Wednesday, February 27, 2008


I saw the above bed-in-a-bag ensemble advertised at Target for only $55. Everyone who knows me, knows that I am too cheap to spend a lot of money on such things, but $55 is actually a REALLY good price for all that comes with this. AND... I have a special fund where I have saved a few dollars to splurge on something just like this!

I am annoyed because I have stopped at Target TWICE and they don't even have this line of "Classic" comforter sets, much less the exact one pictured. So I thought I'd order it online... NOPE... SOLD OUT! UGH!!!!

If you have ever caught a glimpse of our master bedroom... you would understand why we NEED this. It's not the haven that it should be. We are piecing it together, but this is a long drawn out process.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

A Whirlwind Of A Week

The Valentines were here to visit this past week. It was a grand time with plenty of smiles and maybe some mixed attitudes and temper tantrums, but just the same full of hugs and special comments and moments to remember. So here are some highlights from my perspective...

Essie: "Aunt J.J. I wish I could stay here and live by you."

Me: "But what about your Grandma and Grandpa Valentine and your Aunt Chris and Uncle Cliff? Wouldn't you miss them?"

Essie: "Um, I could call them sometimes."


  • I had a farm-night with Essie. She cleaned the stalls, held the kitties, pet the doggy, brushed the horses, and rode the mule!
  • I had a date with Isaac. We went to Ichiban for lunch and then spent a couple of hours bowling and playing video games. He's quite the gentleman... holding the doors for me and being so thankful for some special time with his Aunt.
  • Gaylie greeted me bright and early each morning. She's so very sweet.
  • Elijah is his Mother's boy. I held him a little, but look forward to days ahead when he will be more outgoing and wanting to go on a date with his Aunt J.J.
  • The girl-cousins had a little sleep over at our house on Friday night while the boy-cousins did the same at their Grandparents home.
  • The girls watched Barbie, ate popcorn, baked and decorated cookies, painted their nails and toenails and primped for a night on the town... (the retirement dinner)
  • Uncle Keith complained about the level of estrogen in our home commenting that he could feel his bra size increasing. HA!
  • Mom & Dad had the family all together for a special retirement dinner on Saturday. It was delightful. We took pictures afterwards, but Dad had already escaped to the car, so he missed out on that part.

The family has departed and is likely home by now or at least all most. It was a delightful visit. So-long until summer Valentines...

Too Cute To Not Share

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Gaylie is one beautiful ham!


David, Joyce, Mom, & Esther

Mom & Annabelle

Mom & Elijah

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Lady Admirer



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I caught Gaylie admiring herself in the mirror and immediately it turned into a photo-session!

Fancy Hair-do's

Aunt Mandy bought each of the ladies a special flower barret with feathers to match their dresses.
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Girls Only Slumber Party

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Enjoying Oram's Donuts...
Thanks Aunt Mandy & Uncle John!

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A Date With Isaac

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I wish I would have had the camera in Ichiban for lunch. When the chef lit the volcano on fire, he had a squirting doll to put it out and squirted Isaac in the midst. It was hilarious! Isaac said "If he does that again, I'm ducking down!" He really enjoyed the entertainment there... and I enjoyed his company throughout the day. He is such a lovely boy.

Menu Planning

This week is going to be a busy one. Seems we have a lot on our plate!

Monday - we will have whatever I bring home from the Hospital. It's my Credentials Committee meeting night.

Tuesday - we will both eat on the go and on our own. He has a training session to attend in the evening after work. I have an evening Bible Study at church.

Wednesday - breakfast night

Thursday - either lasagna or taco twist (K's voting for taco twist)

Friday - left-over from Thursday. I have Girls Group from 5-630pm.


Deal Or No Deal

I did some modest shopping this week and am pleased to have happened upon a few good deals. Because my pantry is plentiful, we could spend our budget on just sale-items this week, which is our goal overall. Ground meat and boneless pork loin were on sale this week. I browned the ground meat and froze it in smaller portions right away. I cut the pork loin into 3 roasts and 3 chops and froze them as 4 separate meals. I'm delighted to report that our freezer is getting stocked up.

Non-grocery sale items purchased with coupons totalled less than $12 this week: (Rite-Aid) 3-pak of K's favorite Irish Spring soap was 47 cents. 3 Speed stick deodorants were 40 cents each. Box of anti-viral Kleenex's was 48 cents. 2 Suave products (shampoo & conditioner) were 72 cents each. Aspirin was 99 cents each. I don't recall each and every item I purchased, but I had a coupon for everything.

The thing I like about Rite-aid is that their rebate program sends you a check each month that you can cash in for cold hard cash. The other drug stores offer savings that can only be spent in their store. I prefer the cash.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Favorite Shows

1. The Office
2. Everybody Loves Raymond
3. Two and a Half Men (not sure why)

What Is For Dinner?

I'm slightly ashamed to say that I have not made our weekly menu yet. Just now giving it some thought... And in no particular order...

1. Pizza (yes - that was tonight)

2. Left-overs - that's Tuesday

3. BBQ Pork

4. Chicken casserole

5. Breakfast night... probably pancakes

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Snapshots of my weekend

  • Took Handy-hubby grocery shopping with me last night. Used coupons and super-sales to get really good deals. Spent what I had saved on "can we get" requests. Note to self... better to go solo even if the company is superb. Got great deals on cereal again, Swiss Miss, tuna (for him), and a free gallon of milk!
  • Prepping for guests that are to arrive tonight. Been cleaning house all day! (aside from running some errands) WOW - who knew we had so much laundry!!! Actually, I'm washing ALL our linens. I'm sure that is what's taking so long. Oh but who doesn't just LOVE the smell of fresh linens!
  • Had extra house keys made at Walmart today.
  • Got a new 4-stage filter system for the kitchen faucet. It makes the tap water pure enough to drink without noticing that it's not spring or well water.
  • Time to get new bathroom rugs. Two of them all but disintigrated in the washing machine today. That's not good! Oh well... now I have an excuse to splurge on new ones.
  • Got a fantastic deal on the scrubbing bubbles automatic shower cleaner at Rite Aid today. I've been wanting to try it. It was on sale, with rebate, plus coupon! Not sure if I like it yet. Had to take down our shower caddy to install it. It is rather loud when it's running, but I suppose it will only run for a few seconds each day anyway. Also got a free Fructis hair gel. Saweet!
  • Handy-Hubby tripped over the vaccuum cleaner last night and fell down the steps. YES - the whole way! Thump thump thump thump splat! It was not pretty. He has a couple rug burns (even though he was wearing jeans) and some nasty bruises. Had to ice his knee good last night. Scared the bejeebers out of me! I'm sorry I left the vaccuum in the hallway.
  • He changed the light bulb in the upstairs hallway today. Smart move Honey.
  • Washed piles of dishes today. Swept the floors. Hung some curtains. Put away the last of the Christmas decor.
  • I'm burning my "clean linen" Yankee Candle - Thank you Mom! LOVE IT!!!
  • We have bad kitties! Really BAD kitties! They have broken into THREE containers of kitty-snacks in the last two days. Two of them didn't have much in them, but the third was brand new and they ate almost ALL of the snacks. I wonder if Crystal and Wizzy are feeling alright? I scolded them, but by the look in their eyes... they have no idea what they are in trouble for! UGH!!!
  • Bought a new cat-proof plastic container for kitty-snacks. Dumped all remaining kitty-snacks into it and put away. Should probably wait a week to give them any more!
  • I took a nap today. It was very refreshing.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Sunday, February 10, 2008

What's Cookin?

I worked at the farmer's market this weekend. I picked up a few things for the freezer. I didn't get to the store this weekend, and I haven't had time to peruse the ads yet. We don't actually "NEED" any groceries this week, but I will likely shop for really good sale items regardless. It's good to keep the pantry and freezer loaded. I really feel like we have shaved the grocery budget substantially in the past two months. A little time to carefully plan and some efforts to use coupons and sales is paying off!!!

So what's cookin' at the Vulhop Household this week?

  1. Pulled Pork BBQ - already roasted and ready for a meal on Monday. We'll probably forgo the bread and just have it with mashed potatoes and a vegetable.
  2. Roast All-day Chicken - with rice and vegetable.
  3. Next-day Chicken dish - either soup or casserole.
  4. Breakfast for dinner - either pancakes or bacon, eggs, & toast
  5. Meatloaf with Baked mac' n cheese and vegetable
  6. Left-overs

Sunday, February 03, 2008

What Is For Dinner?

This is only my second week with "Menu Plan Monday" and I'm a day early posting because, well, my weeks starting and I need a plan! I went to the grocery today and found several deals, but did not use as many coupons as in more recent weeks. Frozen chicken tenders were almost half-price at Giant Eagle and Kraft BBQ sauce was $1.00 each, so I bought FOUR. I got a good deal on sour cream, paid less than $1.00 for a 16 oz. container. But what is on the menu this week??? Again, I don't assign days, just make sure I have a variety of choices for the week...

1) Ham & Cheese sandwiches with tomato soup. This is the meal that my Handy Hubby often volunteers to make for us.

2) Taco Twist

3) Boneless BBQ Pork Chop with mashed potatoes and veggies

4) Breakfast night (still haven't made the french toast casserole I've been thinking of)

5) Stir-fry Chicken and vegetables
Want to save a few bucks? What to establish order in your home? Join us in Menu Planning Mondays. You'll be surprised how good it makes you feel to have a plan!

Friday, February 01, 2008

Coffee and Tunes

If you are feeling lucky, head on over to Praise & Coffee and enter her monthly give-away contest for some good tunes and Starbucks coffee!