Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Washington Trip

So it's been a really long time since I posted last.  A lot has happened since then.  Especially with Jake and I.  We decided about 5-6 months ago to lose some weight.  Neither one of us were really over-weight, but still wanted to get healthy.  We have 5 little kiddos to raise. So Jake has lost a total of about 34 pounds and I've lost 27 pounds.  I'm really surprised that we were able to get down as far as we have.  I go to the gym 6 days a week and Jake goes 4 days a week.  Its really hard and very exhausting, but it's now it just schedule into the days so we never miss.
 I am so glad that we are so physically fit because we took a family vacation this summer to Washington D.C.  It's a lot of walking!!  At least 3-7 miles a day pushing strollers.  This was one of the best vacation we have taken as a family thus far.  We have never had so much fun.  We went to so many national monuments and we were in DC for the 4th of July.  I have never seen so much security in my life.  The military and the police were throughout the streets in large numbers.  The first day we were there it was the 4th of July (we actually flew out on the 3rd), we attended the parade that went forever and listened and watched the reading of the Declaration of Independence by George Washington, Martha Washington and someone else I can remember.  We went to The Ford Theatre where Abraham Lincoln was shoot. And then ended that day watching the fireworks between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument.  The fireworks show was amazing! (I always wish I blogged when we are on vacation so I don't forget anything)
Some of the big things that happened were: going to the Holocaust Museum. Where we learned even more about the Holocaust.  When you first get the museum you are given a card of a person male or female that was in the Concentration Camps.  It tell about their life and says if they survived the camp.  As I'm sure some of you can remember where the prisoners hair was cut before or after they were killed in the gas chamber.  Their hair was used for mattresses or pillows.  It was incredibly sad!  And the endless number of shoes.  It was a very eye opening experience.
We got tickets to the White House for the tour.  I have to say though, if we just got a "normal" tour it wouldn't be worth it for everything we went through to get the tickets.  But when we were waiting for the elevator to go up to the next floor we ran into BO the presidents dog.  That was really cool the kids were able to meet him.
We did so many thing.  I think we saw everything possible.  And the kids were such troopers.  We got tickets to go up in the Washington Monument.  Its so high up.  And of course the wind was blowing really hard.  I felt like the monument would just fall over.  The weather was getting so crazy and the winds so bad that it was evacuated.  So we ran back to our hotel to wait out the storm.  And last but not least, we went to the Arlington Cemetery.  That place is just huge!  With so many hills.  It was exhausting pushing the strollers up and down the hills.  I felt like we were mostly going uphill.  We took some short cuts up a dirt hill where we got stuck at the down because of the steep incline.  But a nice man came over and helped me.   We were getting really tired and decided to put the girls on our backs and take them down the stairs.  I was in the process of putting Maliyah on my back to carry her down the stairs and a Lieutenant in the military ran over and insisted that he help me.  He got Maliyah on his back and walked down the stairs and up the next hill to where we were going to eat lunch.  I was so grateful to him.
The kids are doing so well.  I've been homeschooling them over the Summer.  I wake them up early in the morning and they do school work for 2 1/2 to 3 hours five days a week.  They get rewards on Friday for their hard work.
Courtney will be in the 9th grade this year.  She's on the dance team again this year.  She told me the other day, she's the only one that has been on the team for the straight 4 years they've had it.
Maliyah and Kendra will be starting their 7th grade year. And both are very healthy.  The last surgery they had in May went so great.  I was so glad.  They are having a great summer too.  They are starting to be into pre-teen stuff.  Going to hangout at the mall, talking on the phone, texting, clothes, hair, make-up etc.  I'm so happy I can teach them all about  those things.  We are coming up on their anniversary of their separation day, its been 8 years since that day.
Justin and Austin are going into the 4th grade.  They are keeping me on my toes.  Boys are hard!  But they sure do show me everyday how much they love me.  They are little gentleman.  They take care of their sisters and me when Jake isn't around.
Jake got a new calling at church, so he is gone more with that, and work has been crazy for him.  And I'm just as busy as ever.  Thanks for reading sorry it's been so long.

Have a good day!

The Herrin's                

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Fun times

So thanks for all of the messages and comments about couponing.  Its been a lot of fun saving money.
This was one of my biggest hall yet.  I saved over $200!!  I was so proud!


Most of this was about 88 cents.  My family drinks about 3/4 to a gallon of milk a day.  It truly is amazing to me what I've been able to do for my family so far.

Courtney had her dance pictures done this last week.  She also danced in the Welcome Back assemble at school.  Can I just say what a BEAUTIFUL/TALENTED dancer she is.  I was so proud of her.  

She has been begging to start competition, but want to just do them solo.  Holy Cow!  She is so brave!  But she would do great.



 I tried to post the video of Courtney dancing, but it wouldn't let me.  :(

Our TLC show was on yesterday.  It's very neat to watch.  But more importantly makes me realize how far we as a family have come.  And especially Kendra and Maliyah.  Back then we were struggling with so many health issues with the girls.  They were always in and out of the hospital.  Surgery were often and so were sicknesses.  Our family was extremely stressed.  Looking back on just the last 3 years, makes me so happy at where the girls are right now.  Maliyah is MRSA negative as well.  Which is a HUGE step.  I'm sure staying out of the hospital played a big role in that.  Kendra and Maliyah are so healthy (knock on wood). Courtney, Kendra and Maliyah are getting fitted for braces this next week.  I really really hope braces aren't a big deal.  

We have some really exciting things coming up.  I can't wait to share it with all of you in a couple of weeks.  Also Kendra and Maliyah will be in Women's World Magazine in November.  So watch for that. :)  The girls are just beautiful.

As I have talked about in other posts Justin and Austin's are in different classes at school.  They are adjusting better, but its a very confusing time for me.  Trying to keeping their Due dates straight.  And Justin has a lot more homework.  One major positive I have noticed is they don't fight to tell me about their day anymore.  They both have their own stories.  The jury is still out on if I made the right choice on this or not.  But I will say, for me it would be a lot easier having them in the same class.

Football season is upon us.  So Jake has been taking Austin to the BYU games.  I went to one game and that will be my last.  I know I keep saying that, but I want to be supportive to a hobby Jake loves.
I am so busy lately.  I'm surprised I had time to get on and post today.  But I'm so glad I did! :) I can't wait to one day printout all of the blog posts and put them into a book. (hint hint Jake) :)

Have a great day.

The Herrin's



Thursday, September 19, 2013

Coupon and Organization

I'm so excited about my new endeavor and want to share it with everyone.  I wish someone had just told me years ago how great this would be COUPONING.  Who would of thought that I would be so excited about something like that.  As I'm getting into this and talking to some of my friends and family  I have found is they have no idea how much they are spending on groceries or really anything else.  I was really shocked to say the least.

First off let me tell you about the best program we have ever done.  It's called Mint.com and ITS FREE!!!  It's the best budget organizer.  It electrically puts every cent you spend into a budget and categorizes it as well.  It just amazing!! So at any given time and I access the app on my phone and find out how much money I have in my shopping budget left for that day.  So it's really easy to decide if I need or just want something based on that.  Jake and I will go over our budget once a week, or since I've starting couponing it's twice or more a week.  So that is my first tip.

Second tip is, COUPON COUPON COUPON AND WATCH ADS!!  I can't believe I wasn't doing this before. I thought it would be really to hard.  But with all the money we were spending on groceries, it was driving me crazy. So let me break some of this down for you.

I ordered 4 newspapers 2 Deseret News and 2 Salt Lake Tribune for $80 for the year for 4 papers.  I'll post the link: melea@freebies2deals.com with the Subject Title of Newspaper Subscriptions.

This was my first week trying to organize it all. Kendra and Maliyah helped.       
As you can see it was a little overwhelming to say the least. :) I was getting a little discouraged at this point.  And my head was spinning.  I just was hoping I didn't bite off more than I could chew. I took a break and came back and was able to get everything organized in a 3 ring binder. And went through the ad and circled things my family would use.  And just hoped I was doing it all right. My first shopping trip went awesome!!  



That was my hall for that day.  I saved a total of $19.50. I was amazing! I had just payed for almost one of those newspaper subscriptions with one shopping trip.  Made me more excited for the next one.
 This was my next shopping trip.  Wondered if i was going to do as well as I did the first time.  And BAM!!  I saved $21.50.  There are tons of thing stacked behind others.
So I thought I had to try and see if I could do better than before.  So I took about an hour and got a shopping list together and headed to the store.  I came out of that store having spent less than $75.00 and save a whopping $42.00.  I was shocked again.  And its making the drive to find better deals stronger. :)

I even feel more in control of everything in my life now.  Its amazing!!  The best part is my kids are so excited about couponing too.  Courtney took it upon herself to organize the coupons that needed to be.  And Kendra is always looking for more coupons.  Maliyah and Kendra love to cut them.  Justin and Austin are just really excited to see more food and eat. :)  Austin put on the Extreme Couponing show and he watched it with me.  
One thing that I have found is, the stuff I am buying I would of bought anyway, which did surprise me.  And there aren't many coupons for healthy food.  But my mom gave us a lot of fruit recently.  And there are ads for fruit, vegetables and meat.  It will be interesting as I get better at couponing if I can find more coupons for those types of items.   

I hope this has at least helped some of you decide to coupon and try mint.com.  It will truly amaze you.  

Have a great day.

Love,
The Herrin's

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The First Weeks of School

 I have never understood how my children can come home from school every night with piles of homework.  What are the kids doing at school for 6 hours and coming home with 3 hours of homework.  It's just exhausting!  That is my vent for this post. :)  I really needed to get that off my chest.  I feel better now.

This year started off really hard for Courtney.  There have been so many new changes at her school, and a lot more new kids.  She started having panic attacks at school.  She woke-up just a couple of days into school and was crying so hard.  She couldn't being herself to go to school that day.  It broke my heart.  I gave Courtney an essential oil called Balance to take with her to school.  She said that it helped her threw out the day.  Her nerves were getting the better of her.  Things are going so much better for her now.  

As I wrote in one of the last posts we separated Justin and Austin in different classes.  I can honestly say that was the WORSE thing for Justin.  Justin and Austin have a special bond with each other.  They help one another, encourage each other and have competitions that make their learning more fun.  I wish the school had never pushed this issue.  It's a lot different if the boys had started school in different classes, but separating them in 3rd grade wasn't the best thing to do.  Justin cries before school and after he gets home.  He misses his brother.  So I email the school and let them know what is going on.  I really hope that with some help from the teacher and administration this will change, or he can change classes.  They also help each other remember homework and lunch boxes.  They truly are best friends.  

Kendra and Maliyah are having a great time with their cousin Braxton being in their class.  They love their teachers.  I'm glad they are still in the same class together.  The girls love having play-dates with their cousin and sleepovers.  They are having so much fun together.  Kendra and Maliyah have already been sick this year.  We ran out of multivitamins.  I'm surprised what a huge different those make.  They aren't expensive or anything, we just get them from Costco.  I found that the gummy vitamins are easier on the stomach for the kids and myself.  

I just really pray that this school year gets easier for the kids and me.  And I also hope that I can teach them more independence and responsibility.  

Have a great day.

Love,
The Herrin's             

Thursday, August 22, 2013

First Day of School

I can't believe our summer is all gone.  I hate this time of year.  Its stressful trying to figure out how to juggle everything carpool, homework, extra curricular activities, and my gym time.  The gym for me is a HUGE time-out from the world. it really helps me.  I can disconnect from everything and everyone especially my nemesis MY CELLPHONE!  It never stops ringing, receive text messages, emails etc.  I was on the freeway the other day and I seriously thought about throwing it out the window.  Just a laps in judgement, it still safe.

I hope some of you saw the Oprah: Where are they now? that was on Sunday night.  The show did a great job bringing Kendra and Maliyah's personality out.  I was just so proud of my family.  They have all come such along way.  We love them all so much!

The day before school started it truly felt like Christmas Eve, the kids were so excited to see their friends again.  It makes me so happy when my kids are happy and excited about something. Especially when it comes to learning. :)

The girls are at the older school where  Courtney is.  Kendra and Maliyah wouldn't let Jake and I walk them into the school.  It was a bitter/sweet moment knowing that the girls wanted more independence, but also excited looking back because they have confidence in who they are.  I just have to say what a HUGE blessing it is.  I must of done something right. :)  We had to take the girls picture in the van on the way to school.

Justin and Austin were put in separate classes for the first time this year.  So far, so good.  Its interesting how different girls and boys are. And how girls emotions are very sensitive and boys just roll with it. Justin and Austin so far are enjoying being in different classes.  I try not to talk about it to much, I don't want to make them nervous about anything.

Have a great day.

Love,
The Herrin's

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Four Scales Mermaid Show

This is Courtney, Kendra and Maliyah's favorite Four Scales Episode.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBgz1O4hyck


Hope you enjoy it.

Love,
The Herrin's

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Look before You Drive

I wanted to post this before I forgot which is a very easy thing for me to do...

Have you every thought to yourself, " Did that really just happen".  Well I do A LOT!!  I call my family the entourage because there are so many of us.  We were in the local grocery store getting a few items for dinner.  So everyone was with me but Jake and the girls were in their walkers.  We were walking out of the store.  And I see these two older ladies back-up in their cars at the same time we are walking out of the store.  They both were fixated on watching us walk out of the store that they didn't look behind them.  They hit each other.  The look on their faces were of embarrassment.  They both knew what they had done.  And I heard the conversation as I walked to my car laughing with my entourage.  Holy cow it was so funny!!  We have a great looking family that's for sure.  :)  Just thought I would give you all a good laugh for the day.