"I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you." John 14:18

Monday, August 31, 2009

Father/Son Bonding

Joel has been taking the boys fishin' out at the neighborhood pond. Now that Clayton is a bike rider, they have a blast just getting to the pond. Oliver is learning to drive the jeep so he can keep up with brother.
Check out this fisherman. He caught this with a tiny spiderman fishing pole.
Clayton seems a little disgusted.
P-sters, on the other hand, was so excited. He could hardly contain himself!!
I was enjoying some bonding time with my pillow!!! ZZZZZZ

Budget Gourmet

After being on the Dave Ramsey plan for 2 full years and successfully paying off all our debt (well, actually it will be in the next couple of weeks...one more payment ), I have learned the art of being on a budget. Over the past week I have tried to refine my grocery budget. Feeding 4 boys is starting to get quite pricey (even with the smallest one eating for free). We already go through almost 2 gallons of milk a week. My goal was to get our dinners down to $10 a day and try and use many of the ingredients I already had hiding in my pantry. Plus, I wanted them to be quick and easy. Did I succeed??

Meal #1
Chicken Stir Fry
Frozen Chicken Breast (already had)
Frozen bag of stir fry veggies $1.59
Box of brown rice $3.50
Teriyaki sauce (already had)
$5.09 total

Meal #2
PB and J Sandwhiches/chips/yogurt/cheese
Joel was out late, so we just ate easy
This was way under $10...we'll say $5

Meal#3 and #4
Grammy's Cowboy Casserole
1lb. hamburger meat ($4.99)
4 strips of bacon, crumbled (2.54)
1small onion,browned ($.50)
2 cans Bush's Baked Beans ($2.48)
1/4 cup molasses (already had)
1/2 cup Ketchup (already had)
1 tsp salt (had)
1/2 tsp dry mustard (already had)
1 tbsp worsteshire (already had)
Baked potatoes ($4.58)
Serve with side salad $2.50
Mix together in casserole dish, bake 375 for 30 minutes, serve over baked potatoes

Total spent: $18.59

Meal #5
Cajun Time
Brown Rice (already had for stir fry)
Sausage ($2.54)
Red Beans ($.74)
BBQ sauce for sausage (made my own out of ketchup, molasses, and dry mustard)
Cajun seasoning (already had)
Creamed corn ($.72)
Chocolate pudding for dessert ($1)
Total: $5.00

Jammie Night (a favorite of ours)
Pancake mix (already had, but really cheap if had to buy more)
Syrup, light (already had)
Turkey Bacon ($2.79)
Lil smokies ($3)
OJ ($2.99)
Eggs ($.99)
Total: $9.77

Little Caeser's Pizza (splurge)
2 large Pizzas $5/ each

Total for the entire week was $45.40
I would call that a success!!! I came in way under budget. Let's see what I can come up with for next week.

Look who slept ALL night....

You guessed it!! He even slept in his own crib. Way to go, little guy!
He slept from 9 pm to 7 am. I woke up and checked on him at 6am and he was sound asleep with the paci tossed aside and his thumb in his mouth. I hope he does it again tonight. I am doubtful, but thankful for one night of full rest!!

...and while were talking about the cute boy, I might as well throw in a pic of some tummy time. He's not a big fan of tummy time, but it's getting better.

Friday, August 28, 2009


Clayton has been so determined to learn to ride his bike without training wheels this week. As of last week, he was terrified of his big bike even with the training wheels. Clayton saw his best bud, Caleb, riding his bike and that is all it took. He didn't want any help. He didn't want Joel running up and down the street holding on the back of his bike and then letting go. He wanted to learn all by himself. So, we have spent four evenings this week outside with Clayton practicing and practicing and falling and getting back up...over and over again. Well, tonight, it clicked. HE DID IT (which is what Oliver shouted with joy)!!!! I teared up, of course! He said, "A good bike rider never gives up!!" He had the best attitude the entire time in learning how to ride his bike. We are so proud of you, big boy!

When he got in the house he said he was taking a shower. He said that he is too big for baths now. When did he get so big??

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Oliver's First Day

Back into the routine....well, sort of.
Such a handsome little fella!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

First Day of First Grade

Clayton was so excited last night that he was still awake at 10:00 last night. He had been in bed since 7. He darted out of bed this morning and raced to get his clothes on. He could not wait.

He looks so old and handsome. He picked out his own outfit at the mall.
Posing in front of the school. He was so eager to get in.
I had a gift for him to take Mrs. Shehane from last year and he was so worried he was going to miss something in his new class. I had to force him to go down the kindergarten hall.
We finally made it to first grade. Here is is putting is bag in his locker.

Telling his baby brother goodbye.
Big hugs for Oliver.
Here is the drop off team. Nonna had to work or she would've been there too.

Oh, and here are our apples for the teacher. I made cake pops from Bakerella and they look like little apples...or are they tomatoes. She does a much better job at them, but it is the thought that counts, right??He made it home safely on the bus. He had a great day!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Lunar Golf

Since it was the last weekend of summer, we spent all weekend doing really fun things. Saturday, we somehow made it through the madness of the mall (I would rather pay taxes than fight the crowds) and played lunar mini golf. It was really fun. We ate dinner at the food court and came home for a little bike riding. Clayton is determined to learn how to ride his bike without training wheels. Hopefully by the end of the week.

Itty Bitty Bevo

Thumb Sucker

Ummmmm, hello? Elliot? aren't you a Halpin boy?? We take pacis in this family, not thumbs. Hello? Uhhhh...don't think he hears me. Your paci is attached to you....I just put it in your mouth...you made a disgusted face...you spit it out....and what?? Your thumb???

Friday, August 21, 2009

So Many Posts

LinkI have been a little behind, so if you don't have google reader, you may have missed some of our summer fun!!

Meet the Teacher
Lunch Box 2009
Hawaiian Falls (coming soon)
End of the summer fun
Crab Hunting
Dare Devil
Dolphin Cruise

Meet the Teacher

Where did the summer go? Well, we spent June adjusting to life with a new baby at home. We spent July with a horrible virus that left us trapped inside for 3 weeks. Then we spent August at the beach and then getting ready for school to start. I cannot believe school starts Monday. Am I sad?? No way!! I am so ready to have a routine. I can't stand when we are constantly flying by the seat of our pants.

We now have a first grader. It is so nice to walk in the school and know what we are doing. I am on the PTA board this year, so I also know a few more people also. It is also nice that Clayton feels comfortable and knows other kids. I am a little sad to be leaving the comfort of Kindergarten and Mrs. Shehane's class, but it sounds like Mrs. Owens is going to be an incredible teacher too.
He actually has a locker this year....
.....and a real desk.

I ordered his school supplies at the end of the school year last year. It was so nice not to have to shop for everything and then drag it into the school. It was all ready for him on his desk.


I spent the day cleaning out the boys' closets today. Usually I pack up crates full of clothes to store in the attic for the next boy. The older they get, the smaller the crate. I am not sure what Clayton was doing in these jeans. It appears that he was skidding across grass or possibly concrete all day everyday. This does not happen gradually over time either. It takes only a few days of wear for these holes to appear. This is the reason why I bought $3 jeans at the thrift store this year. Boys will be boys! I might as well let him enjoy his time skidding around on the playground and enjoy the fact that I spent so little on them.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Lunch Box 2009

I love the picking out of the lunch box. He knew exactly what he was looking for this year.

Monday, August 17, 2009

End of the summer fun

We haven't seen much of the Amezcua cousins all summer due to crazy schedules, illnesses, and vacations. We had a fun swim get together before school starts before all the crazy schedules begin again. The kids had a blast.

The girls loved watching and holding their newest tiny cousin, Elliot.

Julianne and Will
Gigi and Elliot
Owen jumping to Rachel
Noah and Owen ready to make a splash.
Colleen and Hayden
Ally is loving this.
Mia, too.