Friday, March 14, 2008

My Little Outdoorsmen

Aiden is crazy about being outside! He absolutely loves it. I think once the weather turns consistently nice I'm going to have to drag him kicking and screaming back inside the house each evening. He's discovered the backyard this week. I like having a fenced in yard now because I don't have to worry about him wandering off. We played in the front yard for just a few minutes yesterday and all he wanted to do was walk into the street. No no little it was back to the backyard we went. And lucky for Aiden my mom was here yesterday to get her "Aiden fix." I really enjoy when she gets an "Aiden fix" because its such a nice break for me. Aiden could care less if I'm around. (and I'm ok with that but only when it comes to daddy, grandma's, or grandpa's...or maybe one of his many uncles :) She watched Aiden all afternoon while I ran errands and then she let Kreg take me out to dinner. Oh the joy of dinner without a baby. I got to eat my food while it was hot, I got to enjoy it, I could eat it as slowly as I wanted to, and I could just listen to every word Kreg said without Aiden fighting for attention. How lovely! Once you have a baby I think you truly learn to enjoy the simple things in life.

Below are a few pictures of Aiden playing outside. I'm sure there will be many more to come. Kreg has plans to build Aiden a sandbox (he will LOVE that) and we are going to hang a baby swing from one of our trees. Come on spring! I'm glad Aiden likes being outside so much...I think I shall enjoy the spring and summer as well!

He is looking so old to me now. 14 months and counting!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

My March "New Years Resolution"

I've decided I need to become a "coupon mom." How often I go through the checkout line at the grocery store and they ask any coupons today? And I reply no, not today. And every time I think ok next time I am going to come with coupons but then I don't and yet again I pay way too much for groceries. I know there are deals to be had out there and so I intend to find them. I have already made a good start on my quest to find the coupons, the deals, and lower my grocery bill. I would love to cut my grocery bill in half or just be able to buy twice as much food for the same amount so I can stockpile in the freezer and be more giving to those in need. So the changes I have made so far:

1. I have started shopping at the Aunt Millies Thrift Store. On Wednesday's most of the bread is $.50. Today I got $9.70 worth of bread for $1.99. I think this is a great start to my new resolution! And all of it was whole grain bread! (12 grain bread, cinnamon raisin bread, and bagels)
2. I also stopped by Aldi's and picked up 3 bags of dried fruit....a healthy snack that I love to eat....for under $4. At Meijer I would have spent over $4 just for one bag of dried fruit. I think it is time for me to take more advantage of Aldi's.
3. On Monday I made trips to Walgreens and CVS. There are great deals to be had at both these stores. After I send in for the rebate Walgreens will have paid me for buying toothpaste and Garnier hair gel. Look for the items that are free after rebate. How can you go wrong? And at CVS I got 4 packages of toothpaste free, 2 toothbrushes free, and Garnier Fructis hairspray, shampoo, and conditioner each for $.99. Sweet!

I am well on my way but I know I have much more to learn. And this is a skill that I know must be developed. :) But I encourage all of you to make the same "New Years Resolution." We have probably all noticed the rise in cost for milk and eggs. Well be prepared because this is more than likely only the beginning. Corn prices have been higher than ever before and farmers are in "uncharted territory" according to my father-in-law. And while this looks to be a good thing for farmers it may not be such a good thing for the pocket book of most Americans. The rise in grain prices has not hit the supermarkets yet like it will. It takes lots of grain to make the food or feed the animals we all love to cook up on the grill or bake in the oven. It is conceivable that beef, pork, or even chicken prices could be 3x's the price they are now in the next 6 months to a year. Be prepared....start making changes now so your budget doesn't bust come next year. As I understand it one reason for the increase in corn prices is because for the first time ever the demand for food is higher than the supply and its very possible this will continue to be the trend. For example, in China, with the fast growing economy they no longer want to eat just rice, they can well afford it and so now they want meat. So the grain in their country is staying there. Thus the less America is able to import and the demand goes way up. (Yes Tim I have been paying attention and correct me if I don't have this right :) I don't understand it all, but this much makes sense to me. God has blessed us with so much and I want to be a good steward of what He has given me.

And if anyone has any more money or coupon saving ideas for me please let me know.

Saturday, March 8, 2008


Zumba fitness! Anyone heard of it? So much fun! Last night Kylie (Kreg's cousin's wife) and I went to a 2 hour zumba fitness class and it was a blast. Its a combination of cumbia, salsa, samba, and merengue put to fast latin music. Zumba is spanish slang for "to move fast and have fun" and fun and fast it was! At first I was a bit overwhelmed and had no idea what I was doing. And I had to finally come to the conclusion that the other 75 to 100 people (all girls and two over weight husbands that were actually better than most of the girls) were not watching me. But once I came to that conclusion it was so so much fun. It's fast and an amazing workout. I do a lot different types of workouts but I think this was by far my most fun workout I've ever done and I'm pretty sure about every muscle in my body was being used. Check it out at And I highly recommend finding a zumba fitness class near you. It's not for everyone and it does take quite a bit of coordination but if you've got any rhythem at all and want to get a good workout then I definitely think you'll be hooked. The whole time I was there I just kept thinking how much my college roommate would love this! So Heather Michele Dunbar this is a shout out to you all the way in Russia. I have 4 more months to perfect my zumba moves and you are going to zumba class with me when you get home! Its a good thing I have 4 months too because I know you will probably show me up the first time you ever go.

Thursday, March 6, 2008


In other news today...I got my hair chopped off! Yeppers I would say a good 6 to 8 inches came off. And I decided today that I love getting my hair done. There is just something about it that makes you feel beautiful. And for the first time maybe ever I am absolutely thrilled with my cut! It feels so light and "springy." I'm not a big fan of this pic but I will put it on here anyway so you all can see the cut because I know you are all dying to. :)


The following is a "guest blog" submitted by my mom this morning. It is all very true and if you know Aiden then it makes it all the more humerous....enjoy

"May I be a guest blogger today??
I woke up this morning at 4 AM thinking about Aiden and his sign language for the word more and thought it was something Stacey should blog about! We never heard of baby sign language when my kids were little. I personally wouldn’t be an advocate for too much of it since I think their verbal skills are so important, but on the other hand having a few “words” with which to communicate has been extremely helpful. What’s interesting is that Aiden has developed his own language and as long as you understand Aiden-ese you can get along just fine in his world. For example when he’s eating and he claps his hands one big violent clap you know he wants more. No problem. And if you are holding him and as you are walking he once again claps you realize quickly that there’s something he wants (it may or may not be food, so you have to look around and see where his attention is focused). Of course if as you are eating he flings his pacifier away and gives his big clap, you can be assured he wants what you have.
As I laid there thinking about this (at what was now 4:15 AM) I decided about the only time I really have trouble understanding his little system is when he combines his “sign words”. If for example you feed him a combination of foods, he sometimes claps (more) but then rejects his food and grandma gets a little confused. So trying to be a detective I might ask if he’s “all done” (for which normal baby sign would be gently turning both hands over but for Aiden it is alternating right and left hands and arms up and down). But my lack of understanding comes if when I take away his food because I think he’s all done, and he begins to “sign ramble” - clapping (more), alternating with flapping his arms (all done) and shaking his head (no) - what do I believe? What’s he trying to tell me? I laid in bed and never really solved this communication dilemma. As I thought about it though (at 4:30 AM) I decided that he wasn’t all that unusual, in fact I knew lots of men much older than 14 months who were still in the process of refining their communication skills!!

The question becomes then, why was I awake at this time of the morning processing all of this? Could it be that I woke myself up with one big clap because it’s been a week since I’ve seen Aiden (as I sit here now wildly clapping for both of my little guys - more, more, more) or could it be that I’ve just read way too many blogs?"

The best part about this "entry" my mom has made is that today when Aiden saw her for the first time in a week I was holding him when he spotted her coming up the drive way. He threw his pacifier across the room and "violently" made his one big clap and then began flapping his hands up and down, up and down. Now I understood that he was "all done" with me and wanted grandma to hold him but if you are not skilled in Aiden-ese then I can certainly understand how you would be confused. I translate for Kreg all the time.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Up and Running in Kokomo

Well I apologize for the long delay in blogging my dear blogging friends. It has been a crazy few weeks but we are now up and running here in Kokomo. We moved just over 2 weeks ago and things have been going quite well. The move went incredibly smooth, thanks to so much help from family and friends and I was actually pretty much unpacked within 2 days. I'm not sure if that's due to lots of great help (thanks parents!) or my uncontrollable desire to have everything organized and in place. We like the house and it is surprising how at home it already feels to us.
We took a picture of Kreg on his first day of work (the Monday after we moved). We both felt like it was the first day of school for him....nervous but excited all at the same time.

And I must say I was a bit worried when he came home after that first day of work, overwhelmed and exhausted. The first few days were an adjustment for both of us as we did not realize he would be out the door every morning at 5:50 am (yes you read that correctly) but setting the alarm for so early does not seem so bad now and Kreg is definitely not as exhausted as he is getting use to the work again. Farming is tough work! And I quite enjoy his stories of the day (contrary to popular belief working in hog barns all day can make for some very interesting and funny dinner conversations). So all in all we are doing very well in our new home and town. My mother-in-law has so graciously offered to keep Aiden for me on Mondays so I can have time to shop or clean or relax and its wonderful! Not only that but after keeping Aiden all day she makes us dinner! I have quickly come to the conclusion that Monday's are my new favorite cooking and baby free. I have a clean house, clean laundry, food in the refrig, and I finished a book today.

Aiden has made the adjustment beautifully. Apart from missing his grandma Hansen to the point of clinging to her desperately when he sees her once a week, I'm not even sure he noticed we moved. He's been walking everywhere too! And into everything. Most days I feel as though he is out to destroy anything I pick up or clean up but most of the time he is awefully cute at doing so. He's my little buddy and probably one of the main reasons this transition to Kokomo has not been as difficult so far as I thought it would be. He's also as silly as ever, as you can see from the picture. I don't know why but Kreg and I decided to give him the cool whip container one evening at dinner (there was not much left in it). He could hardly believe it and felt the need to put it on his head. Needless to say that evening quickly became bath night.


The big news.....We sold our home in Indy TODAY! God is so good! We are so blessed to have his faithfulness poured out upon us. We never expected for our home to sell so quickly after moving. We were making plans for the long haul seeing as how the media portrays the housing market right now. But we serve the one true God in which nothing is impossible for Him.