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    August 2008
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Set to head home On Tuesday Morning EARLY…

So we new on Monday that we were going to go to the Homosassa Wildlife Park…it is a great little park that we love going to each and every time we go to see my mom. The boys love it and it is small but it has some fun things…Manatees being the biggest thing for this park…

The park is aboput stone’s throw from my moms condo so it is easy to get to and is a good mid day trip.  Once we got there we were told that he pontoon boat that usually takes you back on the Homosassa River to the park was docked because of the impending Hurricane..FAY.. so we took the tram and Griffin loved it…smiled the whole time with lots and lots of questions…

these shots are out of order but there is one of my mom and Spencer and then all of them together…it was ablast…it usually is..


Sunday…movin’ on to Grandpa’s

Most of you know that Richards dad is not in the best of health.  He and Grandma M are in some really tough times financially (as a lot of Floridians are) but you don’t really grasp how tough till you walk in to the EMPTY home..not even a home anymore just an empty building….Grandpa sitting in a bed room on a special chair, walker next to him watching television ALL DAY LONG while Grandma M works two jobs just to pay for her Health Insurance and food and some small bills. He is provided VA care…which is not the greatest but it is what it is.

It was hard to see and hard on the boys…nothing and I mean nothing for them to do…I entertained them best I could…wanted them to have time with Nick but really they were bored…at 7 Spencer gets what is happening..Griffin is not so sure…doesn’t know how to ask what he is thinking…he asks things and doesn’t understand.

They ran around outside and played with the one toy that was left by one of their cousins and watch a little of the Olympics with me and that was it.  Richard was able to watch the Cubs game with his dad and have a little conversation…nothing earth shattering but it was time together…don’t know if that will ever happen again. Late we headed out to go back to my moms place which is about 2.5 hours from Nicks. It was a quiet ride…very quiet…

back on track with the vacation…

After a full full day with the families at Kristi and Tim’s house…we headed for Amy’s dad’s home in Palatka FL… now you all should be jealous because her dad lives on the St. John’s River in a beautiful old home on a street named after him…even the school and the like are in her maiden name…they are some kind of Palatka celbs…in fact for you r Republicans he has been to more dinners and get togethers with the McCains…rubbin’ elbows.  Meetin’ the important peeps. He is a really really nice man who seems very kind and very genuine. We walked in the door and he GAVE Spencer the coolest stone carved wolf jaw bone knife ever.  He had never even met us…just handed it to Spencer and said here this is for you…WOW…Spencer was not sure what to think…He also owns a slew of restaurants and we had a very wonderful free meal at one of them…delicious…we were spoiled with fresh caught crab legs he pulled from the river that morning and steamed for us…mmmm…

I love visiting with Amy and Joe and Hannah.  Amy has such energy and happiness to her…it is never boring being with them…they love playing with the kids and Joe (Uncle Joe and my boys loving call him, well Griffin will have to call him FIL in a few more years.. wink wink) plays hard with my boys.  He catches lizards and bugs with them and took Spencer on his first Jet Ski ride EVER…even let him drive EEEEK!!

Spencer could not wipe the smile off his face…and Griffin he was so excited…kept asking me if Spencer would be OK!!

We interrupt this Florida vacation..

for a quick few shots of the second grader on day one this year….notice how far up that door he is growing…my baby is getting really tall….

the shot with the orange hair deserves some ‘splainin’…we went for his ‘before school starts’ hair cut.  He has decided he would like to grow his hair out longer…fine with me as long as he cares for it…cleaning it and brushing it daily. She cut it with that in mind but there is a little part of him that still wants to spike it..so when we got home I pulled it into a mohawk with a little orange gel…he loved it and wanted to sport a ‘tude for the camera…

No he is not going to be allowed to wear this style to school…he does want to cut it into a mohawk for next summer…super short on the sides and tall on top…mommy and daddy have to think on that one.

Many things to talk about so….


I am going to forget to talk about something here so make sure you let me know what it is and I will post again…

I am working hard on spending time with Griffin now that Spencer is back in school and I am trying to get a garage sale ready and get into the frugal thing and clean and do laundry and find my NEW routine…I have let a lot slip lately…I am nearly non existent on the forums/facebook and commenting on friends blogs…I am reading pals…just not stopping to post a comment…sanity will return and I will get back to the old ways I PROMISE.Mostly I feel awful that I have a very good friend in Sybille and she has been in the hospital for nearly 2 weeks expecting to get home today…I have not called her or sent her a note or anything.  I have prayed daily that she is healed and that this mysterious thing leaves her body but I have not been in contact with her and for that I AM TRULY SORRY.

So going back I will start at the Florida trip and work forward….

Actually GOING to Florida was the right decision.  Seeing Svetlana and all the other children from the baby home made was perfect. I would have been so sad if we had decided not to go. Aside from Svetlana we travelled the farthest!! It was soooo worth it.  The weekend was wonderful and so many new bonds and connections were formed.  There were about 11 children from Glazov and then siblings.  There were 8 families I think. Maybe 7…Kristi and her DH Tim were wonderful hosts. Their home is beautiful and sits right on Lake Geneva in North Central Florida. She is a professional water skier holding the World record for Slalom. The children spent 9 hours playing on land and in the water. Tim was a wonderful boat driver with Spencer claiming “you rock as a boat driver Mr. Tim.” He took the children on raft rides all around the lake multiple times.  I think Spencer was on each and every one. “Mr. Tim you do ROCK!!” They had the event catered and the food was super yummy. Kristi was a wonderful host making sure that all guests had what they needed and wanted. Kristi also has a great ministry going go here and check it out…make a donation if you are so inclined. The children ALL felt so comfortable and at home there…it was nice to see. After the long day we all left about the same time. It was hard to say good bye to Lana again knowing that might be the last time we see her.  In Russia (and I am sure other places where adoptions take place) your translator is your life line. Without them you are lost.  We were fortunate to get two great ones.


So I suppose that you want pictures too…

  and I suppose you will want another post tomorrow…OK then…

OK so before I get all caught up from my last post

I have to tell you all about this shopping thing I am doing and loving…It is a stock piling thing but I think sooo worth it…just watch how much I saved today alone.

Part of my commitment to me and to my family this year was to be a better planner and more frugal….I am really working hard on the planning and getting better every time…I don’t always post it here but I do it most weeks.

Now for the frugal part…Grocery Game .com is the place that I am falling madly in love with…and if you decide that this is for you please use my penguin1dp@ att. net address as a referral so I get free weeks…further explanation…I have a neighbor who I bumped into last week at Walgreen’s…we go to talking about the economy and all my lists that I had…she said she goes to Grocery Game…we talked a bit more an it sounded oerfect for me. I paid my buck for a free four week trial…and I am never turning back…NO GIMMICKS NOTHING…it is simple and if after you look through it you need help understanding or want to know more I am happy to help out.

SO today… I did my first coupon cut and run…I had three papers at a buck a piece and cut out coupons only for the things that we use …I am not brand happy on every thing I use so this works even better for me…I mean a paper towel is a paper towel right??

here we go…now remember I am stockpiling too …but some of these I needed this week…at Walgreen’s my total was 125.55 I had 59.47 in coupons with a total Out of pocket (oop) of 66.08…saving 53%

off to CVS total 37.23 coupons of 19.32 OOP 17.91…however…I have been transferring prescriptions to CVS from Target and getting gift cards…I have doen this for about 300 bucks in gift cards…so I used a GC to pay the total and I paid nothing OOP!!!

lastly Jewel…total was 131.57 I had preferred and coupon total of 50.74 leaving me with a balance of 80.83 for a 61% savings…

My stock pile is now getting full with paper towel, napkins, Kleenex, shampoo, deodorant, dish washing soap, hand soap, toothpaste, tooth brushes, and many other things.  I did not pay more then a buck for any of these things and most of them around $.70. I will continue to buy things when they are dirt cheap but will also start stock piling on things that I can freeze or store in my cabinets…

Have I said I am loving this yet…oh yeah and there are different stores for different ares of the USA…and for those who live West of me…ahem…Meier is also on the list…

I am looking forward to saving more each week and to getting having more spending money for us weekly. Once we all have a good stock pile of the things we use everyday all we really need is the perishables…and let me tell you about this lady that bought 15 heads of broccoli and then cut it all up and used a food saver to put it into deep freeze…OH YEAH and she only spent 13.50…and it is enough to last her family all winter and spring!! But that is another story…

Lions and Tigers and Fay OH MY

OK, well, not really, OH MY…Fay, that slight reason to close the airport…humpf…she was no big deal but the FAA is, if nothing else, capable of changing a lot of peoples plans with one decision…close the air port and get as many planes out as possible…we were not to go….our flight left later in the day then the FAA wanted to keep Tampa Airport open. We were bumped to today, with an early flight….but we are home and happy and safe and really tired and really happy that we went…the picninc for Svetlana could not have been any better if we had planned it for months…and she was so excited and so surprised and so happy…and to see eleven kids from the same baby home together…well, you will have to wait till I have the time and energy to post. It was a blast from beginning to end. We were able to fit a lot into this little trip…just wait and see all that we did and all the great friends we made.