Archive | March, 2013

Frugal Things I Did Last Week

27 Mar
Eli has really enjoyed playing with legos lately.

Eli has really enjoyed playing with legos lately.

I think I was more active this past week than I have been in weeks.  I can’t believe last week was the first day of Spring.  It has been cold and snowy here.  I keep telling myself that eventually it must warm up right?  Either way here is my list from this past week:

I received the results from my free soil test from our local Extension office.  This will be our 2nd year gardening and our garden plot needed a good deal of lime as I suspected.  I took Eli with me to buy lime at the Feed Store where he got to see a bunch of baby chicks.  We spread the lime (over 200 pounds) and dreamed about our garden.

This past week was my birthday!  Hooray!  The hubby took me out to eat at Red Lobster one of my favorite restaurants.  We used a gift card to pay for our entire meal so it cost us nothing.

My husband needed to buy new running shoes this week which are expensive.  Since this is something you really do need to try on he purchased them at a local store in town but used a 15% coupon.  I’m always super proud when I can get him to use a coupon.  🙂

Instead of purchasing new piano music for Easter I dug through an old book of arrangements.  I found a lovely arrangement of Low in the Grave He Lay.  The ending was a bit challenging (5 flats) but I decided to work hard on it rather than buy new music which would have probably been $13.  It was good discipline to play a song with that many flats and will help me continue to improve my piano skills.

My mom gave me some celery, carrots, and lemons that someone had given her.

I received the book Raising Real Men by Hal and Melanie Young from InterLibrary Loan at our library this week rather than purchase it on amazon.  It was wonderful by the way!

I took my son to the dentist for a cleaning.  I’m counting this as frugal because we are fully utilizing our dental insurance benefits.  🙂  It also decreases the chance that my son will have to have expensive pediatric fillings which require him to be put to sleep at a young age.

Our family went swimming at our local gym where we have an inexpensive membership.  It was so fun to watch Eli splashing and trying to kick his feet.  It also felt wonderful to me.  My belly has popped out a little bit and it was hard not to rub it the entire time we were swimming.  Ha, ha! 🙂

I received a free Dentastix in the mail for the dog.  I also received baby safety latches in the mail which we will put to good use when our baby comes.  We moved into our current home when my son was almost 2 so we will need to install latches on some of our cabinets.

My mother-in-law sent some clothes for Eli that she had purchased at a consignment sale.

I cut my husband and son’s hair which saved us $30.  For the first time Elijah was really squirmy and honestly I did a bad job.  Thankfully Eli’s Mamaw fixed it! 🙂

What frugal activities did you do this past week? 

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Frugal Things I Did Last Week

21 Mar

 

I opened the fridge and found a basketball.  Silly little boy!

I opened the fridge and found a basketball. Silly little boy!

 

We are super excited about a new little one joining our family this fall but wow is it ever taking all of my energy to grow this baby and a healthy placenta!  🙂  This week hasn’t been as frugal as most since I am having a hard time cooking but I am trying to cook as much as possible. 

We re-arranged our budget to allow more money for healthcare expenses since we are expecting a baby!  🙂  Currently we have doubled the amount of money that is put towards copays and deductibles.  This summer we will probably change it again as we anticipate a lot of expenses and bills before and after our baby comes.

The hubby & I went on a fun date to Cracker Barrel.  Recently I haven’t been very hungry most of the time (I’m expecting) so I was happy to see that I could order a Kids Meal at Cracker Barrel.  It was just the right amount of food and even included a drink.  After eating we played a roaring game of checkers by the fire.  🙂  I’m quite certain it was the first game of checkers I have ever finished at Cracker Barrel.  We both enjoyed it so much!

Together with my mom, sister, brother, & hubby  we built a float bed to grow plants in.  It is heated which allows us to get a great jump-start on growing our own plants from seed therefore saving lots of money.  🙂  With food prices increasing every year both my parents and I plan to have large gardens this year.

I planted about five different varieties of peppers and two varieties of cabbage in float trays on Thursday.  I grew peppers last year but I was disappointed by the yield that I received.  Hopefully this year will be much better!  We really enjoy eating peppers and I have found that many canning recipes call for them.  I haven’t grown cabbage in the past so the cabbage is entirely experimental.  We shall see!

I received some hand me downs from my mom.  I am hoping to turn two of the shirts into a Ruched Maternity Shirt in the next week or so.

I purchased a turtleneck for Eli for next year, a pair of maternity shorts, and a dozen canning jars at the thrift store.  The maternity shorts were really big on me but I will probably grow into them.  🙂  If they do end up baggy I will just use them for working in the garden.  In all my years of thrift store shopping I have NEVER found canning jars so I was super excited.  I don’t have a dishwasher so I will be sending them to my mom’s house to be washed.

I went out-of-town one night to visit family (& see my cousin in a play) with my son, sister, and Grandma.  We got to the hotel early on purpose so that we would have time to go swimming.  My Grandma even got to watch Eli swim which I think was really special for her.  We made sure to take advantage of the free continental breakfast and unlimited hot beverages.  🙂

What frugal activities did you do last week? 

 

 

 

Frugal Things I Did Last Week

13 Mar
My sister & I had a great time hiking at Natural Bridge!

My sister & I had a great time hiking at Natural Bridge!

It was a busy week as usual for our family but one full of fun and blessings!  

We had some friends over from church who have been visiting the past couple of months in an attempt to get to know them better.  I made a roast in the CrockPot which was very simple.  I also served Strawberry Yogurt Cake for dessert.

I went on a road trip with my sister to look at a college a couple of hours away.  On the way back we stopped at Natural Bridge to hike which was lots of fun.  It was also free and the perfect way to add some fun to our trip.  🙂  The hubby and I went there a couple of years ago on our first overnight without Eli.  I would also recommend it for a couple’s getaway.

The weather was gorgeous on Saturday so  we headed to the local environmental center in our county.  We spent a couple of hours walking along the nature trails and had a lovely time.  Eli ended up getting stuck in the mud and fell right on his behind.  We all had a good laugh about it!

I took Eli to “FlowerBuds” at our local extension office which was lots of fun.  They have storytime, eat a snack, and spend time learning about growing things.  This week they planted seeds in a raised bed.  My little guy planted about 3 in his row before he just flung the rest of them on the ground.  🙂  The teacher should have known better than to give a 3-year-old lettuce seeds!

I called about a health insurance matter where something had been incorrectly billed last year.  Hopefully it should be fixed within the next month.  I ALWAYS keep all of our EOB and compare them to any bill that comes in the mail which saves us tons of money!

A sweet woman at church handed me a handful of cards that she thought I might be able to use.  I love to send cards and those will be perfect!

I drove my Saturn car all week instead of the van.  It gets excellent gas mileage.  We are saving up to have some van repairs done in the next month.

I received a couple free magazines in the mail including a horse magazine I will give to my little sister.

What frugal things did you do last week? 

 

 

Frugal Things I Did Last Week

6 Mar
This past week Eli and I made a Birdseed Wreath.

This past week Eli and I made a Birdseed Wreath.

This week I was surprised to see how my frugal ways are rubbing off on Elijah.  🙂  I had a coupon (which could be doubled at Meijer) for a fun kids yogurt (that I don’t usually purchase).  When I got to the yogurt without thinking I said, “Oh no it’s not on sale.”  Eli looked at me and said, “It’s okay mom.  We’ll come back tomorrow when it’s on sale and buy it.”  Really?  I laughed so hard.  

As you can see in the picture above Eli and I made a Birdseed Wreath this past week.  It was lots of fun to make and so much cheaper than one from the store.  Our birds absolutely love it!  I had the birdseed on hand from a craft project we never did last year so it really cost nothing!  We have seen all sorts of different birds since we put it up.  I think it would even make a nice gift to give to someone.  🙂

I combined a bunch of errands together to save money on gas one day.

We picked up books & movies from the library.

I took part in a study and earned $50!  That will go towards our vacation fund.  We have a separate checking account set up for our vacation fund.  Since we have debit cards for this account we can use those on our vacation.  We have had a lot of unexpected expenses lately but I am hoping we can save up enough to go on a short vacation this year probably in May.

I used our new carpet cleaner to clean the rug in the bathroom after little man had a bad accident.  If you have young children I think it is a wonderful idea to have your own carpet cleaner.

I received 3 free tea bags in the mail and a couple of magazines.  Eli also received a free Lego magazine which he enjoyed looking at.

I haven’t felt much like cooking breakfast lately so I whipped up a bunch of Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins.  We enjoyed them for breakfast most of the week and for quick snacks.  I served them alongside fruit and hard-boiled eggs.

I finished recording all of our deductions and getting all of our tax information together.  Although it is a major pain we keep track of just about EVERYTHING which saves us a ton of money on our taxes.  🙂

What frugal activities did you do last week?  

February Reads

5 Mar
I spent lots of time reading this past month.

I spent lots of time reading this past month.

 

I took a nice break from sewing for most of the month and focused my attention on reading.  

Miracle for Jen by Linda Barrick.  This is the incredible story of 15-year-old Jennifer Barrick who was hit by a drunk driver along with her family.  She was in a coma for five weeks while her mother (the author) pleaded with God to heal her of her severe brain trauma.  As Jen slept she rested in God’s presence and was forever changed when she woke up.  I don’t read a lot of books like this one but I found it incredibly encouraging.  What an awesome reminder of how mighty God is!  I highly recommend this one.  Please note that I did receive a free copy of this book from Tyndale in exchange for my review.

Mommy Time by Sarah Arthur.  As a relatively new mom (my son is only 3) and someone who just found out they are expecting again (hooray) I was really excited to read this book.  It was written as a devotional for new moms to read during the first couple months of being a mother.  It wasn’t a bad book but it didn’t strike me as very devotional after reading it.  There is a Bible passage on each page but the words that Arthur wrote after that don’t have that much to do with the Bible verse.  Honestly I just felt like the book was pretty shallow.  I vividly still remember the first couple months of being a new mom.  I didn’t need someone’s opinions and stories from being a mom as my “devotion for the day.” What I needed was the Gospel-just give me Jesus!  I needed to soak my teeth into the Scriptures even if it was only for a few minutes and be refreshed.  Being a new mother is tough and this book sure didn’t cut it for me.  A big disappointment.  During my first year of being a mom I wrote a blog post entitled “Creative Ways to Spend More Time With God.”  One of the biggest changes for me personally when I became a new mom was not having all of this wonderful time to spend as much time as I wanted reading my Bible.  Please note I did receive an advanced reader copy in exchange for my review.

Faithmapping by Daniel Montgomery & Mike Cosper:   I was pretty excited to read this book since the authors were both pastors at the church where my husband attended (Sojourn Community Church in Louisville, KY) before we got married.  Isn’t that neat?  I found myself forcing myself to only read one chapter most days so that I could really soak up what the chapter had to say to me personally.  It was so good that it was hard to put down.  I loved how the authors brought together many different aspects of Christianity together in a way that few books have done.  I found this book’s emphasis on the Gospel, the Church, and the World so helpful.  It is incredibly solid theologically and yet very practical.  I would recommend it to all Christians.  Please note I did receive a complimentary copy of this book from Crossway in exchange for my review.


Raising Baby Green by Alan Greene: As a somewhat crunchy mama (I love breastfeeding, cloth diapers, attachment parenting, & whole foods) I was incredibly disappointed by this book.  I felt like there was a huge disconnect with this book.  The author is clearly not in the real world.  I would love to only dress my children in organic clothing but that just isn’t going to happen.  We do our part for the environment by purchasing most of our clothing used, cloth diapering almost exclusively, cooking from scratch, raising a garden, breastfeeding, and many other things.  If you aren’t in the real world and have an unlimited budget this is probably a great book for you.  I however thought it was really lame.

Carrots Love Tomatoes: Secrets of Companion Planting for Successful Gardening by Louise Riotte: I’ve been interested in companion planting for a while and decided February was the perfect time to learn all about it.  (Companion planting means that some plants grow better when they are planted next to certain plants.)  The book itself is actually more of a dictionary where you can look up a specific plant and then read about what it grows best with.  I skimmed the book and took notes on all of the plants I plan on planting this year.  I plan on putting into practice a lot of the book’s advice in my garden this summer so we shall see.  🙂

More than Petticoats: Remarkable Kentucky Women by Mimi O’Malley: As a native Kentuckian I found this book about incredible Kentucky women fascinating.  Having taken Kentucky history as a history major in college and having lived in Kentucky my entire life I was semi-familiar with many of the women in this book.  It was wonderful to get to read a short biography of each one.  Some of them were absolutely fascinating including Mary Breckinridge who founded the first midwifery service in Kentucky.  It just so happens that it is located in my college roommate’s hometown.  🙂  Overall a pretty neat book and a gem to find at my local library.

Did you read any great books this past month? 

Eli’s Big Announcement

2 Mar
Elijah is SO excited!

Elijah is SO excited!

Words really cannot express just how excited we are to share that we are expecting another little Emerson this fall!  Truly children are a blessing from the Lord and we are so excited.  We are actually due in October so I’ll probably be referring to our baby as “Our Little Pumpkin.”  🙂

It was so fun to tell Elijah because he had been asking for a baby.  I told him if he wanted a baby that he needed to pray for one.  He prayed for a baby all the time.  Isn’t that the sweetest thing?  He prayed numerous times everyday that God would send our family a baby and then God did!  I really hope that Eli remembers praying for a baby and then God answering his prayers!  1 Samuel 1:27 is taking on a whole new meaning in our household: “For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to Him.”

I’m still in my first trimester but I am feeling okay.  I’m slightly nauseated but nothing serious like when I was expecting Elijah.  I had extreme morning sickness for months and months.  So far I don’t feel much like eating and all I want to do is sleep but I can handle that!    This pregnancy feels very different from my last.  When I was pregnant with Elijah I was a newlywed and still in school full-time!  Now the hubby and I have been married for four years, we have a three-year old, and I am blessed to be able to stay at home with my family.  It’s nice to no longer be in school full-time while pregnant but I do have a VERY energetic little boy.  Thankfully we have gotten into a nice routine where Eli is taking a nice nap in the afternoon so that I can rest or sleep for a while.  I’m not able to take a nap everyday but just laying down to rest has been very helpful.  The hubby is taking super good care of me and even washing some dishes.  🙂

Was there a time in your child’s life when they prayed for something and then God answered their prayer?