Tuesday, July 28, 2009


I totally need a vacation. I love to travel. According to my random-vacation-generator above I should be visiting South Carolina and Honduras this year. (I was aiming for Costa Rica.) Every odd year Mr. Dunbar and I have gone on a nice vacation. In rescinding order:
2009: ???
2007- New York
2005- Australia
2003- St. Lucia
2001-Washington DC (pre-9/11)
But this year the Dunbar's will be enjoying a stay-cation. No big trips, just a few small ones planned. I told my darling husband in 2013 we are going on a BIG vacation, destination to be determined, but it will be good. Any favorite vacation spots I should know about?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Couldn't put it down

My friend Jamie handed me a book last week on Wednesday night and I had finished it by Saturday, I just couldn't put it down. My Sister's Keeper is a must read and go to book BEFORE you see the movie. (I really must not watch that much TV because I had no idea it was a movie until I went to amazon.com to provide a link for you.) If you have seen the previews then you know the premise of the book; a family dealing with a child with leukemia. And I know we, or I should say I, always think "Oh how sad for that family..." "That must be awful..." "Poor things..." I never think about the choices the parents have to make. The emotional or psychological costs. But this book will make you question what you would do. What lengths you would go to to save your child. You may think you would do anything to help them, but we really don't know what that "anything" means. When would you stop? When would enough be enough? Or is there no limit?

This book will make you grateful that even though your kid spilled milk all over the carpet in the living room, or yelled at the top of his lungs at you, or even fell off of the monkey bars after you told him to get down, he is alive and he is healthy. It will take you to the depths of parenthood you hope you never have to experience. It will shatter all of your preconceived notions of "choices we make for our children's best interest." It will relay to you how fragile life is and how much we must cherish it and relish in the small joys.

A famous blogging family that is living through these depths and valleys right now is Baby Stellan. Please keep MckMama and Stellan in your prayers.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Keeping busy in summer heat

We've had a wonderful, hot, tiring weekend. Saturday we woke up and decided we needed to be in water. So what do we do in that situation? Go swimming at the Dunbar's of course. That's the good thing about having a pool at grandma's you get to just show up and swim without an invitation.

Then that evening Mr. Dunbar and I got dressed up nicely and went to a surprise birthday dinner for my mom's best friend.

Here we are... because of my no spend month, my mom bought this Max Studio dress for me for less than $20!!! . Go mom.

Mom and Dad
Here's the birthday girl and her husband Spike (that's our nickname for him), Esther was all over the place. I could not get a good picture. But she was
so ecstatic, like a little kid in a candy store.

Sunday morning we were off to church and then we went swimming at some of our friend's house. It was a nice relaxing afternoon and we finally got to meet their baby girl Cate. She slept most of the time we were there. Ahhh, I remember those days, when the baby slept...

Here is Bogie, chomping down on snacks.

Mr. Land, Mr. Dunbar and Monkey

Baby Cate and her granparents

First time grandparents are always so giddy. Cate's grandparents come to watch her every tuesday night to give her tired parents a date night.
(Look at those rubberband arms!! Adorable.)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

No Spend July Update

NOT spending money is HAAARRRDDD!!! Spending money is easy.

This is has been a difficult month, mentally for me. I've been keeping a mental ledger of all of the things I would have spent, take Tuesday for example. We were running errands and where I would normally take the boys to Starbucks we had to decline, and then decline a playdate that I think would have cost us about $20 to $30, and then I don't normally even think twice about what I throw in the cart at Target as long as I come in under $75 or so. It has been an eyeopener, not being able to just toss this or that in. And I have cut WAY back since I've been staying home.

I went to Nordstrom to sign for my boots and the guy told me I could take them home and then he saw me eyeing a pair of black flats that were such a "good deal" and I had to regretfully decline. Never have I just said "No, I'm only here to pick up my boots, thanks." AGHHH!!!

But this isn't a pity party. I chose to do this. I am determined to finish it. I've got $22 bucks left and just over a week. This is the last leg and somehow I don't think it will be any easier, but I am super excited to see the results. I figured, in the most general sense, I will have cut back this month's budget by like $600.

Mr. Dunbar asked me if I was just going to go buy all of the things I didn't get in July in the month of August, I hadn't really thought of that. Hmmmm?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Pool Party

Over here in our neck of the woods, excuse me, in our neck of the desert it has been hitting triple digits. Saturday somewhere between 104 and 108 degrees and today between 106 and 110 degrees. Super hot!!!
Luckily we were invited to our friend's pool party. It was a just because party and a group of our friends were there with kids around the same ages as my little men, so everyone had a great time.

Monkey doing the Monkey Crawl around the pool.
They had a Taco Lady do the food. It was delicious, except everyone kept complaining the salsa was too hot! It's Mexican food people. Notice how Kim has two plates, she was really hungry.
This is what the pool looked like all day long.
This is what happens when you're trying to take a picture and hold a twenty pound chunk.
Baby Kayden spent a lot of time in the pool and then he was just all sunned out.
Bogie wanted to shoot that thing so bady.
Making a splash.
Trying to get little boys to both look at the camera is a challenge.

Thanks Salinas' Family! We had a great time.
What did you all do this weekend?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

All in a day's words, by Monkey

This morning, while playing club house on my bed, I draped the down comforter over both sitting boys. From the inside I hear "Mommy, put all the parts God gave you in here."
I smile to myself and ask Monkey, "What parts?"
"You know your tummy and legs and your face too."
"Oh, those parts, okay Monkey..."

A little while later, I am getting him something to drink.
He asks, "Would you like frosting?"
Huh? "No thank you"
Monkey continues to ramble "You know, the blue Gatorade is called Frost. I love frosting."
(Duh?!? )

While in the pool today.
"Mommy, do you know how to do the rocket ship?"
"No, Monkey. Only Daddy does that."
"Because he's a big strong daddy."
"Well aren't you a big strong Mommy?" (With the tone that a mother gives when saying "You can do anything you want if you set your mind to it.)
"I guess you're right, Monkey. I'll try."

What will this boy come up with next?

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Old and the Young

We've been spending a lot of time at my Grandma's recently as she needs care around the clock. It's amazing what young ones do for the old ones, how they renew the spirit and give others the desire to live.
Monkey has been off playing with his friends and cousin, while Bogie has decided my Grandma is his personal servant. She loves it and in the midst of chaos they are creating their own memories.
I once read a quote and I can't find it right now, but it talked about the greatness of society is not about how it treats its' young, but how it treats its' elderly.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

New Look

So how do you like the new look?

UPDATED: Somehow the rest of my post didn't show or was deleted or something...
I did not do this on my own. I'm more of the technically challenged girl yelling "HELP!" to my husband when I can't get the cord to go in the plug thingy in the computer. That's more of my style and patience. Anyhow, my sister-in-law had her blog redone by The Blog Fairy. So I ordered up some Fairy Dust about 6 weeks ago, and wha-laa!! Here you have it. The Blog Fairy is amazingly patient and helpful and totally affordable. If you want your blog redone let her know, she is fabulous, but she is way booked out. Kind of like your favorite hair stylist, so you have to wait for your her to grant your wishes, but it is totally worth it!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Didn't even realize...

Do you know how fast you spend money and don't even know it? I am a master of this...
After reveiwing my week I realized that I spent money at Disneyland on Monday, between Fastrack, one churro, and one sandwich I spent $18, so I am going to deduct that from my $77. Now I have $58. See, I spend money and don't even realize it. Especially with things like Fastrack because it just beeps in your car's little sensor and you never really give it a second thought. Atleast I don't.

So I am going to have to get creative on ways to stretch my money for this month. Hmmm... I'm not very good at this. Spending money is usually a gig I am really good at, just ask Mr. Dunbar.

Just a few more details of my perameters for my No Spend July.

  • All of our bills are paid. Mortgage, insurance,utilities, etc.etc.

  • My goals for groceries and gas are to try and reduce them as much as possible. I normally spend between $100 and $125 at the grocery store each week. I spent $40 at Trader Joe's on Sunday. My MIL took my men shopping last Friday and they came home with tons of stuff, so that totally helped out- and none of them even knew I was planning to do this. (God is so good. Hooray for MIL's!!!)

  • Gas will definitely be harder because we have to drive everywhere in our area, but I'll be at my grandma's house for the next few days and there ain't nowhere to go over there. So that should stretch out the need for more gasoline by a day or two.

  • I am going to try and use up as much stuff as we have. Like toothpaste, hair stuff, and cleaning supplies. I have this thing with constantly buying new tubes of toothpaste and bottles of cleaning supplies. It totally borders on OCD.
  • My $100 has to cover anything that I would normally just swipe my debit card or AMEX for. I read this article on saving versus stretching your money and right now I am trying to do both. Stretch it until the end of the month and then whatever I don't spend, actually save it in the boy's accounts.

So that's my plan.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

No Spend July

I have been contemplating the idea of having a "No Spend Month" for a while now. Actually, I thought perhaps a week or 15 days, but for some reason the month mark kept coming up. So towards the end of June, I thought, this is it July will be my month.

Now I haven't gone over the deep end like Small Notebook, only spending $250 for the entire month, including groceries. I like fruit too much in the summer. But I do give the girl credit, lots and lots of credit. Maybe if I decide to do this annually, I can work up to something like her. But this year for the Dunbar's we are taking small steps.

So there will be NO extras this month. No extra $5 this or $5 dollar that from Target. No clothes this month for myself or the Dunbar Men. No Starbucks. No getting hair done. (Such a killer, I'm due for a do next week.) No car washes. No eating out for lunch.

No extras.

But I do have to put one thing on the table, I ordered a pair of boots last month that will be charged to my credit card this month. It's the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale people. Deals like this only come once a year! The boots are already paid for, thank you very much Adam!

Now in the state of our economy I know that it seems like, hey you should have already done that. A lot of people have already done that and I have also. I have cut back- drastically from say three years ago, even from a year ago. But this month, I am not giving into the temptation. Week one is almost over and I have done great. Today was my first time to go to a store since the June 30th. And it was Target, of course, and I spent $23! Unheard of in the Dunbar home.

I've got $100 to last me until the end of the month. Well minus my $23 bucks from Target, so I guess I have $77 left.

Do you think I can do it? Could you?
Oh and whatever I save my dad will double for the boys savings accounts. Right, Dad?

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Fourth of July Letter and Prayer

Dear Soldiers, Wives of Soldiers, Sons and Daughters of Soldiers,
Thank you for protecting my freedom and that of my family. Thank you for your dedication, your sacrifice, and your commitment.
Most Sincerely,
The Dunbar's

Dear God,
Thanks for making me an American. May I use the freedom I have in You to show others your love through the freedom we take for granted.
Happy Birthday America!