Friday, October 31, 2008

This week @ school

I'm trying to become more creative with my therapy ideas at the elementary school. My personal goal is to incorporate more fine motor activities and literacy based assignments in with speech and language therapy. Here's a picture of one of my 1st graders completed work:

This week we made two easy crafts- Speech Spiders (I stole the idea from my good friend Melissa) and acorns.
For the acorn and leaf lesson: the kiddos cut out the leaf, stem and acorn parts, colored the acorn and assembled the parts per oral instruction. For my language only kiddos, this was a simple following directions activity. For my articulation kiddos, they looked through my sound cards and wrote 5-10 target sound words that they wanted to take home and practice over the weekend.

Speech Spiders: I pre-cut small circles and laid 8 little strips of paper & 8 brown shoes on the table. The kiddos folded the paper strips like an accordion (this had fine motor written all over it) and then glued the shoes onto the legs. Then the legs onto the body. The articulation kiddos wrote target sound words on the shoes, while the language kids answered 'wh' questions about spiders. When we were done w/ the lesson, they could draw the spider's face, etc.

It's the simple things.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Psst & Target!

I found some great deals at Target yesterday! For $6 I got a brand-new smoothie maker. It was closeout since it's box was beyond repair. I took it over to the dressing room area, and they allowed me to plug it in to see if it works. It appears to work just fine, and the manager told me that even though it was on closeout, I could still return it with my receipt if it didn't work at home.
Anywho, the Ziplock 25 pack sandwich bags by the register are on sale for $0.84 and I used 4 $0.75/1 printable from the Right @ Home newsletter. I paid $0.40 for 100 bags!
I also picked up some stuff for our upcoming Friendsgiving celebration.

Then, when I got home, I found this in the mailbox from General Mills Psst program that I joined online (for free) a while back.

I have plenty of $1.25/1 frozen cinnamon roll coupons to share. So Tulsa friends- if you want one, let me know. I'll keep 'em w/ me for a while.

Hello Beautiful......

How wonderful it is to have heat and air in our home again :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Some Thoughts....

With the presidential election a week away, I'd like to share a few quotes:

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." -Voltaire

"A government big enough to give you what you want is a goverment big enough to take from everything you have." -Gerald Ford
Brandon often quotes Voltaire, but I had heard the Ford quote until I read this month's Real Simple magazine. I like the quotes and the magazine, thus it made it to my blog :)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

3rd Menu Monday

For breakfast all week I'll be eating pumpkin bread (This recipe rocks: and Brandon will have cereal as always. Although he really does like the bread......

Here's how the rest of the week looks:

Monday: spagetti & breadsticks

Tuesday: $5 united way fundraiser lunch @ work- take beer bread and dip
dinner: Homemade Gourmet Taco Soup

Wed: philly cheesesteak sandwiches (here's the recipe link:

Thursday: enchiladas made w/ spicy mexican chicken (pre-prepared from this recipe:

Friday: lunch: 'Fat Friday' @ work- take a pumpkin shape cake or a cheese ball & cracker
dinner: Halloween party &/OR grilled cheese

Saturday: light lunch- sandwiches and such
dinner out in Stillwater (since the football game is @ 2:30pm)

Sunday: boneless ribs & veggies
Make sure and check out other recipe and menu ideas at :)

Are you a hero?

A guitar hero that is :) The new Guitar Hero: World Tour was released last night. Brandon went to Target this morning at 8:15am to pick up a copy.
We've only played 2 songs so far, but I like it! Guess what we'll be playing off and on all day..........

ps- this is the only video game I'll play on the playstation. If you've never played GH, you should really check it out!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Before & After- Tree #1

This morning before the football game, Brandon and dad decided to trim the neighbor's tree that hangs over our fence/onto our property. Here's the tree before: The guys hard at work...
And the final product!

Naturally, Leia had to supervise :)
We still have another tree left to trim on the side of the house. If a storm were to bring it down, it wouldn't cause any damage, so it's on the back burner for the time being.
On a side note, the OSU Cowboys put up a great fight against #1 Texas.....maybe it'll just be a 1 loss season.....

No heat.

What a week we've had.
A few nights ago, the house was getting a little chilly. I decided it was a good time to turn on the heat and let it run for a bit. Well, it kicked on and had that 'I haven't been turned on in 6 months' smell. It was blowing nice warm air, and all was well.

About 5 minutes passed, and the warm air subsided. We turned the unit off & on, checked the pilot light, etc. Nothing. So, we turned the heater off and I called in a service call to our Home Warranty that came w/ our house.
2 service calls, several days and a $60 co-pay later, we need a new furnace. American Home Shield (our home warranty company) should cover it, but due to a dent in the back of the unit, they are claiming that it is a manufacturer defect. The unit is original to the house, thus its 15 years old! After several phone calls from myself and my Realtor (who secured this warranty for us as part of our negations) AHS is supposed to let us know Monday if they will pay for the furnace or not.

I feel that they should cover the unit, but we'll see. Either way it has to be replaced. I just want to know one way or the other; Worse case, we have to pay 100% of the cost of a new furnace. Nice.
I'll keep you'all posted.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Super Shopping!

I scored big today at Homeland and you can too! Most of the coupons I used were printables and they all doubled.

Total spent: $18.08
Total saved: $80.51
I spent only 15% of what these groceries should have cost me :)

Here's the breakdown:

2 Farmland sausgage- $1.39- used $1/1 coupons- made $0.60 off each roll
4 Hunts Tomatoes- $0.99 each- FREE with $1/2 printable
3 boxes Kellogg's cereal- $0.80 each with $1/1 printable
6 cans of Libby's pumpkin- after coupons, $1 for all 6 cans :)
2 New York Texas Toast- $2- used $0.40/1 coupon from inserts- $1.20 each
3 Ronzoni Smart taste pastas- $1 each- used 3 $1/1 insert coupons- FREE
C&H brown sugar- $1.84- used $0.40/1 insert coupon- $1.04
10 Birds Eye Frozen Veggies- $1 each- used 2 $0.35/1 insert coupons, 3 $1/3 printables found here:
Total spend of 10 packages of veggies: $2.80 :)
Welch's Grape Jelly-$1.50 -FREE with $0.75/1 printable on
Nestle Hot Chocolate- $1- FREE w/ printable
Wishbone salad dressing- $2- used $0.75/1 insert coupon= $0.50
2 Carnation evaporated milks- $1 each- FREE with $1/2 printable
Juicy Juice- $2- used $1/1 printable= FREE
Coffemate (the liquid kind would be free!)- dry type $2.79, after $1/1 coupon= $0.79

I also used my last $5 off any $25 purchase coupon that Homeland mailed me- I figured it was well worth it! :)

ps- YoPlus Yogurt is also free this week w/ the insert or printable coupons. They were out of it when I was there, so I got a raincheck.

Here's the printable coupon links:
Libby and Carnation printables-

Juicy Juice (click the juice square)-

Kellogg's $1/1 any cereal- (supposedly you can print up to 6 coupons by hitting your back button!)

Nestle Coffemate- $1/1

Nestle Hot Chocolate-

Monday, October 20, 2008

1st it was IOC.....

Remember a few weeks ago when there was an IOC (intruder on campus) all-call at my elementary school?

Well, today there was a real fire alarm! I was working on some paperwork in my room, getting ready for my next therapy group and the fire alarm went off. (By the way, the alarms are different then when we were kids- a buzzing noise comes out of the intercom, then a man's voice saying 'the fire alarm has been activated' and a fire truck noise follows.) Since I'm in my own little pre-fab, I thought 'well, I'll just stay in here', but the school secretary came over the intercom and said "this is not a drill!" (sound familiar?) At that point I decided it would probably be best to leave my room.

Turns out, the fire alarm went off due to a misguided sensor over by the music room. There wasn't really a fire (thank goodness!) but we weren't allowed back into the school until the firemen came and gave us the all-clear. So we spent about 15 minutes outside. Luckily, it was a pretty day!

There's never a dull moment at my school :) The only alarm left to go off is the tornado alarm- and hopefully that won't go off anytime soon!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fall Break: Part 2

What a great weekend! OSU's Homecoming celebration is one of the best, if not the best in the nation. A crazy amount of people drive into Stillwater just to attend Walkaround- look at the crowd behind Brandon! What makes Walkaround so unique is the house decks. The fraternities and sororities team up and create the house decks. They build huge metal frames and attach chicken wire. Within the chicken wire is pomping- small pieces of tissue paper shoved into each little wire hole to create a design. During the football game, the winners are announced. This year there was more micro-pomping than years past- meaning more tiny pieces of tissue, thus more detail. Here's some of my favorite house decks:
On Saturday we went to the Homecoming parade and met up w/ my friend Melissa and her family.

Then, we did some tailgating and went to 'The Walk'- I even got to see Coach Gundy!
We were SO tired by the game @ 2pm, but OSU beat Baylor 34-6 so it was worth it :)
Now, we're back in Tulsa, trying to rest up and get ready for the work-week.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Fall Break: Part 1

What a crazy, wonderful week!
On Saturday, we discoved that our 15 1/2 year old, hand-me-down washer had finally bit the dust. My new Maytag set was delivered 1st thing Thursday morning, and I love it. It has alot of fancy settings and the dryer seems to dry my clothes faster.

On Monday, Leia became very sick. :( She was unable to keep food and water down, so we had to take her into the vet 1st thing Tuesday morning. After several tests and a few $100 dollars later, we discovered that Leia had an ulcer! She spent 2 days at the vet hospital before she was able to come home. They had to shave part of the hair off her leg to insert an IV- she looks a little silly without hair on that leg!

On Thursday, Allison and Jenna came over! We had such a good time- I really miss Allison and JM being in Tulsa. Jenna LOVED Leia and they played together for a good while.

We're leaving in a few hours for Stillwater for OSU's homecoming walk-around, parade, tailgating and football game! If the Cowboys beat Baylor (which they should) we'll be 7-0! :) It's gonna be a great trip.

Monday, October 13, 2008

25 Frugal Things I Do

Over at, she posted 25 frugal things that she does for her family. Here's mine:

1. I shop at Homeland, which doubles coupons
2. I price-comp Homeland, Reasors and Food Pyramid ad's at Wal-Mart
3. I stockpile when items are free/cheap
4. Over 3/4ths of the light bulbs in our house are energy efficient (CFL's)
5. Our house is usually around 77 degrees in the summer.
6. I'm planning our meals a week at a time, hoping to cut down on eating out.
7. We each have a $10/week lunch out budget
8. I freeze meat/bread so when I do find it on sale, it'll last longer
9. I try to buy energy star products
10. When buying clothes, I wait for them to go on sale.
11. We drive my car almost everywhere so that Brandon's old car will last longer.
12. I buy school supplies, holiday decorations and candy after the holidays and save 'em for next year.
13. I keep a budget. (well, try to!)
14. I avoid the mall unless I need something there.
15. I order water when out to eat.
16. Brandon and I split entrees at several restaurants. It's healthier for us and saves money.
17. I put a little in savings every month.
18. I don't have a house phone, just our cell phones.
19. I don't have digital cable. (even though I'd love it!)
20. I grocery shop once a week.
21. I purchase kid's b-day and baby shower gifts in advance when I find outfits, toys, etc on sale.
22. I exchange recipes with other teachers at school- trying to keep my menu's exciting.
23. I only go to Homeland (it's across town) when the deals are worth the gas.
24. I switched to a more fuel efficient vehicle over a year ago.
25. I blog about bargains and to keep me accountable with our spending :)

What do you do to stay frugal?

Menu Monday

I only have to work 2 1/2 days this week- woo hoo! But, it's going to be a crazy few days. Here's what this week's menu looks like:

Monday: broccoli cheddar soup and crackers

Tuesday: dinner @ school for parent-teacher conferences

Wed: Pasta/soup dish (see recipe below- I haven't tried it yet!)

Thursday: Dad's B-day dinner

Friday-Saturday: in Stillwater for OSU's Homecoming!!

Sunday: hamburgers


New recipe:

1/2 pound sausage

1 onion, chopped

1 2lb-3oz can of italian tomatoes

2 cans chicken broth

1 tsp crushed basil

1/2 cup orzo (I'm going to use penne, since I have it on hand)

salt and pepper to taste

Cook sausage and saute onions. Add tomatoes, broth, basil, salt and pepper, bring to a boil. Stir in orzo. Simmer 20 minutes & serve.

(Note: You may want to add more chicken broth or it sometimes gets more like a stew when leftovers are refrigerated (I think the orzo absorbs the liquid) - but even as a "stew" it's great).

Sunday, October 12, 2008

What a weekend!

What an amazing weekend! On Saturday, the OU Sooners lost to Texas, our OSU Cowboys BEAT #3 Mizzou and our friend Lloyd called from Yellowstone! And now, OSU is ranked #8 in the nation- it's a crazy time to be a Cowboy fan :)

We had several friends over for a football game watch party on Saturday and had a wonderful time! I made my father-in-law's orange margaritas and they were a huge hit. Here's the recipe:

Mix 1 small can of frozen limeade concentrate and 1 1/2 measurement lines of Country Time Lemonade Crystals.

Add 2 - 3 jiggers of Triple Sec and 2 - 3 jiggers of Tequila.

Add ice and blend in a blender.

Just before serving, add a LARGE scoop of Orange Sherbet ice cream. ENJOY!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Cuteness and free stuff!

Thursday night I got an e-mail from Right @ Home with some great coupon offers, but instead of paying attention to how amazing of a deal it was, I took this picture of our cute pup:

Ha! Anywho- Friday I saw on the Right @ Home email over at Money Saving Mom, and turns out, all those printable coupons combined with Walgreen's current rebates equaled free cleaning products! So, here's what I picked up:Total OOP: $7.78

Total earned in rebates: $5.50

Total Saved: $16.60 before rebates!

And, last but not least, check out the cake I made this morning! It's for the OSU vs. Mizzou game that's on tonight. We have a few friends coming over- hopefully the Pokes will win!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Over at there are Kellogg's frosted mini wheats coupons- $1/1 box- and they don't expire until 7/1/2009!!

Also, I put in another zip code, and found some different coupons, the major one being $1 off any 1 box of Kellogg's cereal! It expires 1 month from the day you print it, but it's still an awesome coupon :)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A Day in the Life of a School SLP

I often see these fun posts about 'a day in the life of....' and I thought one about my job would be fun. So, here's how a typical day as Sarah, the school speech language pathologist goes:

6:45am- alarm goes off
get up, walk treadmill if no early meetings at school (which is at least 1x a week)
if meeting at school- skip treadmill and get to school by 8:10am
8:30am- time I have to be at school by (I'm usually there before then)
get coffee, make copies, set up my room.
9:00am- 10:30am- see 3 groups (3-4 kids) for 20 minutes each
10:30-11am- run over to the main building, make copies, etc.
11am-noon- 2 more therapy groups
noon-1pm- lunch and recess/lunch duty on Tues and Wed
1-2pm- 2 more therapy groups
2-2:30pm- plan, run to main building, make copies, write IEP's, etc.
2:30-3:25pm- last 2 therapy groups
3:25pm- last group leaves my room- hurry & try to get as much paperwork done before 4pm!
4pm- head home

I don't see any kiddos at the elementary school on Fridays. The whole day is reserved for meetings and paperwork and I usually see my North I-High kiddos. (unless I feel like a real go-getter and get everything done at North on Thursday!)
Usually I have to spend 2 days a week over at North, so I have Thursday and Friday blocked off for that. The I-High starts at 7:55am so I usually get there by 8am, making for a very long day.

So, that's my typical day as a Speech Path. Even though the schedule is crazy and the paperwork is overwhelming, I love it. Every 20 minutes I work with a new bunch of kiddos and we get to tackle a new problem. It's never the same from group to group, day to day, child to child.
I really get to know each kid and hear about their life, even though I have over 50 on my caseload. It's the only job I know of that you get paid to play games all day, pass out candy/ stickers for correct R or S production and get a fall break, 2 week Christmas break and summers off!

(here's my classroom, all put together- you can't see the rug, but the kiddos pull that basket out and play with the blocks and we play games on it sometimes)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Fall has least for the next day or two. It never got above 70 here today, and it was great! I actually had to turn my little heater on for a few minutes this morning to warm up my room at school. This weekend we picked up some little pumpkins and squash to decorate the house with. I decided to put them on the mantle.
Last night we filled up our pumpkin bags to put outside. I forgot that I had picked these up last year after Halloween @ Target- I think they were 75% off. Pretty cheap and easy decorations for the front yard.If you look close, you can see a puppy ghost :)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Menu Planning Monday

After a week or two of 5:30pm 'what's for dinner?' discussions, I'm trying to plan out my meals one week at a time. Here's our menu:

Monday- homemade pizza or Mazzios (we'll use up the last $6 on our gc)

Tuesday- fajitas (TGI Fridays bag meal)

Wed- spaghetti and garlic bread

Thursday- pulled pork sandwiches and fries

Friday- chicken alfredo

Saturday- hamburger cookout @ our house for OSU vs Mizzou

Sunday- Kraft's bruschetta chicken bake


Our OSU Cowboys are 5-0! Saturday we watched our Cowboys beat A&M 56-28, and today they moved up to #17 in the AP poll :)
Here's Brandon, wishing he was the quarterback....
My parents and little sis made it to this game, so of course we had to try for a family photo...I don't know why mom's lips are like that! :)

During the 2nd half, I managed to snap a few moon shots- I think they turned out pretty well!

On Saturday, OSU plays #3 Mizzou on ESPN......I'm a little nervous.....

Saturday, October 4, 2008


Now that I'm working full-time, I just don't have as much time to run all over town for the deals. Even though Homeland doubles coupons, this week it was just easier to price-comp their ad as well as the Food Pyramid ad at Wal-Mart. I think I did pretty well though!

Total OOP: $40.28
Total amount of coupons used:$5.30
Total amount saved w/ price comp-ing: $24.96

Some highlights of my trip were:
$0.98 for 6 cans of tomato sacue
$0.98 a box for swiss miss hot chocolate
$1.79 for a 4 lb. bag of C&H sugar
$1.99/lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
$4 TGIFridays bag meal
$.0.79 a box of Kashi cereal bars (I had $2/1 printables)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

WFMW: Kitchen Organization

It's time for another WFMW! I haven't participated in a while, but this week's in themed so I thought I'd jump right in.

Until this summer, we have had a TINY kitchen with very limited drawer space. I had to come up with clever ways to keep my measuring cups, measuring spoons and little cooking nick knacks organized. This is what I came up with: Open baskets with a slightly higher back than front.
(They were $4 @ Wal-Mart)

Now that we own a house with a large kitchen, I keep the baskets on my lazy Susan and in my pantry. Whenever I'm baking, I just pull the entire basket out from the lazy Susan, place it on the counter top and I have immediate access to my measuring cups/spoons.

I also love the little white metal shelf the basket is sitting on in my pantry. They are actually in the closet organization area at Target, and they run about $5 each. Check out how much more I can store in my pantry with the shelving:

Make sure and check out the other WFMW tips at