

This week's project was curtains for my babies room. I think they turned out good. I think they look bad in pictures though. They don't look this circussy in real-life.

My favorite of the day is: Getting magazines in the mail. Magazines are one of my favorite gifts to receive. When I was a teenager I got 17 for awhile, until my mom discovered how nasty it was. (And it was). Then she got me Self. I devoured it. As an adult I've gotten In-Style (very worldly), Oprah (some good articles, but not a lot that seemed like for real life people), Rosie (she had some good craft ideas before she became a wack-o), Family Fun (love it), and for two years in a row my SIL gave me Creating Keepsake for Christmas.
This one has been my favorite so far. Even if I don't use a lot of the ideas, I love looking through it and seeing all of the happy, fun ideas. I have kept every issue and when I need an idea I still look through them.
When she didn't get my name this last year, I decided I could live without them. I thought about asking for another year for my Birthday, but I missed getting them a lot. So, I just ordered another 2 years for $30. I figured it was giving me $1.25 a month of happiness.
With everything going on, you try to cut out non-essentials so I decided I really didn't need these. But, then my husband said he was going to spend some money upgrading our TV package this summer so he could get his favorite baseball games. There is some things in life that are necessities, but just make life worth living. Mine is a good magazine, his is baseball. What is yours?
Sugar update: I made it though one day and it was hard. We are having a family get together tonight that I have to live through. The problem with me is that I don't go grocery shopping every week to get all of those fresh fruits and veggies. I'm going to try to go on Monday and I will try that green drink and share how I liked it.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Green Drink

Ok-here is a green drink I'm going to try that I got from my friend Katie to help with the sugar experiment (I hope you don't mind that I copied it)

OK so call me crazy but I have started making this Green drink and I actually like it. It is so healthy and full of vitamins. I drink it for breakfast and a morning snack. Your probably going to freak out when you see whats in it, but really you need to try it. Its good. I got Gage to take a few swallows and that's a lot of veggies for a 2 yr old. You can really use any veggies or fruit you like but this is the one I have tried. Blend in blender. I have been borrowing my moms Vita-mixer and it makes it so smooth which is nice so your not chewing chunks of stuff. Seriously try it.
1 Quart water
5 leaves collard greens
5 handfuls spring mix (organic stuff from Costco)
3 leaves Kale (curly part)
1 Fuji apple
1 1/2 bananas
5 strawberries
2 TBSP frozen pineapple juice
2 big handfuls sunflower seeds
1 cup ice

The sugar experiment

Ok, so I feel a little bit like I am putting myself "out" there by saying this to the world, but here we go. Maybe if I put it on here, I will really stick to it. One my former Young Women is on a no sugar diet for a year.

I've decided to copy her, but I'm only going to do two weeks. Why I am doing this? When I had morning sickness, sugar did not sound good at all. I was thinking that if I never started up on sugar again, then I wouldn't be addicted any more.

Well, slowly and gradually I'm having too much sugar. After having 4 (Ok 5) cookies yesterday and starting my day off with Chocolate Chex this morning, I've decided to start an experiment with myself to see if I can detox off of sugar.
Here are my rules for myself:
1) Put away all temptations.
2) Have no foods that are blatantly sugar-full. To me this means that I have Cheerios (which has sugar) but no choco chex, etc. I can have bread, but no banana bread with choco chips, etc. for two weeks.
3) I can have some splenda things, but no making a million desserts with sugar substitutes.
4) I better stock up sugar free jello's, gum etc.
To me this is no small sacrifice. I could have picked a better time. I always tend to pudge up a bit during tax season. And of course being prego, I haven't particularly restricted myself on anything. But I've decided I could do this to be a little healthier. I also have B's Birthday coming up etc, etc. But I'm still going to do it.
I will try to report how it's going. If you care to join me, you can make a comment here, add it to your own blog, etc. etc. You can make your own rules too if you want.
Here we go!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Another 100 Day....

Since I guess this is my brag on my kids week, I decided that B needed a little air time today.

Yesterday he earned 100 AR (Accelerated Reader) points. If you are not familiar, this is where you read certain books and then take a test on your comprehension.

He has worked very hard and is an excellent reader. He will humbly let you know that he is on a 6th grade level (not quite!)

He has always been interested in books and letters. I remember one day we were at the cemetary at age 2 and he was reading all of the letters on the headstones. Everyone thought he was amazing. I didn't realize that was out of the ordinary until I had other two-year-olds.

He has read every book in his teachers class and most of the Magic Tree House chapter books in the library.

Good job B!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Look mom, no training wheels!

My kids thought it was Spring yesterday and C wanted to try out no training wheels. He did really good. He will be zipping around with the best of them this summer. Good job C!