Saturday, July 31, 2010

Best of Friends

Friday was a wonderful day!  Nathan was in South Carolina doing a photo shoot, so we went to play at one of my best friend's house, Alanna.  She has 2 children, a boy that is Cooper's age and a girl that is Kindle's age.  Our kids are the best of friends!  They love playing together.  Here are some photos from the day:



Monday is Alanna's 30th Birthday and we are determined we will do something fun for our 30th's!  As I think back on our 10 years of friendship, it is really neat to see how God put us together.  Back in 1999, I started working at the bank as a teller.  I heard about Alanna because she worked at another branch.  I decided to interview for a position as a Teller Manager at a newer branch and Alanna did too.  To my surprise, I got the job.  So Alanna took my place at the branch I was working at.  We started to get to know each other since I would go visit my old branch all the time.  Alanna ended up getting a Teller Manager position at another branch.  We would have Teller Manager meetings to go to from time to time and we would sit next to each other and really began our friendship.  One day after a meeting, she invited me over to watch Varsity Blues (remember that movie?).  We discovered how much we had in common.  We are 19 days apart in age.  She got married the weekend before I did.  She and her husband are strong Christians.  Eventually she introduced me to scrapbooking and I went to my first Creative Memories party at her house in 2002.  We have spent all the years since scrapbooking and going to crops together.  We have had our children at the same time.  I even kept an eye on her oldest when Cooper was a baby while she went back to work part time.  We have been getting together and having play dates all of the years.  It has always been a great time.  We have seen our kid's friendships grow over the years and I love it for them!  She even took our dog off our hands when we felt like he wasn't getting enough attention at our house.  Our kids still call Murdock "our dog that lives at Landon & Caitlin's house".  ha ha!  Through the years, we have decided that she can have the pets and I can have the babies.  It works out well that way :)  

There are so many stories I could share, but I wanted to make sure that I say 
 I am so thankful God put you in my life.

Friday, July 30, 2010

A Day at the Land

Grandpa & Grant on the tractor named Grant :)

At the end of 2009, my parents bought land in Kingston, GA .  They are in the process of clearing the land and building a house there.  One day, hopefully sooner rather than later, we will be building a home up there as well.  My Dad, who is now retired (yay!) is going up there daily to work.  We wanted to go up to check out the progress he had made and to get photos to document the journey of the property.
The future driveway
Some of the pine trees that are being cleared
They are really making some good progress, this was all brush and small pine trees before

The kids had so much fun going up there.  They even go to wear their new boots I bought at the consignment sale the night before!  So glad I made that purchase!

Grandpa, Grant & Cooper heading out to check out the tractor
Cooper thought he was so awesome getting ride in the back of Grandpa's truck
Kindle insisted on wearing this hat despite the fact that it didn't match at all
Gunnar and I stayed in the car so he could eat.  Celeste had to stay in the car too because she was still finishing her lunch.  She has been such a slow poke at eating lately.  I did get a picture of her before we left in her new boots though.

Her cheese face is so funny.  She squints her eyes.
We are very excited to see it starting to come together more each day.  I can't wait till the kids can just run around and play there.  It is going to be such a blessing!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Merci Bow Coup

Kindle in her Merci Bow Coup clippies
My friend, Shervin, makes really cute hair clips.  She recently opened up an Etsy shop called Merci Bow Coup.  I decided to order a few clips for the girls.  I was so happy when I received them!  They are adorable.  She has over 25 clips to pick from and she is constantly adding more.  She also said that if you don't see something you are looking for, just ask and she will work to create it for you.
Celeste's pink flower clip (close up of clip pictured below)

Here are some of the clips we ordered.

In addition to hair clips, she also has some mini aprons for kids that are super cute too.

She is currently having a Grand Opening Sale.  You can buy 4 clips and get the 5th one free.  She is also offering free shipping on all orders over $15.00.  

She has a Facebook page.  Check it out too!  She offers specials to her Facebook Fans!

My Steals of a Deal at the All 4 Kids Consignment Sale

My Basket was Overflowing with Clothes
I went to the preview sale at the All 4 Kids Children's Consignment Sale tonight.  I got some super awesome bargains!  I was mostly looking to get all of Gunnar's fall and winter clothes, some pajamas for Kindle and Cooper and shoes for the kids.  I happy to say that I accomplished all of that and more.
Here are some of the best deals I got:

Gunnar's Gymboree shirt & outfit $3 for both
Gunnar's Old Navy pants $3 for both
Gunnar's Gymboree pants $1 each
Gunnar's Children's Place sweater & hat $6
Gunnar's Gap sweater outfit $6
Gunnar's Gymboree sweater new with tags $6
Gunnar's Gap winter jacket $8
Kindle's Wilsons Leather Jacket reversible $10
Kindle's pj's Gap new with tags $4
Kindle's Old Navy sparkle slim jeans $3
Kindle's pj's $1-$4 each, pants $2 & dress $4
Gunnar's pants $1-$5 each including new Ralph Lauren jeans
Gunnar's shirts some new with tags all Gymboree, Children's Place, Old Navy or Gap $1-$4 each
Gunnar's outfits all Gymboree, Old Navy or Gap $2-$6 each
Cooper's pj's $3 & hunting shirt $2 (couldn't get the picture to rotate, not sure why...hmm)
Rain/Snow Boots for going to Nana & Grandpa's Land $3-$4 each

Like New Condition Shoes-$3-$5 each

Soccer Cleat for Homeschool Soccer-$3 each

I spent $217 and got 58 items.  That averages out to $3.74 each.  Not too bad!

I hope some of you make it out to the sale.  I would love to hear some of your awesome finds too!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Parent Observation Day at Kindle's Ballet

Last night, Kindle completed her summer ballet classes.  They had a parent observation night.  Nathan went since Gunnar thought he was starving.  She did a really great job showing off.  She was very tickled to have her Daddy there to watch.  Here are a few photos from her class.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

An Early 30th Birthday Celebration

Last night, we went out to dinner at Sal Grosso with our best friends, Charles & Candra.  We celebrated mine and Nathan's 30th birthdays.  Charles & Candra will be going to Ohio for 4 months so they will miss my 30th birthday and of course Nathan was in Costa Rica on his 30th.  We had a really yummy dinner.  All you can eat at a Brazilian steakhouse!  Gunnar tagged along as well.  He did so great.  He slept for most of the meal.  Yay!  I am so glad we had the opportunity to see them before they left.  We will miss them greatly, but plan to chat via Skype so we will just pretend like we are too busy to see them in person and that they actually aren't hours away :)  We are hoping to go visit them while they are gone and hopefully go to the Creation Museum while we are there.
Nathan, Gunnar, me, Candra & Charles
Candra, I know you will read this.  I forgot to tell you that I loved your dress.  I am terrible about giving people the compliments that I think in my head :)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Consignment Sale Tips

Celeste at 3 weeks in a dress I got at the consignment sale for $1.00!

This week is one of my favorite children's consignment sales.  It is the All 4 Kids sale at the Cobb County Fairground.  I have been going to the sale there for about 4 years and I always snag some awesome deals!  I decided to do a blog with some tips because I tend to get a lot of questions from other Mom's about them.

Here is how a consignment sale works.  Most consignment sales have 2 a year, one for Spring and one for Fall clothes.  Typically the sale is a few months before you need that season of clothes.  The All 4 Kids sale is in February or March for Spring and the one for Fall is in July or August.  All of the clothes for sale are supposed to be free of stains, rips, missing buttons, etc.  They also are not supposed to be outdated.  In addition to children's clothes, they sell shoes, books, toys, movies, children's decor, baby equipment, and maternity clothes.  Pretty much anything "kid" related, you can find at the sales.

A couple of months before the sale, you can sign up to sell or volunteer.  I have done both.  For selling, each consignment sale is different.  Typically there is a fee to sell and a percentage of each item is taken.  At the All 4 Kids sale, the seller's fee is $8 and the percentage taken from each items is 30%.  In addition to making money from the sale of your items, you get a pass to a special preview sale the night before the sale that is open to the public starts (more on this in a moment).   When I sold my items I sold over 50% of them and a lot of people sell 75% or more.  If you decide to volunteer, you can pick which shift to work in exchange for a pass to the preview sale.  You can also sign up for multiple shifts so that you can get into the preview sale earlier in the day.  There are all kinds of different jobs available including positions you can do while pregnant (which I have been thankful for over the years :).

If you sell or volunteer, you get to go to the preview sale the day before the sale is open to the public.  In my opinion, if there is any way you can sell or volunteer it is worth it so that you can go to the preview sale.  Also, the All 4 Kids sales will let first time Moms go to the preview sale.  You just have to register online for it.  I recommend getting there a bit early before the time you are allowed to enter the preview sale.  There will be a line.

There will be a line the morning of the sale open to the public as well so get there early.  Bring something to put your clothes in while you are shopping.  I personally got a laundry basket that has wheels and a retractable handle at Walmart (see image to the left, however I did not pay that price, it was more like $15).  Other people bring a laundry basket and attach a rope or belt to the handle and drag it behind them.  I have also brought the blue IKEA bags to carry any books, shoes or toys.   The larger items (strollers, bikes, outdoor play equipment, etc) go very quickly so I recommend checking those items out first(don't worry they set them to the side for you so you don't have to lug them around).  Also, if you are looking for something specific in the baby equipment section (monitors, carriers, bedding, etc) I would check those out next because some of the best deals are gone very quickly.  I also head over to the shoes after that.  I have found brand new shoes for a few dollars so it is worth checking out.  Next, I recommend heading to the section for your oldest child.  There typically are less clothes that are in good condition as you get up in sizes.  I recommend starting on one side and going down picking out any items you are interested in.  There will be lots of other people picking through clothes as well so this is not the time to inspect each item.  If it is something you like, put it in your basket.  If you are shopping for any other children, go ahead and go to their section and grab the clothes for them as well.  Once you have gotten all the clothes in all the sizes you are interested in, you can move out of the way and sort your items.  I always carefully inspect each item checking for stains, missing buttons, holes, etc.  If you are looking at baby clothes, check around the neckline and crotch.  There tend to be more stains there.  For the older children, make sure the zippers work on pants.  Also, on pants I check around the pockets on the back and the knees to make sure they aren't getting holes in them.  For shirts, check for ring around the collar.  The workers at the consignment sale do a pretty good job of catching these things, but some stuff slips through the cracks.  Also, as you know, all clothes are sized differently depending on the brand.  And remember these are used clothes so they have been washed and possibly have shrunk.  I have seen a lot of women that bring a paper with their child's measurements.  Then, they bring a tape measure to the consignment sale and while sorting, measure the clothing.  Lastly, I go to the toy section.  There typically are tons of toys so unless you are looking for a specific one, you will be fine saving it for last.  Many of the consignment sales, including the All 4 Kids sale, have a half price day the last day of the sale.  Not all items will be half price (it is up to each individual seller), but many items are.

For a first timer, the consignment sales can be overwhelming, but it is worth diving in.  I always find some amazing deals and can get pretty much anything I need at the sales. Check them out!  You won't regret it!

Pajamas I got at the consignment sale for $3
Shorts from the consignment sale for $3
These are the kid's Easter baskets.  I got the books, scooter, Whac-A-Mole game, brand new puppy earphones & brand new Littlest Pet Shops each for a few dollars.

There is a great website that has a list of almost every consignment sale in the Metro Atlanta area, it is called The Bargain Watcher.   They also have consignment stores and yard sales listed.

***If anyone has any other questions, feel free to leave me a comment and I will do my best to answer them.  Happy Shopping!***
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