I'm sorry to say it, but I think this is the first year since Emma started school that I have actually enjoyed Christmas time. It sounds awful, but it's the truth! There were class parties, choir concerts, parent Christmas lunches, school board Christmas parties, gift exchanges, dance recitals, endless Christmas program practices, etc, etc, etc. Granted, I "volunteered" (or, "allowed myself to be sucked in"....whichever.) for all of these things, but to be perfectly honest, I hated it. And it made me start to hate Christmas. It was all so overwhelming and exhausting that by the time the day actually got here, I just wanted it to be over!

But, not this year. There were no class parties, no program practices. There was nothing except the things that mattered most.

We spent a lot of time at home, by the fire, listening to our Christmas station on Pandora. We decided that most Christmas songs sound better when sung by men. And if that man could be Josh Groban, all the better. Just sayin.

We hung our Christmas cards.
We made a gingerbread house.

We left homemade blueberry muffins and milk for Santa. And magic reindeer food on the lawn (read: oatmeal).

We made a lot gifts for each other.....

(Sleeping mask and matching slippers sewn with love for Lauren, from Emma.)

We went to Disneyland for a couple days for Auntie Christie's birthday. The girls enjoyed three days of Christmas camp at the museum and sleepovers at grandma's. Jake and I enjoyed a lovely dinner at our new favorite restaurant, Sandrini's.
We went caroling with our dear church family. And worshipped with them on Christmas morning. And can I just say that if I can't listen to Josh Groban, I'll take the men of our church singing "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel"....I still get goosebumps just thinking about it. Amazing!
We spent time with family and dear friends, making memories and enjoying each other's company.
We took the time to thank God for His most precious gift. We focused our attention not on the things to be done, but on the One who came in order that we might have Life. I never cease to be amazed at how richly our lives are blessed when we are focused on Him!
Truly, this was the best Christmas yet. Well, except that one 2000 years ago..... ;)


This was a good week! And I came in waaaay under budget. :)
4 boxes of General Mills cereal
4 boxes of fruit snacks/rolls/whatever
3 boxes of crackers (I'll pass on the All Bran ones from now one because they taste like, well....All Bran. :/ You live and learn...and they only cost .50)
2 boxes of kleenex

2 shave gels
2 deodorants
2 shampoo/body wash for men
2 6oz cartons of blackberries
1 lb. of cherry tomatoes
1 5 ct. sleeve of garlic (to be planted in our garden)
1 20 oz. bag of baby carrots
1 3lb bag of clementines
6 red & 6 green bell peppers
1 Colgate 360 Sonic Power toothbrush
1 OralB CrossAction toothbrush

Grand Total: $28.21

Also, I discovered at CVS that they are offering "Double ECB Rewards" for all purchases from November 1-December 15. Unfortunately, I didn't discover this until now and it is nearly over. The "coupon" I found in the store said that you must have them scan the coupon once (and then you're permanently in the system for all future transactions during the promo period), but it does not apply retroactively. Bummer. Beginning on January 1st, you can go into CVS, scan your card at one of the kiosks and it will print all of those "Extra Bucks". If I understand it right, I should have about 25 ECBs so far. :)
Also, the checker at CVS was quite impressed with how much I got and how little I ended up paying that she nearly squealed with delight! lol She asked where I learned how to do that and when I told her I took a class she asked, "Like at BC!?!" hahahaha Um, no. I don't actually have a degree in couponing....although it would have been more profitable than what I do have a degree in! :)

My favorite deals this week were absolutely free! I was at Vons, in line at Starbucks when the lady in front of me turned around and asked if I wanted a free drink. Huh? (I think that was pretty much my exact response.) She said that she was buying several bags of coffee and for each one, she received a free drink and since she was alone, she only needed one.....so she "bought" me one too! :) I told her she had made my day....and she had! lol
Also, I won 3 sets of bows from Alexis....and I'm not sure who was more excited, me or the girls! :) They are completely adorable....and I'm going to her house tomorrow to buy some of the flower clippies for us too. If you're in the market for bows or headbands, I highly recommend knotheadbows.com...they're adorable, well made and they won't break the bank! Plus, Alexis is one of the nicest people I know....and she carries around a big binder of coupons, too! :)

Blog Archive