Sunday, January 25, 2009

12 Temples in 12 Months

Buck and I set a goal with our neighbors, the Tiners, to visit the 12 temples in Utah this year.  We made our way to Logan this weekend.  Amazingly it rained the whole time...very strange weather for Utah.  I'll take rain over snow anytime!

We got there for the 12:30 session only to find out that was the designated Spanish Session.  Oh our luck!  We still went to it, but enjoyed the luxury and a headset.  It reminded me of when we lived in Boston after we got married and attended the local ward.  Because there were so many Spanish speaking members, I had to wear a head set in Relief Society.  My heart goes out to anyone that has to do that in the Temple or at Church.  What a headache...literally!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

My First Attempt at Couponing

I've recently come to the realization that we spend too much money on food.  Other than rent this is our biggest expense.  I'm sure this is true for most people, but I want a bigger apartment, more clothes, and to vacation more.  That means the money has to come from somewhere!

I hosted a couponing class at my house Monday night with a few of my closest friends.  We learned about a website that uses this easy method of saving coupons from the Sunday paper and printing them online and merging the weekly sales to save you the most money.  It's designed to help you keep about a 6 month supply of food in your house, so you just shop from your pantry instead of the grocery store as needed.

My dear husband accidentally volunteered me to teach part of our stake fireside on Sunday about "stretching your dollar," so I really wanted to get this couponing thing down before then.

I got the above amount of food (valued at about $60 retail at Albertson's) for about $16 using coupons and the sales adds together.  It's not the greatest, but I'm pretty happy for being such a newbie.  Wish me luck explaining it on Sunday!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Now That's an UGLY Sweater!

Because of our different financial situations this year, we decided for each couple to sponsor an activity for the family instead of giving gifts. It turned out to be the greatest thing we've ever done! By each couple having to plan (and pay for) an activity for everyone else to do it forced us to coordinate our schedules and spend quality time together.

Buck and I sponsored an Ugly Christmas Sweater contest. Each couple was invited the day after Thanksgiving (plenty of time to find a truly ugly one). We started the evening with hot chocolate floats, and then headed over to the Danile Stowe Botaincal Garden to look at Christmas lights. We each had numbers on our backs (1-6) and tiny slips of paper for random strangers to vote on the sweater they thought was the ugliest. These little papers went into the ballot box that my Mom is holding above. We had a blast, confused a lot of people, and spead Christmas Cheer all around! By the way, if the shoulder pads didn't give it away, I won with my Step-Dad as a close second.

My Sister and Brother-in-law sponsored cosmic bowling way out in Gastonia. We had a great time there as well. The bowling alley was complete with "cosmic bowling" shoes and projected music videos out on the lanes. The highlight of the evening was when "Chicken Fried" by the Zac Brown Band came on and the entire bowling alley proceeded to sing along. Ahh, I love the south. Buck and I had never heard the song (probably because I've been listening to Christmas Music since Halloween), but have since downloaded it. It will always have a special place in our hearts.

My Mom and Step-Dad sponsored a train trip Downtown to see the exibit "Pompeii" at the local children's museum. We enjoyed learning about this ancient city that was tragically burried under volcanic ash. We also saw an IMAX movie about Greece. IMAX theaters are the best! While we waited for the movie to start, we got to play around the museum's circus exibit. Buck and I took the plunge and tried the tight rope. We polished off the day with a wonderful meal at a Greek resturant.
We had such a great time, it may become a new tradition!