Sunday, July 31, 2011

Drugstore deals are rockin' this week!

Lotsa FREE stuff today!

Crayola Washable Markers = FREE
Complete Multipurpose Solution = FREE
Kids Smart Hi DHA-Omega-3 Fish Oil 30 ct=FREE
Goody Colour Collection Snap Clip 6 ct = FREE
Allegra 24 Hour Allergy Relief 5 ct - ($2 money-maker after coupon and mail-in rebate!)

2L Coke - FREE
Skinny Cow candy - FREE
Bic Soleil razor cartridges - FREE


Oral B battery toothbrush - FREE after mail-in rebate
Dawn - $.49

The other things in the photo were all great deals when combing sales and coupons. If you want to see exactly how to get these fantastic prices, go to or

To be honest, sometimes it's a bit of a challenge to find the sale items if you don't go during the first day or two of the sale. And for that reason, I'm grateful for the opportunity I had to go shopping this morning. I usually can't go Sunday mornings because church takes priority, but today we chose to do a family devotional instead. That freed up some time and off I went to Find. Those. Deals!

Crest Cavity Protection Gel Toothpaste - Cool MintHere's another super-awesome, can't miss deal for ya... If you have a Ralph's nearby, you can get FREE toothpaste! Crest toothpaste (the regular variety) is on sale for $1.00. But... buying two of them triggers a Catalina coupon (those ones that spit out at the register after you pay) for $2.00 off your next Ralph's purchase! (The normal purchase price for the toothpaste is $3.49 or so. When you spend $6 or more on Crest, you get the Catalina. Lucky for us, though, the Ralph's deal and the Catalina deal are overlapping so we get FREE, FREE, FREE toothpaste.) I've done it a couple times already and can't wait to donate them!

Oh, and if you take a look in your Proctor and Gamble coupon insert in your Sunday paper, you'll see a Crest toothpaste coupon. Ralph's doubles coupons up to $1, so in the end... you'll spend $1 for two full-size tubes and get $2 back! Woohoo!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Longest Drive EVER!

Seriously, we have driven across entire large states in less time than it took us to get home from northern LA today.

It sucked. Big time.

The drive should have taken no more than 4 traffic-free hours, but this is LA we're talking about, so there's no such thing. We expected *some* slowing.

We did not expect stop and go for more than TWO HOURS.

And it could have gone on for another three or four hours had we not detoured to another freeway. I figured it would be just as bad everywhere, but it was actually fair to midland.

By this point, though, we'd been in the car more than three hours so we stopped for a snack. In the only place we could. A total ghetto. I was so relieved when we pulled back into the stop and go of the freeway. (Don't hear that too often, do you? LOL)

At some point later, after more slowing of traffic, patience and blood sugar, we found a Target to peruse. Emma needed some anti-itch cream for her wicked looking bug bits and I wanted to check out the toy clearance section. (AWESOME deals! I'll post on that tomorrow.)

We pulled into our driveway about 9:20pm, almost nine hours after we left camp. I know Emma loved camp and all, but honestly? Next year, she's gonna have to go to a camp a bit closer.

Now my filthy, exhausted, camped-out daughters are showered, comfy and tucked into their very own beds.

I am not very far behind. Nighty-night.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The colors of God's robe

Scott and I stopped in San Juan Capistrano the other day on our way home from dropping off the girls. He needed a decaf Americano, one inch of cold soy and three honeys, please.

As we waited for his coffee, I turned to look out the window. This is what I saw...

It's the San Juan Capistrano Mission, built in 1776. 

Aside from the odd Victorian you might see in a dedicated park, there is little in Southern California to indicate civilization before say, the 1950's. So to stumble upon a rambling mission from 235 years ago... it's a sight to behold.

Naturally, I wanted to go investigate, but given the day and time (8pm on a Sunday evening), the gates were locked up and the tour guides were settled comfortably in their easy chairs back home.

We were rooted to the corner, though, where we took the photo above. We just couldn't leave the show God was putting on for us... I think He must have been showing us the colors of His robe. 

Simply breathtaking.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I've stressed myself passed the point of writing that darned novel

Since my sweet kiddos were in camp last week and are at camp/camping this week, I set myself a goal:

Finish writing the novel.

It's written, so it's just editing. And rewriting. Lots and lots of editing and rewriting. Because, you know, a writer is never, ever satisfied with her work.

I decided that my first chapter must be burned. It's horrible. It makes me want to gag. I can't even bear to read it I dislike it so much.

Alrighty then. Time to write a new Chapter One.

Except I'm stuck. In a very deep lake of molasses. I can barely write and when I do inch forward a bit, any progress is immediately sucked away into the thick pull of the molasses.

I'm starting to stress myself out about this and that is the anti-point of having four days all to yourself. I'm supposed to be relaxing and enjoying myself, not finding every possible excuse to avoid the novel.

So here are my options as I see them...

1. Push through it and write horrible, hideous prose in hopes that as I write, the words walk into a sea of color and light and beauty.
2. Let myself off the hook. Feel guilty. Not get this novel done before November rolls around with the promise of another National Novel Writer's Month (NaNo) and another 50,000 word novel. (Wait till you hear my idea for the next novel. I'm totally psyched about it! I want to finish Finding Truth so that I can start working on the adventures of a... well, I can't tell you yet, but just you wait. You're gonna love it!)

Option one looks like the winner to me. If I can just get into the NaNo mindset and not edit as I write. Say a prayer for me. After all, this is Christian fiction. I think prayer might be the best way to get through the molasses swamp.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Alone is a good thing, right?

Usually, I adore Alone Time. What mother doesn't, right?

And next week, I'll have three plus days of total, uninterrupted Alone Time.

I should be ecstatic, but I'm not. I'm completely bummed out.


Both kids will be away (one camping with friends, the other at camp). Scott and I planned some fun things to do around his work schedule. Work is work, has to be done. But the kids would be gone!

Then a business trip got scheduled. No prob, I'll just go along. He'll be right here in CA and we have a free round-trip ticket on Southwest just begging to be used.

Alas. No frequent-flyer seats remained on any flights we could make work and since the trip is next week, ticket prices are outrageous. $400 for an hour and a half flight that's usually about $100.

And so I'll be alone. It wouldn't be so bad except for two things...

Number 1: My sister lives just an hour and a half or so from where I'd be and we'd planned to meet for lunch one day. I only get to see her once or twice a year and I really, really wanted to see her!

Number 2: Despite the fact that the kids are on summer break, I've had a lot of alone time lately. That's what happens when you join the Insomniacs of America club. I'm bored of being alone and I want company!!!!

Are you wondering about getting together with friends? That would be nice, wouldn't it? Making friends takes time. Sometimes a lot of time. *sigh*


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I adore my husband and all, but if he ever wants...

anything related to peaches again, he's gonna have to do it himself.

What on God's peach-colored earth is she talking about? you're now asking yourself.

I'm in the process of making peach butter for Scott. This is the first and last time it will ever happen.

Peaches are so gross. They're slimy when you peel them, mushy on their bruises and just wicked looking around the pit.

All illusions of my ever willingly eating a peach are now OVER!

Ever since last winter when I bought a book on microwave canning, I've been looking forward to summer so I could prepare and can Scott-friendly jams and butters.

I started with apricots. Each and every one of them was moldy inside. *shudder* Absolutely revolting.

And then this peach experience? Horrible.

I think I'll stick to pears and applesauce.

But I really, really want to make Scott-friendly jam. I'm sure you know how crazy-expensive pure fruit spreads are. The grocery bill ratchets up a notch every morning when the man puts a quarter-jar-full on his cream of buckwheat.

Here's an idea. Maybe I should start with frozen fruit. It's supposedly almost rivals fresh fruit in freshness, right? I'll have to do a little price research and see if it's worth trying.

Thoughts, Delicious Readers?


Oh my gracious. I can't believe I've started watching this show.

Say Yes to the Dress on TLC.

It's bad. So very, very bad.

But I like to see the wedding gowns, although with the bridal couture these days, I'm not sure why.

Like all reality shows, it's all about the drama. Of course the producers won't profile the "typical" brides. You know, the ones who stick to their budgets, aren't sick with cancer, don't have a fiance in Iraq or aren't beauty queens.
I think this is the $11K dress.
Beautiful, but come on already!

I don't judge people regardless of their.. ahem... situations, but I must admit it's really hard to concentrate on the brides' and bridal consultants' worthy qualities.

Scott and I were watching an episode last night in which the bride-to-be wasn't even engaged yet! She was just really, really excited. Her boyfriend knew she was coming to try on dresses, so he met her in the fitting room and proposed.

When asked why he'd waited so long to pop the question, he said, "She's an amazing woman and she's worth an amazing ring. I had to save up for it." Very cool. I totally appreciate his candor.

Then this bride picks out an $11,000 dress to which she can't Say No! She knows it's too much money and she can't really afford it. She knows that it's the equivalent to the down payment on a house. But she buys it anyway.

Scott and I just shook our heads. How is their marriage going to last? Here's her boyfriend saving for years to buy her the perfect (and modest) ring and she goes and buys a crazy expensive dress that she totally can't afford! Um... a couple with such polar opposite views in finances is in for a big ol' challenge.

Um, where's the other part of the bodice?
Then there was another bride who cried and pouted until her fiance gave in and let her buy a third wedding dress. Yes, you read correctly. She has three wedding dresses for one wedding. Hello!

The morals in this show are hideous! Selfishness? Check. Obsession? Check. Wastefulness? Double check.

I really need to stop watching it. But... it is kind of fun to watch with the girls. We like to talk about the dresses (what is with the current mermaid-style fad? Ick!) and wonder aloud at the insanity of the women profiled. At least I know my girls understand the morals and values Scott and I have been teaching them from Day One. And that makes me happy.


Sunday, July 17, 2011

The perfect San Diego beach

Coronado... ah, Coronado.

The hours I spent on that beach while growing up came rushing at me faster than the fantastic waves drumming up onto the perfect golden shore.
See the Hotel Del way, way, way in the background?
This beach is the polar opposite of the one we went to last week. It's expansive and clean, spacious and comfortable. So much room to spread out and run back and forth between the water and our camp. We could see the Coronado Islands in the distance, little crabs scuttling on the sand, live sand dollars imperceptibly digging their way into the sand.

Yes, there really is this much space! And we got the best
parking spot ever, just in front of that house with the
square tower.
And what made it even better?

Brand-spanking new boogie boards!

The four of us, plus a Hayley friend, sprayed on the sunscreen then flew into the knee-numbing water.

Yes, it was icy. Frankly, I'm surprised there weren't ice cubes sloshing about in the waves.

We ignored the cold, jumped on the boards and rode those frigid waves all the way back into shore.


We laughed and shouted and hooted and then promptly scraped our knees falling off into the sand.

Family fun doesn't get much better than that, does it?

Unless you count burying the youngest in a deep hole of sand, walking the beach holding the hand of my honey and stopping for ice cream on the way home. Ahhhh... what a great day.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Who said cooking was all about the food?

What fun!

Adoption Orientation

It took forever to get here, but tonight was finally the adoption orientation at the center we'd like to use.

Emma, just a couple days old
I want to say that it was awesome and eye-opening and all that good stuff, but honestly, I knew pretty much everything the director spent three hours explaining.

The seminar was more on the definition and advantages of "open adoption" and while I knew that subject would be the main focus of the evening, I'd hoped there would be a decent amount of conversation regarding the next steps in the adoption process.

Basically, the next step is short and sweet and warranted less than 60 seconds of class time. We fill out a very brief questionnaire regarding the baby we'd like to adopt (age, race, etc.), our own ages, contact info and how long we've been married and why we want to adopt.

Okay, then. Easy enough.

Once the director reads through our info, she'll let us know if she can work with us or not. You see, she only works with about 20 couples at a time so that 1) the couple doesn't feel like a number in the great adoption journey and 2) so that it generally won't take longer than 12 months to adopt. And in choosing who to work with, she needs to create a varied portfolio of possible parents for the infants in question.

To be more specific, she doesn't want to offer up five couples that have similar characteristics, backgrounds, current children, etc. And I totally get that. It makes me nervous nonetheless. What if she has four other couples just like Scott and I? Then she will be honest and tell us that she won't be able to help us adopt in a decent amount of time.

I respect that. Makes me nervous, but I respect that.

Here's something Scott and I giggled about after the meeting. Naturally, each of the six couples had to introduce themselves and mention how long they'd been married. Here's the breakdown...

Two years: one couple
Three years: two couples
Four years: one couple
Five years: one couple

We felt so OLD! Sheesh!

At any rate, Scott and I got a quick bite to eat after the meeting and filled out the info sheet. I'll fax it back to the director tomorrow. If she can work with us, we'll discuss the next step with her... a two-hour meeting to make sure we're really ready to adopt.

And isn't that the question of the year? Seriously. One minute, I'm 100% on board, can't wait to get started. The next minute? I'm thinking maybe it's the wrong decision and we should forget the whole thing. Five minutes later, I've completely changed my mind again and can't live without more children in my life.

Hayley holding her brand-new sissy
I keep praying that God will send us a big neon sign (lit, please) telling us exactly what to do. I close my eyes every single night with a blank chalk board in my mind, just waiting for him to write the correct answer. Maybe I should imagine a stone tablet instead. Or line up imaginary bushes in the shapes of "yes" and "no" for God to set afire.

You know, 95% of the time, I am the most patient person on Planet Earth. The other 5%? I'm pacing back and forth, waiting waiting waiting not-so-patiently, for God to tell me exactly what to do.

Here's what my mind keeps going back to... Scott and I met the summer after my freshman year of college. I was 18. We started dating and within three weeks (yes, three weeks), we both knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that we would get married and spend our lives together. We knew. It was as clear as if God said, "Kate, you're a girl." Yes, God. I am a girl. That's an uncontestable fact. "Kate and Scott, you will get married." Yes, God. That, too, is uncontestable.

When I was very first pregnant with Emma, I knew she was a girl. And I knew my labor would be three hours. I knew it within the deepest part of my being.

 So I'm waiting to get that same kind of impermeable and crystal clear message from God that adoption is the right choice for our family.

Any time now, God. Any time...


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

And the reason I can't focus on anything for more than three and a half seconds is...

not my fault!!!!!

Really, it's not! I thought it was just me being moody. Distracted. Interested in too many things. Guilted into too many other things.

But there's a real, live, actual reason why focusing and I are not BFFs.

My medication!!!!!

"Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh," you say. "Now it all makes sense."

Yes, yes it does all make sense now and while I am pleased to know that my flightiness is not my fault, it does not please me one bit that I still have to find a way to work with it.

For example... my novel. I open it up. I scroll through it for perhaps 47 seconds. I walk away.

Card-making. I find a design to emulate. I flip through my small-ish collection of over-priced but super-cute paper. I spread out several pieces on my desk. I walk away.

Laundry. I walk into the guest room (aka clean laundry dump room). I fold three wash clothes precisely. (Because my linen cabinet is friendly with Martha Stewart's linen cabinet, I like everything to be exact. Just in case Martha ever comes on the Linen Line.) I shake out a shirt or two of Scott's. I walk away.

Even when I'm in the bookstore, I get... bored. *gasp* *shudder* *shielding of the face in horror* I know. It's terrible, isn't it?

But despite the lack of focus and the mild restless leg syndrome, my mood has stabilized and I'm sleeping relatively normally. (Yay!!!!!!!!) The benefits of the meds out muscle the annoyances and I will befriend my unfortunate focal-less-ness.

What was I saying again? (LOL)

A So Cal Classic...

The Bougainvillea

Hi, Hy!

Hydrangeas outside my front door

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

When couponing makes me crazy...

CompoundW Freeze Off or Wartner Freezing Wart Remover Limit 1 Rebate per brand Rebate only valid 7/10-7/16/11 See in store Single Check Rebates directory for details. Single Check Rebate offer requires sign up at or by mail. <br />price with wellness+ cardRite-Aid has a deal on Compound W this week. Normally, it's $18.99, but it's on sale for $10.99. Then there's a $2.00 off coupon on PLUS, there's a $10 mail-in rebate. So in the end, it's a $1 money-maker.

Pretty cool, especially considering Scott just told me last night he'd like me to pick up some Compound W. (

So I printed the coupon. Except my printer decided not to work and on some sites, you can only print the coupon once. So according to the site, I'd printed it and couldn't print another. ARGH!!!!!

Annoying, but not the end of the world. I hopped on the kids' laptop and tried to print it from there. More problems. So I got on Scott's laptop. Even more problems! I was pulling my hair out.

All for a flipping $2 coupon.

I know, I know. At some point, it's just not worth it any more. But before I went to Rite-Aid this evening, I tried once more on Scott's computer and... SUCCESS! I got my coupon.

Not that I could use it or anything. Rite-Aid was out of the product. Natch. And the dumb Rite-Aid employees were absolutely no help. I had to go back and forth from the aisle (in the back of the store) to the front counter FIVE times trying to get the right product.

I finally just got a rain check. Rain check number three. Since, of course, they were out of the other two things on my list.

Target, too, was out of all four things I was super-couponing. Now I'll have to go to the Super Target 12 miles away. Big inventory means bigger chance of success.

Oh, and while I'm talking about Target, guess what??? My local Target is putting in a big ol' grocery section! I can't wait!!!!!!

October 9th is the expected completion date. Guess who'll be first in line at 8am that day? LOL


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Um... what happened to the beach????

Yes, we've been back in San Diego for exactly a year now and it took us that long to go the beach and play!

Pathetic, I know, but we had a good excuse for not going last year... sharks and sting rays populated the shallow waters off the beaches. They normally don't do that here. So, you know, we kinda avoided the water. No Jaws replays for us.

(Although I did have a dream a couple nights ago that we were at the beach. Hayley was four and Emma was one. I was playing on the sand with them while Scott swam in the ocean. I looked up to check on him and saw dolphins jumping out of the water. I pointed them out to the girls and as soon as they saw the dolphins, I saw killer whales breeching! They came closer and closer to shore and the waves came in like a tsunami. I grabbed the girls and ran, but lost hold of Hayley. Scott was right there, though, and grabbed her. We ran and ran and ran. And were all safe. The end.)


It took us a while to actually get to the beach since I didn't have a bathing suit that actually fit and had to go out and buy one. (Went to Sears up the street and found a cute Land's End tankini for 60% off. Woot woot!) We came home, packed a picnic dinner (yes, it was that late) and jumped in the car thinking, "It's so late now. There's sure to be plenty of parking."

Haha. Joke's on us. We finally found an itty-bitty spot four blocks away and I executed a perfect parallel park, thank you very much. Grabbing our gear, we walked to the sand.

And the beach was almost completely gone! And I'm not talking about all the people covering it. I mean, the beach was literally almost GONE! What was once a 50 yard-wide beach is now maybe 35 feet! And the tide wasn't even all the way in! We have absolutely no idea why the water now comes so far up the beach.

The Coast Guard blocked off a ten foot swatch running parallel to the boardwalk, so that minimized space even more. And there were people everywhere.

See the spaces of sand in the photo? I know they look decent-sized, but they're not even close too being big enough for our small beach blanket. And we could only open two of our three chairs! Crazy!

Not that the space issue mattered much since the girls immediately headed five feet in front of us and started to dig a big hole. Yup, the water was that close. And getting closer! In the two hours we were there, we had to move our stuff backwards several feet three times. (Thankfully, people started heading home shortly after we got there.) By 6:30, there was no more beach behind us and we had to go.

It was actually really funny when that last wave almost overtook our little camp. Scott and I were both reading and I glanced up to check on the kiddos. I saw the wave racing just inches in front of our blanket and in a split second, I snatched it up and grabbed both bags saving all our things from certain sandy ruin! (Not really, but it sounds good. LOL!) So I saved all our stuff, but poor Scott got a face full of sand from when I yanked the blanket so hard! *cough cough cough sneeze* Poor guy!

Scott and the kiddos played in the water for a while. We only have one boogie board and it's sized for maybe a four year-old. But they were still trying to ride those waves! It was awesome to watch them.

So here's the other thing that took Scott and I by surprise at this first visit to the beach in almost 10 years. The trash. It was gross. People just dumped things and didn't care about picking up. Corn cobs. Chip bags. Broken toys. Lost sandals.

The trash piled up in the seaweed, sank in the girls' sand hole, jostled in and out of the waves. I just cannot believe that people are so crass and rude that no one cares about how horrible it looked and smelled.

I happily give credit where credit is due, though. Two teenagers came by and picked up a bunch of trash along the area we sat. I don't know if the trash belonged to them/their group, but I certainly applaud their good will. Scott and I took a turn, too, picking up garbage with the girls' sand shovels. After about 10 minutes, though, we got grossed out, tossed what we'd collected in the buckets and thoroughly rinsed everything off.

We'll be trying a different beach next time. What a shame this one has disintegrated and deteriorated. But, I'm optimistic. It just means that we have to explore other beaches we ordinarily wouldn't. :)


Saturday, July 9, 2011

So whaddya think about the new look?

I'm still tinkering with it, but I'm liking it so far. What do you think?

I'd like to remove the blue vertical stripes since I think they detract from the effect, but I had to email the creator of the background to see if it's possible. I'm lovin' the flower background. Cute!!

Windex® Outdoor All-in-One Glass
Not too much else goin' on around in the Delicious household today. Scott and I washed the windows outside. Ooohhhhhhh, exciting! *insert sarcasm here* LOL We used that Windex on a Pole stuff and I'm not wild about the results. Verrrrryyyyy streaky. The stuff has sheeting action--it's not supposed to streak!


At least the dirt rinsed off and the windows do look cleaner.

Tomorrow, the insides shall be conquered! Oh, joy.

Or maybe we'll go to the beach and the windows will wait another day.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Ack! Our train got held up!

We were bumping along in the ore cars when bandits
attacked the train! 
He demanded money!
Then his gang appeared. We quivered in our seats.
Our trusty sheriff wouldn't let anything happen to us. He had the whole situation under control. 
The outlaws fought over who'd get the money and ended up in a shoot out among themselves!
Their not-so-intelligent leader was the only bandit left standing.
  Never fear! The sheriff took special care of him and we were saved! 
These smiles are proof that our Sheriff is one-of-a-kind and that our journey ended safe and sound!

Woot! Woot! Got tons of stuff for free at CVS today!

I'm quite pleased with myself on this one...

16 oz. bag of Skittles
Herbal Essences mousse
Aussie hair spray
2 Oral B cross action toothbrushes
1 18ct box Tampax
1 Hershey's Air Delight
5 2L jugs of Coke

Paid $5.62 (incl. $1.62 tax) out of pocket (after coupons and last week's Extra Care Bucks) and received $5 back in Extra Care Bucks for next week!

I could have paid $1 less, but the cashier refused a coupon she should have taken. I chose not to make a big deal out of it simply because its', well, it's A DOLLAR! Frankly, not worth my time to fight with her on it.

Yipteedoo for great sales and coupons!