Friday, May 30, 2014

It's a BOY!

He's here!!!!

Trace Emory

Born 5/28/14
1:21 am
7 pounds 7 ounces
20 and 1/2 inches

Mama and baby are doing just wonderful!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Finances on Friday!

 Each week I'm trying to link up over at Renaissance so I can share and keep track of what I did that was frugal for the week!

Here's how this week went..........

  • On Saturday, our local Christian book store had most of their stuff marked down 20 percent for homeschool weekend. My daughter was invited to a birthday party and so were were able to get a gift and tissue paper and a bag for for less than the original price of the gift.
  • Also, I splurged from the homeschool budget and got a small Betty Lukens bible felt set. I've been wanting one for at least three years now and always talk myself out of it. I asked David, and of course, he said to get it. So I did. It cost me $63 with the 20 percent off at the same store. I'm still trying to justify it in my mind.
  • Filled up David's van with gas at Sam's and saved 6 cents a gallon.
  • Made a batch of laundry soap.
  • Our local community has a homeschool book benevolence where local homeschoolers and teachers can take what they need FOR FREE and donate it back when they are done. A lady keeps it organized as her ministry. It's like a big yard sale with only homeschool curriculum and you don't have to pay for it. It's like a little slice of heaven! I could spend hours browsing. Hours. I really didn't want to bring to much stuff back home this time since I just donated a ton of stuff last month, so I took a reusable shopping bag and limited myself. I found some file folder games books, and a few other odds and ends that I'll use when I start planning out next year's lessons later on this summer. I didn't get through the geography section while I was there, so I need to go back and see what I can find for that.
  • Bailey wanted to play go fish, so I cut up a piece of paper into squares for her and she made her own cards. It's been fun playing with her.
  • Went out with David for a date night at the dollar theater, because he really wanted to see Lone Survivor. He waited a long time until it came to the dollar theater.  I didn't have motion sickness this time, so I actually got to watch the movie. Yay! 
And here's where I wasn't frugal........
  • Put off getting gas in my van so that I couldn't make it to Sam's to save 6 cents a gallon. :(
  • Didn't fix David's lunch twice this week so he needed to eat out. He didn't complain, but my budget did.
  • I've been keeping the AC turned down especially at night because I just can't sleep if it's warm. I hope this big old pregnant belly won't destroy my electric bill budget.
  • Went to dinner last night with my book club at Los Cabos. We only go out once a quarter which really isn't that bad. I made lamingtons for everyone since, the setting of the half of the book was in Australia and they mentioned eating those. We made them for our Australia study last year for home school. It's basically sponge cake squares (I used angel food) covered in chocolate icing and coconut. Very yummy. I had a mahi taco, a shrimp taco and a seafood enchilada for dinner. It was yummy as well!
And as for the "Use It Up" challenge?

Last week I mostly used everything I had up, so I can't even think of a single thing that I used up. Which is good, I guess?

Well, I have three weeks until my due date of June 13. And, I'm always late, so most likely it will be at least four weeks. I'm just not sure I'm ready yet. It's going by so fast and, probably like every time, I feel like I have a ton of stuff to do by then.

Here are a few of my goals to finish before baby......

  • Make the diaper bag from the discount fabric I got a few weeks ago
  • Find some more discount fabric to make the crib skirt and then make the crib skirt.
  • Get a plastic dresser from walmart to put the baby's things in. We have forgone dressers for the kids a long time ago and use shelves and baskets for clothes, but back when I had Bailey, David bought me a plastic dresser and it worked so well, that I've used it for every baby since. Right now, I have that dresser holding the three youngest kids clothes and it's in my bedroom so I can keep better track of their things. But, I'll have to get another for the new baby, because there's no more room in the other one.
  • Some things that I want to get in the freezer: at least a week's worth of meals, and 2 batches of granola bars, protein bars, and banana chocolate chip muffins for breakfasts. I also want to make up some pancake mix ahead of time and stick it into baggies for a few easier breakfasts.
  • Have the kids get a few things ready to plant in one of the raised garden beds.
  • Finish home school next week. Except for one child who will have to do his work over the summer to get caught up.
  • Settle on baby names.
  • Get bag to take to the hospital packed.
  • Wash the newborn things to go into the plastic dresser.
Don't forget to link up over at Renaissance and share your frugal story!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Park

Bethany has been asking to go to the park for a few weeks now before it gets blazing hot, and the kids have been sick for a few weeks with different things. So this week everyone is feeling better and despite the fact that we really needed the day to home school since we are trying to finish by next week, I decided to take the kids to the park.

The kids are smiling and enjoying themselves. In the pictures. But really, there was plenty of whining and griping. I'm not really sure why. Maybe being cooped up sick for weeks has taken a toll on everyone.

Brennan was more interested in finding and kissing babies and trying to steal their snacks than playing on the playground.

Some kids complained of a headache. Then they wanted to go down to the drainage ditch to look for tadpoles. But, Brennan wanted to go, too, and it's on sort of a steep cliff, so it was difficult trying to keep her from falling down.

I was exhausted by the time we left, since everything I do now is gauged on how much walking will be involved. But, I guess when all was said and done everyone got a little fresh air and I got some good pictures.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Getting Stuff Done

As I have mentioned before, this pregnancy I've been suffering from serious lack of motivation. (I think that means I'm having a boy....)

Well, anyway, I normally am a driven, make-a-list, and get stuff done kind of person. So, today I actually accomplished a lot- well, a lot for how it's been lately- and I was quite impressed with myself.

Today I had my 36 week check-up even though I will be 37 weeks on Friday.

Goodness, do I look pregnant.

I never know what to do with my hands in pictures.

Then, I went to the store to pick up a few essentials like angel food cake and cocoa. (It's for something special I'm making tomorrow night for book club.)

I picked Tyler up from work.

I did science with the kids. I let them do an artsy bean mosaic since we are covering plants from my Five Kingdoms science rotation.

I must really be motivated because there was glue involved. And an entire bag of beans.

I made a batch of laundry soap and washed five loads of clothes.

I made dinner. Enough said.

I scrubbed the backsplash and wall beside the stove.

I typed this blog post.

I still need to sort the loads of laundry and make David's lunch for tomorrow, so those are my two goals for this evening.

I sure hope this productive streak doesn't come to an abrupt end!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Monday Musings: Spleen Edition

Last week during the stomach virus/puke fest........

Travis (3): "Mom, can I have some of that juice, because my spleen hurts."

Friday, May 16, 2014

Finances on Friday

I'm linking up again over at Renaissance for Finances on Friday!

Well, for the last week David and the six youngest kids have had some sort of stomach virus and headache. At least I nor the four oldest have gotten sick, but some of the younger ones felt better for a day then relapsed. So, I don't know that things were really all that frugal this week. As a matter of fact all that is on my brain is pregnancy, so I can't even think of pursuing anything other than what I'm already doing.

I really wanted a garden this year, but since we thought we might be moving (which turns out God shut that door and we are totally at peace with that, so we are looking into some other options) and so we didn't plant anything or get anything ready to plant anything. But, I guess it turns out for the best in the long run as I really already have my hands full and especially with a new baby I don't want to be going crazy trying to garden.

All of the kids and I have enough clothes, shoes, socks, etc. right now, so thankfully no more will need to be spent on that kind of stuff at the moment. I will probably just need to get a few summer outfits for the new baby. So, all set there.

Maintenance and repairs on both vans are done so HOPEFULLY nothing goes wrong and our 13 year old vehicles continue to run well, we are all set there as well.

Those are our two biggest expenses outside of rent and food.

Anyway, this week I............

  • Filled up with gas at Sam's and saved 5 cents a gallon.
  • Went thrift shopping with Brittany on Sunday afternoon and found three shrugs/cover-ups/what do you call thems? I have several maternity and nursing tank tops that I'll be wearing and I don't like to go with bare shoulders so I needed a light something to go over them. I found a black one at Ross for $7. It had a small hole in the bottom (barely noticeable) but they took an extra 10 percent off. I also found two more at Goodwill- a blue one that is more of a shrug, and a purple one that is a little longer- $4.50 a piece.
  • Used my store card at Walgreen's for the sale price on a few gatorades for the upset tummies.
  • Sold quite a few books for the Currclick Mother's Day sale. They were all discounted 70%, but it added up.
  • Found Brittany a satchel purse on sale for 50% off on the Thirty One website. She wanted one for her missions trip this summer.
  • Made sure the kids used their cups and plates this week, and it worked for the most part-we saved having to wash a lot of extra loads of dishes.
A Dinner Plate Dilemma....

All of our dinner plates have been broken. (Are we the only family where EVERYTHING breakable and some things thought to be unbreakable are utterly destroyed?) I was looking around at yard sales the other weekend for some cheap dishes and didn't find any.

Well, actually I thought I saw a box of plates at the youth yard sale when we were helping set up, but I had to leave early to pick David up from work and I couldn't find them. A friend set them aside for me, and when I dropped the kids off the next morning to work the sale, our youth pastor said he was going to sell them for $40, but would let me have them for $20 if I wanted them. It turns out they are fine china. I really didn't want to pay $20 for a few plates and I didn't want fine china since I couldn't microwave them or put them in the dishwasher, so I told him no. He said if they didn't sell, he'd just give them to me. They didn't sell.

My sister in law was out looking around that morning, too and she said she'd keep an eye out for dishes. She found some and set them aside for me at the church. She wouldn't let me pay her for them, either. On Saturday, after the sale was over Timothy brought out this set of Christmas dishes and said the youth pastor set them aside for me. I told him I didn't think so, that the other box with the China was what was set aside. He went back in and got the China and we left. I forgot to get the dishes my sister in law had left for me.

Tuesday Brittany brought home the dishes that my sister in law had gotten for me.

They were the Christmas dishes. I wasn't sure what I was going to do, because I don't know if I can't eat off of Christmas dishes unless it is, in fact, Christmas time. And I don't want to use the China because I already have a set of china that I don't use because you have to have to hand wash. So, I debated for over a week on whether I was going to just go to the dollar store and get a few plates or should I just use the Christmas dishes or china and not spend any money.

So. I decided to use the Christmas dishes. I don't know if I will want to break out into choruses of "Jingle Bells" during dinner or watch "It's a Wonderful Life". We'll see.

And for the "Use it up challenge"........

  • Found some random things in the freezer and used them (not all in the same meal though): 3 fish fillets, 1/2 bag of spinach, some chopped onion and bananas.
  • Used a few free address labels that came in the mail for some bills I needed to mail
  • Cut a few old file folders into squares to make flash cards for one child's Awana verses
Don't forget and link up over at Renaissance and share your financial stories!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Well, nothing says Happy Mother's Day like cleaning up from a puke fest.

For about the last five days or so everyone has slowly succumbed to some sort of stomach bug. Yesterday I had to stay home with most of the kids. David was going to go, but he felt bad, too, so Brittany just ended up taking Timothy, Bethany and Brooke to church.

David had grilled out steaks for us on Saturday (per my request-he makes a delicious grilled steak with garlic butter) and hot dogs for the kids (who would rather have hot dogs than steak). He went ahead and grilled up some hamburgers, too, that I put away for Sunday so I wouldn't have to cook.

Bethany and Brooke made coupon books for me, and Brooke had found a cute owl and teddy bear at the yard sale last week that she gave to me early because she couldn't stand to wait until yesterday. Very sweet.

Thomas wasn't feeling well at all, but after he realized it was mother's day, he made me the cutest little home made card.

David had slept late and was feeling good enough to take care of the kids while Brittany and I went out and did a little shopping. I literally shopped til I about dropped. I didn't buy much, it was just the walking. This baby is making it difficult.

So, except for the fact that the family didn't feel well, I still had a good day.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Finances on Friday!

It's time for Finances on Friday!

I think most of my frugal efforts this week fall under the "use it up" challenge. So.....I'll list that first.

  • First of all, I really need to start using up the elk we have in our freezer. I took an "elk break" when I got pregnant, because if I eat something when I'm pregnant and it doesn't sit well, I don't ever want to eat it again. Ever. Since we have a freezer of elk from a friend, I didn't want to take that chance. It seems like when I mix it with a little ground beef, we can barely taste the difference. But I think overall, we have decided we just aren't big "game" fans.
  • I took dinner to a friend using chicken I had in the freezer and a big plastic platter and lid I had set aside for just such a purpose. Although, I did by a box cake mix so I could whip up some dessert since I'm out of flour and sugar.
  • Which leads me to the next point......I've been out of flour and sugar for over a week. But, I'm going to stock up on staples (well, and pretty much everything) tomorrow since we have literally almost used everything up. 
  • Brooke made some cookies last night using a half bag of leftover mini chocolate chips, only brown sugar, some coconut flour I had left over and some margarine we had left from when her dairy-free friend spent the night. She followed the recipe, but with those adjustments and they actually turned out really yummy.
  • I have a really tasty sloppy joe recipe that I like to make. It calls for a big can of crushed tomatoes, but all I had was a small can of tomato sauce. It also calls for, I think, 3/4 cup ketchup but I only had about two tablespoons. So, I used the one can of sauce and added a little water to the ketchup. The sandwiches turned out just fine. Not perfect, but good.
  • Tonight's dinner will be the last beef roast I have in the freezer and the last of a bag of potatoes I'll make mashed potatoes with.

And, as far as other frugal efforts go..............

  • I always like to go out to the city wide yard sale that happens to fall on the same day as the youth yard sale for our church. (Well, really I would like to go out every weekend, but that wouldn't be budget friendly, even if I did find lots of great stuff. And, since we want to move at some point in the near future I don't want to bring too much stuff back into the house at this point. ) It seemed like this year there were quite a few sales, but a lot of junk. I know many people think that every yard sale is junk, but this really was. I didn't find much, but then again, I really didn't have a big list of stuff I was specifically looking for. I did however find some melamine character plates, bowls and cups for the younger kids. My thought was they could leave them on the counter to reuse all day and then we wouldn't be washing sixty loads of dishes a day. And, they were a quarter a piece.
          I also found a water/sand table for $5. I still have that one we got from you, Marsha, :) before we
          moved, so between the both of those I think the little kids can stay busy this summer.
          I found just a few more things, but I'm saving them for another post.
  • I used a Walgreen's coupon code for a free photo enlargement. I got the one of David and me from Easter.
  • I used a coupon for a free order of chips and queso from the mexican place right down the street. This time I didn't bring a soda home to spill all over the floor.
Don't forget to link up over at Renaissance for Finances on Friday!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Just a post other than finances on friday...........

Well, this weekend I was worn out. I have been on a push to get homeschooling finished because I always like to be done by the end of May anyway, but especially this year because I'm due with the baby in the middle of June, and I want to get some other things done before then.

And, on Friday night we helped set up for the big youth yard/bake/carwash sale to raise money for their summer missions trip they always go on. This year they are headed to Tennessee to help do some grounds upkeep for a camp there that also has a home for troubled youth. Guess how much they raised......$3000!

Saturday morning I took the younger kids around to some yard sales with me, since the older five were helping with the youth sale. By 10:30 I had to come home and take a nap. (I'll post my "finds" another time.)

Then, Sunday morning I was in the nursery all morning. By Sunday afternoon I had NO energy. AT ALL.

I think partly because of how busy the weekend was, but also partly because I was fighting off some sort of sickness that left David with severe bronchitis last week. I never get bronchitis, but I could tell it was some sort of cold. I think the no energy was a product of that. But, by Tuesday morning I felt a lot better.

The pregnancy is going well so far. I had an appointment last week and everything is just perfect. I'm so thankful. Except for the fact that this baby is so low I can barely walk.

So, I was telling David that I think this is a boy because of how low it is, how unmotivated to do anything I am, and the heart rate has been 142. He was like, "Yeeeahhh....that sounds like a boy?" lol! I guess we'll see.........

Friday, May 2, 2014

Finances on Friday!

It's time again for Finances on Friday! So, I'm linking up over at Renaissance.

I didn't post last week because I was pretty busy and this pregnancy I've been suffering from serious lack of motivation.

But none the less, I did manage to do a few frugal things......

  • found some beef and french bread loaves marked down at the store. I'll stick those in the freezer. The bread is good to make toasted sandwiches for the kids' lunch or just some bread and butter with dinner. It fills up tummies.
  • I got some cute owl fabric on clearance for the diaper bag I'm planning on making. Now to find a pattern on clearance......
  • We were the recipients of a HUGE tub of spaghetti sauce leftover from the midweek meal at our church. For the next several days everyone kept asking, "Is there any of that spaghetti left?" For some reason whenever I make spaghetti sauce no one ever keeps asking about
  • used a $10 off a $20 purchase coupon at Kmart from shop your way points so I was able to stock up on some pull ups and shampoo and things.
  • Walgreens was offering 40% off of announcements/cards, so I took the pictures that I was finally able to get of all of us from Easter and I got 20 cards for $10 to send to family and friends.
  • Used a 15% off coupon for shoes for my son.
And what was NOT frugal this week..........

I had a coupon for a free taco from a mexican place down the street and since David had wanted a soda I went ahead and used the taco coupon for me and just paid for a soda for him. Well, as soon as I walked in the front door I dropped the soda all over the living room floor. A large soda. At least we have wooden floors. So, he went back out and had to get another soda. Darned pregnancy hands.

The shoes I originally had gotten for my son the other week online ended up being "medium" instead of regular. No where online did it say they were medium. So I had to ship them back which cost me $8 (!!!) which I would did not get reimbursed for. So aggravating!

Anyway, Rebecca at Renaissance is challenging us this month to "use it up", so I'm accepting the challenge.

What did I "use up" today?

-I went ahead and made pancakes from scratch, even though I didn't want to (remember that lack of motivation thing I mentioned?), and I'm out of white sugar, so I just used a little brown sugar which tasted fine and smelled great. I also used a few miniature chocolate chips I had left over to sprinkle on top.
-On the menu for tonight: steak strips (found marked down), brown rice I have on hand and broccoli florets I have in the freezer.

Don't forget to link up and share your frugal efforts! And, don't forget the "use it up" challenge!

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