Monday, June 30, 2014

Annabeth LOVES the Dentist

I have always enjoyed going to the dentist. I find it incredibly relaxing to lay back in the dentist chair for an hour and have my teeth cleaned while listening to easy-listening radio stations. Does that make me weird? Well, if it does, Annabeth is weird too because she also LOVES going to the dentist.

We have been taking her for check-ups since she was 18 months old so this past week was her 3rd dentist visit. Our dentist is so sweet and always sends us home with extra goodies. This time she provided Annabeth with "dentist goggles," a mask, and gloves. Annnabeth spent the whole rest of the afternoon playing dentist at home. Mark and I both got clean bills of oral health as well as most of her dolls and stuffed animals.

Dr. Annabeth S. Riley, Child Dentist 
(She used her star wand to poke and "clean" the teeth)

 Time for a check-up Ernie!
"Looks good! All clean!" she said. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Frugal Friday 45

Happy Frugal Friday!

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

- I took Annabeth to a FREE tot-art class at the library. The craft was homemade sidewalk chalk paint. Because the class was for ages 1-3 we didn't actually make the paint; we just played with it. They did provide the recipe to try at home and we may have to do so when we run out of normal chalk sticks.

She chose to paint with her favorite color, yellow.
Cute owl bow was a gift from Grandmama and purchased from Emma's Bows for a Cure

 Homemade Sidewalk Paint Recipe 

- I hosted a Premier Jewelry Party and earned $250 in FREE jewelry. I was able to order 6 pieces - 5 necklaces and 1 pair of earrings. I enjoyed a great evening with some sweet ladies and precious little ones. I love Premier because it is a Christian and debt free company and my amazing friend Brandi is my jewelry lady! :)

- Annabeth earned a Free Kids Meal coupon from Chilli's from our library's summer reading program. We enjoyed a dinner out and saved $4.99.

- We have (finally!) learned portion control and had leftovers from eating out. We enjoyed those for a quick lunch the next day.

- Every month I make at least one trip to Goodwill. This forces me to get rid of clothes we have outgrown or don't wear as well as items that we are not using. Some things are too worn or outdated to attempt to sell and so we simply donate them. This month we took a diaper box full of clothing from Annabeth and myself.

- I made/ordered a photo book of wedding week fun for Luke and Cassidy. Cassidy had a coupon for a FREE Shutterfly book so I just paid shipping! We are truly a frugal family - we give each other coupons to buy gifts for ourselves! Saved: $23.99

- We enjoyed a FREE swim day with our friend Jennifer and her boys. Annabeth has only been in a pool a few times over the past two summers and she LOVED it!

- We made a quick stop at the grocery to buy a picnic lunch. We had a coupon for $1 off 4 Gerber Snacks and the store was running a deal that if we bought 5 we would get $2 off a future purchase. We rang up the 5 with the $1 off coupon and then did a second transaction and paid just the tax for our two Lunchables which were 10/$10 this week! Saved: $3.00

- We enjoyed a picnic and FREE day at the new Greenwood Splash Park. Annabeth loved splashing in the water with her friends.

Water Baby. 

What free summer fun does your family enjoy?

Happy Savings to All!

"Buy Used and Save the Difference"

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Storytime with Annabeth

Annabeth has really gotten into pretending lately.

Usually she is teaching dance class to her dolls. I think all of our dolls have mastered the "Hokey Pokey" through hours of rehearsal.

Over the weekend, she decided to take a break from dance class and to have storytime like we go to at the library. She got out one of her favorite animals, Baby Kitty, and read all of her cat books to her. Perhaps we have a future teacher, librarian, or stay at home mama in training.

Reading "The Shy Little Kitten" to her Baby Kitty 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Frugal Friday 44

Happy Frugal Friday!

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

- We continued to enjoy the daises from Annabeth's dance luncheon as well as my bouquet from Luke and Cassidy's wedding.

The white and yellow are from Annabeth's dance luncheon
and the pinks are from Luke and Cassidy's wedding.
We love fresh flowers!  

- My parents brought up a table from Grandma's last weekend. We have put it in the dining room and placed a family photo, basket from Luke and Cassidy, and a cat from my cat collection on it. It makes for a beautiful addition to our home.

- I registered for the Fall 2014 Here We Grow Again - Indy South sale. I spent 30 minutes entering items and have already entered 61 items! The sale is not until the first weekend in October. I may have my biggest tote yet for this sale - Annabeth is growing so quickly!

- Annabeth has outgrown her white sandals - yes, the ones we just purchased for Easter. We drove down to the Stride Rite Outlet with our coupons to buy new ones. The store was also running a Buy One, Get One 50% off deal so I decided to purchase the next size of tennis shoes as well. By combining the 50% off offer + $10 off coupon + $5 off coupon we were able to save $50.00!

- We enjoyed a morning at the new Greenwood Splash Park. We met up with friends and enjoyed some FREE water fun.

- We also made a quick trip to the mall with Sarah, Bella, and friends. Sarah found a $3 Hello Kitty shirt for Annabeth. AB was really excited! :)

Most of our week we have just enjoyed being at home, in the quiet, just the two of us girls during the day. The past few weeks have been so busy and Annabeth has just really enjoyed having me all to herself. Our evenings have been spent reading, painting, and enjoying time with Daddy.

Happy Savings to All!

"Buy Used and Save the Difference!"

Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Busiest Four Days

We have just lived survived our busiest four days of this year! Whew!

- Mark mowed and trimmed the yard while I cleaned the inside of the house.
- I finished desserts for an afternoon event
- I took Annabeth to story time at the library
- We drove to Greenwood and got a nail in our tire. Mark took the car to the tire store for a patch
- I hosted a paint-your-own-pottery bachelorette party for Cassidy. We had a wonderful turnout of ladies from both families. My sister-in-law Jenn helped me organize everyone and made delicious cupcakes. Thank you!


 - We came home, made octopus shaped hot dogs for dinner for 9 people.
- Annabeth had dance class and Grandpa and Grandmama came along to see what she does at dance school
- We took Grandpa out for ice cream to have an early Father's Day celebration

Enjoying Orange Leaf and giving Grandpa homemade gifts

- We went home and I worked on cleaning and food preparations for Friday's luncheon

- We woke up finished meal preparation for that day's luncheon
- I got Annabeth dressed in her dance recital costume and she and I headed out before the others so we would make it for call-time
- Annabeth had her first dance recital. She danced to "The Hokey Pokey" and did a wonderful job! She really enjoyed the "put your backside in..." verse :) We were blessed to have lots of family come enjoy the show with us: Nana and PawPaw, Grandmama and Grandpa, Matt, Jenn, Kati, Elli, Nate, Rose, and SJ! She had quite the fan club!

The Riley Three
Our little "Hokey Pokey" girl!

- We came back to our house for a dance luncheon
- All of the little kids took a long nap, the adults cleaned the house, and I enjoyed a nice long visit with my best friend
- At 4:30 we met at Mt. Olive for Luke and Cassidy's Wedding Rehearsal and Dinner. We had a few good practices and enjoyed Qdoba and cake for dinner

The Happy Couple!
These were their cute rehearsal cakes - John Deere and Princess 

- THE wedding day! God really blessed us with beautiful weather - 80 degrees and sunny with a slight breeze. We ran right on schedule the whole day, the pictures went smoothly, and we enjoyed an afternoon of family fellowship leading up to the wedding service. At 4:30 we started the service and it was absolutely beautiful. It was so special to share in their marriage ceremony with Mark as one of the Best Men, me as the Matron of Honor, and Annabeth as a flower girl. It made me reflect on our own vows made more than 5 years ago and still kept today. Luke and Cassidy chose to have their reception at their church's shelter house. We enjoyed down home food, sweet speeches, corn hole, time on the playground, and even s'mores over a bonfire. It was simple and fun and so very perfect for a sweet, fun couple.

Our Generation of the Mrs. Riley Club
Mrs. Mark Riley, Mrs. Lukas Riley, and Mrs. Matthew Riley 

- Father's Day! We had given Mark his gifts on Friday evening so we just woke up and Mark enjoyed cuddling with Annabeth.

Happy Father's Day 2014

- We went to church at Mt. Olive with Luke and Cassidy.
- We headed to Nana and PawPaw's for lunch - we enjoyed rehearsal and wedding leftovers. Then we all crashed! Annabeth and I both took naps and the others enjoyed putting their feet up and watching tv. I think it was the first time in days that any of us relaxed!
- We went to Luke and Cassidy's and enjoyed watching them open their wedding gifts.
- Finally, we headed home and we let Mark choose dinner since it is Father's Day. He chose to order pizza in and to spend the evening, quietly, finally, as just the three of us.

We have had such a wonderful and busy few days. We thank and praise the Lord for our family and for all the time He gives us with them. Amen.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Frugal Friday 43

Happy Frugal Friday the 13th!

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

- We signed up for summer reading and received two coupons. We each got a buy one, get one free lunch coupon at a local pizza place. We will continue to earn coupons and prizes over the summer.

- Annabeth enjoyed a FREE Hop and Bop music and rhythm class at our public library.

- My brother-in-law and sister-in-law brought our birthday gifts from South Dakota. I received a new Thirty One coupon organizer stayed up late to organize my coupons! Thank you! Do you need a Thirty One Consultant? Contact my sister-in-law Jenn.

- Annabeth's cousins Kati and Elli brought her THREE bags of hand-me-downs. The girls are 18 months older than Annabeth so we have been blessed with lots of clothes from them! After Annabeth outgrows them, I sell them along with ours at consignment sales and send the money to Jenn. It's a great way for us to save money!

- Since the Indianapolis zoo has raised their prices, we nixed a Saturday trip there and went to Appleworks Farm which was FREE! We met up with Mark's parents and Matt, Jenn, and the kids and we all enjoyed the petting zoo, playground, maze, and nature hike. Some also chose to pick strawberries. Nana and PawPaw did treat the kids to a snack at the store but it was MUCH less than a trip to the zoo and even more fun!

A bit afraid of the goats at first! 
She did warm up to the animals eventually

The Riley Three

- I made homemade decorations for a luncheon to follow Annabeth's 1st dance recital. I printed a dance class collage using a Shutterfly coupon and painted a Dollar Tree frame using pink paint from her school table project. I also covered some mason jars with lace and ballerina fabric I had on hand to hold her flowers. Fun and free decorations that helped make a special day a bit more special!

The picture has the song lyrics
"And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance...I hope you dance!" 

Ballerina fabric and lace from Grandma Chico
I like having a little piece of her here today. 

- I ordered an outfit for Annabeth that I have been saving for months to purchase. I used a 20% off coupon to order it and that covered the cost of shipping + $2 off the items.

Happy Savings to All!

"Buy Used and Save the Difference!"

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Four Generations

Mark and I have been very blessed in our lives to have close relationships with our families.
We are hoping to instill the value of family and relationships in Annabeth.

This past Monday, Mark's parents had a cook-out as we have family in town for the wedding this weekend. We were surprised with a visit from Mark's Grandpa Ed, Annabeth's Great-Grandpa. We were able to click some generational pictures after dinner.

Four Generations of Rileys

 Four Generations + 2nd and 3rd Generation Wives

We are so happy to share time with Mark's Great-Grandpa Bob, Grandpa Ed, and my Momaw. We also enjoy sharing lots of stories and photos from the (great)grandparents who have already gone Home. 

Friday, June 6, 2014

Frugal Friday 42

Happy Frugal Friday!

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

- I had seen a neat idea for a front door greeting on pinterest and my friend Sarah had painted one on her front door so I have been wanting to do something similar. I was wandering at Dollar Tree and found a Welcome sign with sweet saying for our door. Pretty for just $1.

May all who enter as guests, leave as friends

- As we redid the school room we moved a wall decoration that we did not have room for anywhere else. I put it on our county's Facebook garage sale site. Made: $10

- Our family enjoyed the morning at Touch a Truck. For just $5 we were able to look at lots of trucks, tractors, and Annabeth's favorite the yellow school bus. The $5 raised money for Beats for Bristol - a group that provides support for families suffering the loss of an infant through miscarriage or infant death.

 Checking out the inside of Franklin Fire Truck 22

- We enjoyed Camp Lakeview's Open House on Sunday. We attended the church service in the morning and then enjoyed cookout lunch. Annabeth enjoyed the horse rides and playing on the tire playground. What a fun (FREE) day with old friends!

- Annabeth is now potty trained! WOOHOO! We are down to two diapers a day - one at nap time and one for bedtime! Praise the Lord!

- Even though she is potty trained I still want to have some swim diapers to meet the city pool requirements and to make sure we don't have any accidents in friends' and family members' pools. The only brand Annabeth can wear came in a package of 12/$12. Eep! While shopping for those I found a cloth version for $9.99. I used a $5 off coupon and so we can swim accident free all summer for $4.99 PLUS I can sell it when we are done! 

- Tuesday evening we helped Luke and Cassidy move apartments. (Their first one, which just Luke has been living in until the wedding, apparently had a very strong odor of smoke that they have not been able to get rid of) Mark's parents came and helped as well and brought dinner. They left all the dinner fixings so we split it between the two couples! We each have bread and lunch meat for the week now as well as some lunch meat, chips, and cookies for next week's pre-wedding events. Thank you Brian and Kristi!

- Annabeth and I cut Mark's hair at home. Saved: $12

We had a great week getting ready for the SD Riley's visit, Annabeth's dance recital, and Luke and Cassidy's Wedding. Just 8 days until they are married!

Happy Savings to All!

"Buy Used and Save the Difference!"

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Happy 50th Birthday Camp Lakeview!

Today we attended the Lakeview Ministries Open House which is extra special this year because camp is celebrating its 50th Birthday!

Mark and I both grew up at camp as campers, served as JCs, and then 8 years ago this week we met as first time summer staffers. Camp has played such a monumental role in our lives as Christians. We feel so thankful to our parents for making sacrifices to allow us to go as campers and volunteer JCs. We feel so thankful that we met at camp, grew our relationship at camp, were engaged at camp, and have continued to build upon the friendships that we made during our years at Lakeview.

Today, for the first time together, we were able to share Lakeview with Annabeth. Mark returns each year with his Boy Scout Troop for their winter camp and Annabeth and I often visit with our friends Sarah and Bella. We love being connected to a place that when we pull in the drive we always think/say, "We're home!"

Annabeth is quickly learning to love camp as well. She enjoys the devotional, and silly, songs as well as the tire playground. She loves hiking in the woods and visiting with friends. Most of all, Annabeth LOVES the horses. She was so excited to ride today and took two rides.

Ride #1 - Thunder the pony 

Ride #2 - Steve the REALLY big horse 

We are so thankful to have been part of the first 50 years of Camp Lakeview and we pray to be part of the next 50. We pray that this summer would be the best summer yet! We pray for beautiful weather, for safe fun, for a staff that is focused solely on sharing the Good News, and for campers to come with hearts open to hearing God's Word. Amen.