Friday, March 16, 2018

Frugal Friday 236

Happy Frugal Friday!

Here is how we saved money/spent money wisely/made extra money:

- Mark worked one night at his part-time job and I hosted my Spring Open House with my Usborne Books & More business.

- Last Friday, we finally made it to the library. I have been staying away from playing there this winter since we've been sick and so many other have too. Now that we're past the worst of flu season we returned to play. The kids spent 90 minutes playing with all of the games and toys there. Then, Owen even agreed to go to the Hop and Bop class. He didn't love it but he did stay most of the time which is a first for Owen and library class. He also turned in his first 400 books from the "1,000 Books Before Kindergarten" I just started tracking late last fall  so we missed his first 2.5 years of books but I know we've easily read 1000+ books to him already and will read at least 1000 more before Kindergarten. He LOVES to read!

Owen was SO happy with his prizes! He earned stickers,
finger puppets, and PlayDoh! He LOVES the PlayDoh!

- Friday night Mark and Annabeth camped out in the living room. They love camping in our backyard but it was just too cold. I think Annabeth enjoyed the movie night and snacks with just Daddy.

- Saturday we spent the day at home working on projects. It was our first free Saturday in over a month and I got a ton of work done inside and Mark got a ton of work done in the garage.

- We ordered our favorite pizza (Greek's) for Sunday lunch with my parents. The kids and I enjoyed the leftovers for lunch on Monday. Yum!

- A few weeks ago I ordered through an online Thirty-One party and since I was the first order the consultant gave me a free tote. I was thinking it was a little tote but it came this week and it's actually a really good size, adorable bunny tote for spring! By far one of the best prizes I have won before!

How cute is this little bunny?

- I sold quite a bit of my Usborne and Kane Miller books through my open house and an online sale but I still had many left. While I enjoy having these on hand, I enjoy getting them out to little readers even more! Thursday the kids and I went out to the store and found some add on items to put with the books and I created two baskets for our church's Easter Basket Auction. The baskets will go through a silent auction Palm Sunday-Easter Sunday and all proceeds raise money for our church youth to go to summer camp.

Annabeth worked on the pink bunny basket to go with Are You There Little Bunny
and I made a dino themed basket to go with some dino books. 
I hope these are enjoyed by the families that win them at the auction!

- I do quite a bit of paying online through PayPal. In my e-mail this week, they sent me $2 to donate to a cause through PayPal. I selected my cause and was able to add their $2 to my donation. Thank you PayPal!

- I finally ordered our pictures from Halloween-Mark's Birthday. I took advantage of a free print offer from Shutterfly. Saved: $16.65

We had a great week! Annabeth had her three month check up following her eardrum-rupture from December and got the back to 100% notice from our doctor. We are so thankful that she is fully healed and not in need of future appointments! God is so good!

Happy Savings to All! 

Friday, March 9, 2018

Frugal Friday 235

Happy Frugal Friday!

Here is how we saved money/spent money wisely/made extra money this week:

- Annabeth and I stayed in a hotel last Friday night for dance. Although we splurged on the hotel (her report time was 6 am dressed and ready to go at a school one hour from home), we did take our own breakfast and snacks for dance on Saturday. We enjoyed Starbucks for free thanks to a giftcard from my birthday. We did spend $8 at the concession stand just because of how long we were at the school. Overall, we could have been more frugal but I was happy with how little we spent out of pocket for a long dance day away from home.

- Sunday morning I made the drive down to New Albany for a baptism. My best-friend's new baby was baptized into God's family and I was more than happy to wake up at 5 am as to not miss it! Mark and the kids stayed back and spent the day with Mark's family.

- Monday morning I did my "Big Closet Clean-Out" I do this twice a year, taking every clothing item out, and only putting back what I really think I will wear. I was able to get rid of 17 items. I will let my Mama and sister look through to take what they want and then I will donate the rest.

- I sold three items off the rack at our dance studio. Made: $15

- I sold three sets of kids clothes on Facebook. Made: $15

- I used two giftcards from Christmas/my birthday and did a bit of online shopping. I actually bought three items for myself and then used the rest to buy part of a wedding shower gift that we will give later this month. I spent just $.52 OOP.

- Tuesday afternoon, Owen and I took down all of our snow decor. I was happy to put out our cheery dragonfly flag and to look at pretty spring things. Much to my dismay we woke up Wednesday and Thursday morning to snow! Didn't the weather see my spring flag?!

- Annabeth and I played lots of games after school this week - Battleship, a few Shopkins games, and a fun Ballerina game as well. Mark and I also had a Battleship tournament on Tuesday night. We usually end up playing until both of us win at least one round of whatever game we are playing. I cannot wait until the kids are old enough to play tons of games as a family.

Snuggled up for movie night.
They love, love, love to just be together. 

We had a nice, low key week to play catch up from our busy weekend last week. We are looking forward to an Empty Day (!!!!) on the schedule tomorrow and my Usborne Books & More Spring Open House on Sunday!

Happy Savings to All!

Friday, March 2, 2018

Frugal Friday 234

Happy Frugal Friday!

Here is how we saved money/spent money wisely/made extra money last week:

- I had an online Usborne party and Mark worked shifts at both of his part time jobs and overtime at his regular job.

- We packed our lunches for Annabeth's dance competition last Saturday. We also did not buy anything from the concession stand. This was an added savings on top of the $140 we saved by being able to cancel our hotel room for the weekend.

- Sunday we celebrated Mark's and my birthdays with his family. We each got gifts that we love (tools and cigars for him and coffee and postage stamps for me) His parents also sent home tons of leftover dessert which we enjoyed all week! Thank you all!

- Annabeth had her first mini-4H meeting on Monday. This was a proud Mama moment for me as I did exploring 4H and then 10 years of 4H. She enjoyed an animal show from Silly Safari and was even brave enough to touch the snake at the end!

- We ended up modifying my Meal Plan quite a few times this week for simpler meals and came out three meals ahead! Next week's grocery trip will thank us.

- Wednesday morning the kids and I went an filled the March bulletins at church. Owen spent the whole time asking all of the helpers to sing with him and/or if they were doctors. Annabeth was much more helpful and did lots of folding for everyone. I love that homeschooling allows us to volunteer during the week and to spend time with different ages and groups of people.

- Last Saturday, when I went to turn on my computer, it would not work at all. Mark did some troubleshooting and found what part was broken. He was able to order it, have it shipped to the house, and have my computer back up and running by Wednesday evening for around $15. I was thankful to not have to repay a repair place or to have to completely replace my computer. I am SO thankful to be married to a man who can fix anything!

- A friend of mine is hosting an online Thirty One fundraiser for a woman with cancer. I was the first order in the party and won a free storage bin. I was able to get one (worth $22!) that I had been wanting for free! I was also more than happy to support this fundraiser and get a jump start on a birthday gift.

- Since our weekend is jam packed, we celebrated Mark's birthday last night. We made his choice of dinner, our family tradition is that the birthday person gets to pick all the meals for the day, which was party ham sandwiches and corn casserole. The kids and I made also made hime a homemade cake and birthday cards. Annabeth also found a fun little craft in her craft book and made him a fishtank decoration.

Owen chose the cake theme of strawberry cake with green frosting.
We frosted a strawberry on top instead of all green - that didn't sound so good to me.

Annabeth had fun getting out the birthday tablecloth and she enjoyed
decorating Mark's chair like a present. We also hung banners
and made him a special 30 themed list.
I LOVE birthdays and love being able to love on the birthday person!
I hope that Mark felt honored and special. 

We are looking forward to a crazy, busy weekend filled with birthdays, dance, and baptisms.

Happy Savings to All!

Friday, February 23, 2018

Frugal Friday 233

Happy Frugal Friday!

Here is how we saved money/spent money wisely/made extra money this week:

- The kids and I went to the dentist last week. We all had good check-ups and the kids had days worth of fun playing with the gloves and masks the dentist sent home.

Annabeth Riley, Child Dentist at Work

- Mark worked on night at his part time job and I had an Usborne Books party.

- We had Sunday lunch at Mark's parents house. They generously sent home leftovers which we had for Sunday dinner and Monday lunch. Thank you all!

- Mark had the day off on Monday and spent some one-on-one time with each of the kids and also had a good visit with a friend who is at the Masonic Home, recovering from surgery. Please, dear friends, pray for our friend Dave as he fights throat cancer.

- Mark spoke at a boy scout meeting earlier this year and they sent him the cutest thank you cards as well as a Steak and Shake gift-card. He took Annabeth out on a Daddy Daughter Date on Monday for dinner.

- Tuesday was BEAUTIFUL! It was over 70 degrees, sunny, and breezy! We spent most of the day outdoors and the kids loved being out back for hours. We are all ready for spring!

- I took advantage of the nice weather and cleaned out the garage a bit. I brought our spring sale totes inside and organized them. We ended up taking a bag of stuff to Goodwill. I also got all of our 150+ items entered into the computer and organized. We'll just have to tag at some point before April.

- We got our latest box. This box contained four samples: a shampoo/conditioner set, body scrub*, kids' snack bar*, and a coupon for a FREE box of hair color. I was very excited for the hair color as it's the brand I already use. *Items contained items that Annabeth is allergic to. We tried them carefully without her in the area* If you haven't signed up for PinchMe, you should - it's free and every month you qualify great samples come free to your door!

- Annabeth has a dance competition this weekend about an hour from home. The times worked out well and we won't have to be there until mid-day on Saturday and all of her dances are close together. We had reserved a hotel in case she danced over two days or very early in the morning. Since that didn't happen we were able to cancel the reservation, free of charge. Saved: $135

We are looking forward to a dance weekend and celebrating the life of a beautiful young woman who entered the Life Eternal last week. Please pray for the family of young Moyra and for peace for all those who love her.

Happy Savings to All!

Friday, February 16, 2018

Frugal Friday 232

Happy Frugal Friday!

Here is how we saved money/spent money wisely/made extra money this week:

- Last Friday, we hosted a little Valentine's Day Party for Annabeth and some school friends. We were able to use up a ton of stationary and sticker pages. This was a huge plus as we have tons of sticker pages with just a few left and I cannot get myself to recycle them until the stickers are all gone. The kids sweetly chose to make Valentine's for their cousins and parents. We also served sandwiches, salad, fruit/veggies, and pink frosted/heart sprinkled graham crackers. I have been doing a Pantry Challenge and was able to use up a lot of items with this meal. We were able to use up items, so we didn't have any waste, and our friends still had a great time.

 - We spent last weekend in Evansville and Owensboro to celebrate my 31st and Mark's 30th birthday with my family. My parents spoiled us with wonderful presents for the kitchen and each of our favorite desserts (Great American Cookie cookie-cake for me and ruhbarb pie for Mark). Saturday my dad and Mark had a day out with the kids - they went to the aiport, Gersthaus for lunch, and then out to my uncle's bowling alley. Mark and Annabeth also took some time out for a Daddy-Daughter date. I spent the day in Owensboro with my Mama and Momaw. It was the most special day to have them both all to myself and we enjoyed shopping and eating lunch at the country club. That time with them will be the best gift I get all year!

- Last year, my Momaw and Mama hit a great shoe sale and stocked up on shoes. It turns out that Momaw only ended up liking and wearing a few pairs. I lucked out, being the only one the same size as her, and came home with three brand new pairs of shoes!

- I planned our meals for the week carefully and we had dinner at home Friday before we drove to Evansville and I had a simple meal ready to cook quickly when we got in Sunday night. This saved us from stopping to eat out on the way down and/or back.

- Mark ended up working a surprise four hour shift at his part-time job Sunday evening.

- I enjoyed a FREE Starbucks drink as a birthday reward. I also enjoyed Starbucks for FREE again thanks to a birthday gift from my friend Nicole. Thank you! Saved:  $11.08!!

- I had a great birthday on Wednesday. I took the kids to a church storytime, had pizza lunch out with friends, watched a Hallmark movie, and took Annabeth to dance. After the kids went to bed, Mark went out and picked up Penn Station and we ate dinner at home, alone, and talked. It was the best birthday!

Valentine's Day/Birthday morning with my 
Favorite Little Valentines. 

We are looking forward a fun weekend filled with dance, scouts for Mark, and a birthday party for one of our favorite little girls on Sunday!

Happy Savings to All!

Friday, February 9, 2018

Frugal Friday 231

Happy Frugal Friday!

Here is how we saved money/spent money wisely/made extra money this week:

- Last Saturday, Mark and Annabeth went up north for a cousin's 1st birthday party. Owen was sick, I was getting sick, and so we stayed home. Mark and Annabeth had a great time seeing family we don't see very often - for example they were just meeting the birthday boy! I treasured a day home with just Owen. We read, played cars, and built with duplos. It was wonderful.

- Mark's parents treated us to superbowl subs. The boy scout troop that Mark helps lead sells these every year as a fundraiser. We enjoyed them for two meals over the weekend. Thank you all! :)

- We had a box of new books come from Usborne Books & More. Some were items from Annabeth's wishlist and others are for my Spring Open House. Annabeth LOVES the new Billy and the Mini Monsters series and read the whole first book in one night!

She loves these books!
She read while I cooked dinner and as soon as she was done eating
she asked to bring her book to the table. 

- I did our weekly grocery shopping and saved $17.50 with coupons. I also scored an awesome deal on fake eyelashes that Annabeth needs for dance - they were 55% off plus an extra 25% off that clearance price! Woohoo! I also took two items to return when I went so I had an extra $6.51 to spend.

- Since we had sick people, we stayed home on Sunday and enjoyed a family game day. Mark was called into work around 5 so the kids and I watched the Superbowl by ourselves. We prayed before the game for the players' safety and we stood and sang the anthem when it was played. It was nice to take the time to remind our children that above all else God should be honored and that, in my opinion, our country is beautiful and our anthem and flag represent a rich and vibrant history and thus deserve our respect.

- Sunday Mark finished his water heater project. He has slowly replaced all of the inside parts so we basically have a brand-new water heater except for the tank itself. We have saved over $800 by doing it this way! Owen is very interested in tools and helping right now so Mark put him to work.

Few things make me happier than watching Mark work with
our children, instilling in them valuable lifeskills.

- Mark worked one night at his part-time job.

- Yesterday, Annabeth I and I worked for over four hours on cleaning her room! We took every single thing out, sorted, and only put back things she really wants. We ended up with half a bag of trash (broken toys or things with missing pieces) and a whole tote of items for the Spring Sale. Owen enjoyed bossing us around. He kept saying "Yes. I am the parent. Pick up!"

We are looking forward to a weekend with my family and getting ready to celebrate my birthday next week! I cannot believe it's #31!

Happy Savings to All!

Friday, February 2, 2018

Frugal Friday 230

Happy Frugal Friday!

Here is how we spent money wisely/saved extra money/made extra money this week:

- I had one Usborne Book party.

- We had a low key weekend last weekend which was AMAZING! Saturday we enjoyed our nephew's 6th birthday party and then we spent the rest of the weekend working on little projects around the house and spending time as a family. Mark did take each of the kids out on a one-on-one trip with him. They all loved that and I loved having just one kid at home for a little bit each day.

- Wednesday the kids and I drove down to the Columbus area to play with our friends the Otte Family. We packed lunch and took them a whole bag of hand-me-downs from the Junk Exchange. We enjoyed touring their new house and seeing old friends!

- Wednesday evening Mark helped friends put up hay. They generously paid him for his help.

- I ran a Cards for a Cause Fundraiser through my Usborne Book business and helped two families earn $200 for their children's dance fees.

- Annabeth baked cookies for the dance moms at our studio. Many of us moms have been talking about doing special things for each other but just haven't done it. It was our pleasure to take treats for some of our favorite people.

- Last night Mark treated me to Starbucks while I had coffee out with a friend. She is someone I see often, but always with kids, and it was great to just talk without interruption.

We had a nice, low key school week and are looking forward to a busy weekend waiting for a new baby to arrive, filling the Weekend Meal Bags, celebrating a family birthday, and Sunday church and lunch with Mark's Family.

This is from a couple of weeks ago, 
but I just love how much they love to be together. 

Happy Savings to All!