Friday, August 29, 2014

Frugal Friday 54

Happy Frugal Friday!

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

- We enjoyed leftovers from our Sunday Brunch for Monday Breakfast. Annabeth especially enjoyed the bacon and pancakes.

- I finished my order of cards for Great Beginnings. I had fun making the baby boy and twin cards that they requested. I made 20 cards in all.

- Our favorite yogurts were 10/$10 this week. I also snagged an online coupon for $1 off 10. Saved: $3.50

- We spent just $24 on our groceries for the week. With a toddler, some things have to be purchased weekly - milk and fresh fruits and veggies. I try to keep trips to a minimum but we also want well rounded meals.

- After Tuesday Night Dinner, Mark's family sent us home with leftovers of hotdogs and baked beans. We ate them again with fruit for Wednesday lunch.

- Last week, I joined the IAHE website (Indiana Association of Home Educators) for free updates on homeschool happenings and legal updates for Indiana. I also subscribed to their free magazine and teacher/student ID cards.

- Annabeth and I enjoyed a $1 Starbucks date thanks to a giftcard we earned through Kellogg's Family Rewards.

 Little Bit and her favorite treat - A Birthday Cake Pop

Date with my girl!

- We are now 11 months away from a vacation so we have begun making lots of little choices to save money that will add up in the end. Annabeth and I stayed home most days this week. When we did go out, we combined trips to save on gas and enjoyed free fun at the library and park.

For the sake of honesty, we did not have a frugal weekend last weekend:

- We enjoyed a date night at "A Night With Duck Dynasty" but the gymnasium was SO hot that we ended up paying $3 for a bottled water during intermission. I try not to make impulse purchases but it felt like a necessity as it was extremely hot that evening.

- We ate dinner out on Saturday night and breakfast on Sunday morning. We did not have a date night in July so hopefully we still kept Date Costs even.

We hope you all had a great week! :)

Happy Savings to All!

"Buy Used and Save the Difference"

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Duck Dynasty Date Weekend!

As part of Mark's Father's Day gift, Annabeth and I surprised him with tickets to A Night with Duck Dynasty. The actual event was last night.

Yesterday afternoon, I ran an errand and Mark took Annabeth up to his parents to drop her off for the night. She was SO excited to spend the night with them!  Then, Mark and I drove down to Columbus and had dinner at a fairly new Irish restaurant. Then we headed to Columbus North High School for the event.

It was a wonderful evening with a warm-up act of a band out of Portland, OR. Their first few songs were rock covers but they transition to Christian music with the whole audience seemed to enjoy more. We enjoyed listening to stories about faith and family from Korie, Willie, Al, and the hilarious Uncle Si. We laughed a lot and considered it such a blessing to be in a room with 7,000 people who cheered the most conservative, family centered statements that were made. It was wonderful to pray at the end with the Robertsons and 7,000 fellow believers. 

Sunday morning we enjoyed SLEEPING IN! We slept until 10:00, something I don't think we have done since we had Annabeth. We headed out to breakfast at a place Mark has been wanting to take me and we ran into our sweet friends Walter and Nancy so we asked them to join us for breakfast. Nancy is the nurse that I worked for in the jail. She was one of my first friends here and has been such a wonderful example of a Godly woman. It was wonderful to fellowship with them.

Around 1:00 Sunday, Mark's parents brought Annabeth home and we couldn't have been happier. We were so glad to see our girl! What a wonderful weekend. 

A Night with Duck Dynasty Program

Al, Si, Korie, and Willie

 Date Night with my Handsome Husband
I love you Mark!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Frugal Friday 53

Happy Frugal Friday!

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

- We took two trash bags and one box of things to Goodwill. The bags were filled with toys that Annabeth has outgrown or simply doesn't play with. We have done this each year before her birthday and it helps keep out the clutter. I also cleaned out a few kitchen cabinets and got rid of cups that we were not using. I was able to fill a whole diaper box with those!

- I used a $15 credit on Zulily to buy Annabeth a new dress. I was able to buy the dress and pay for most of the shipping with the credit. I only spent $.94!
If you'd like to shop Zulily and help our family earn more credits shop here:

- We shopped for a friend's baby shower. The registry had four coupons on the last page. We were not buying any of those items so I cut them out and left them with each of the items in the store. I hope someone found them and needed them.

- After checking out, we asked the cashier to give us back the registry pages. We will use them as scrap paper at our house.

- I made cards to sell at Great Beginnings - a breastfeeding support store at Deaconess Women's Hospital in Evansville. I have been making and selling cards there since before Annabeth was born.

- By waiting until the week that OnStar expired in the new car, I was able to save $30 off our yearly fee. As I am a new customer, and paying by check, they gave me a FREE month. Thanks for the tip Mama! :)

- We have had alot of FREE entertainment as a builder is building a new house on the furthest empty lot to the east of us. Annabeth LOVES watching all of the machinery.

Although we are sad the building is coming our way,
we sure are having fun watching the big trucks. 

- We had our first meeting with our new homeschool group! We are so excited to be working with these new families who also love learning at home.

We had a wonderful week, even with the heat and lots of rain. We hope you have had a wonderful week as well!

Happy Savings to All!

"Buy Used and Save the Difference!"

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Our New Homeschool Group

We are excited to announce that we have joined a new homeschool group that is forming in our area for families schooling preschoolers at home.

We had our first "meeting" today at a local park and had picnic lunches, play time on the playground, and even a little birthday celebration for a 2nd birthday.

All four of us mamas met at library story time but a recent homeschool social led us all together. There are six boys and four girls. Each of the other families have a set of twins and a single and then it's Annabeth and myself.

Although I have other homeschooling friends, many of the groups in our area are quite a drive from our house and to keep costs and drive-time down I have been really praying for something close to home. I was so excited to hear that these mamas want the same type of group and are also Dave Ramsey families! We all were very open with what we feel comfortable doing and how much per child we consider a reasonable amount to spend on an outing and it sounds like we are all on similar budgets. That was also a relief as we live on one income we live on much less than most of our friends and family and we sometimes have to say "no" to activities and long drives to visit others. It was nice to hear that these will be friends it will be okay to say, "We can't this week. Maybe at a later time."

While we were at the park, an expecting mama and her three children came along. She said, "Oh. Do you homeschool? We are going to pull our two older children out of preschool and we are looking into homeschooling." She is an army wife, moves often, and while they are looking at moving again within the next year they decided it might be a good time to school the children at home so the move won't be such a transition in that way. It was a neat thing to see God's hand in putting the right people in the right place at the right time as originally we were going to meet yesterday but moved it to today due to weather. God is good.

All of our families are schooling in different ways but all with the same goals: to allow our children the freedom to play and move both indoors and out as they fall in love with learning.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Frugal Friday 52

Happy Frugal Friday!

Happy One Year Anniversary to our Frugal Friday Readers!

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

- Annabeth and I shopped at our library's book sale. Children's books were $.25 each. We picked out 4 and got them FREE with a coupon from the Summer Reading Program. They had a slim selection so we passed along the rest of our coupons to other shoppers.

- We walked to a garage sale and found: 1 Christmas dress, 1 play dress, leggings, shorts, and a shirt for $3. It was a great deal as the fancy Christmas dress would have been at least $30 at the store!

- My family brought books, cds, and dvds from their library's book sale. My sister combined her library employee discount and an additional discount she received for working the sale to find us some great items for very little. Thank you!

- Our grocery FINALLY gave us Catalina Coupons at the checkout for items that we actually buy! In the past we have gotten coupons for many products but few that we purchased. I was excited to get $15 in coupons for items we will need to buy in the next 6-8 weeks.

- I purchased items from H & M for Annabeth for this fall/winter and a Christmas gift. I took advantage of a Buy 2, Get 1 Free deal on dresses that we love.

- We hosted a family dinner at our house. I planned the menu based on what we already had on hand so we just had to buy a few items at the store. We served lasagna, salad, homemade bread, and a berry trifle. Yum!

- Annabeth's Shape of The Week in Homeschool is the square. Wednesday was square day so we had square foods on a square plate for lunch.

- We went to Stride Rite and were able to find Annabeth some fancy princess winter boots for 60% off. The purchase, under $20, bumped us up to another $10 Rewards coupon from them. I also did their brief online survey for another $5 coupon. We'll save $15 next time we shop for shoes! :)

We hope that you all have had a great YEAR saving money as well!
Thank  you to all of our readers for reading, commenting, and encouraging us as we strive to be good stewards of what the Lord has given us. We pray that you will be encouraged to be the same.

Happy Savings to All!

"Buy Used and Save the Difference"

Sunday, August 10, 2014

A Bed and Breakfast Review: 2 Sisters

This past weekend my Mama, Lu, and I took a girls' trip to Madison, IN.

We booked a room at the NEW 2 Sisters Bed and Breakfast on Second Street.

We were warmly welcomed by the 2 sisters themselves - Madonna and Mary. They were friendly ladies who made us feel right at home. We were happy and surprised to learn that they are from our hometown, Evansville. We all had fun seeing where we had all lived and people we had in common.

As the B&B is new, they opened July 4th weekend, they are currently running with just two guest suites open so there were only two other guests. We had actually taken a tour with them earlier in the afternoon so we were happy to get to know them better.

The suite we stayed in had three rooms and a hallway.

The first room was a nice sized room with its own closet. Two large windows helped the sunny yellow room to feel bright and airy. It had a bed to sleep two.

The second room was a little nook with a twin sized bed and closet. LucyAnne enjoyed having her own space down the hall.

Our bathroom was very interestingly decorated. It was copper and black themed. It was fun to have for a weekend but I don't think any of us would decorate with that particular style.

Our room opened onto our own porch. It was wonderful to sit outside on Sunday morning and to watch the town wake up.

In true B&B fashion, we settled right into friendships with the other guests and took each other on tours of our rooms. Their room was a beautiful blue and yellow themed suite. It had a large bed room, an equally large sitting room, and a nice sized bathroom.

The main floor of the B&B had a lovely parlor that the sisters supplied with books and magazines, a formal dining room, and a kitchen. We loved visiting with our hostesses as well as the other guests in these spaces.

The three of us girls in the parlor
Without planning we all had packed similar colored bottoms

For breakfast we enjoyed an apple french toast bake, bacon, muffins, and fresh fruit. The ladies also provided an array of coffee and fresh juice. It was wonderful and we were pleased to learn that they had accommodated all of the guests' special dietary needs.

We had a wonderful stay at 2 Sisters. We enjoyed the small group setting as well as delicious food. We were very happy to have hostesses who were friendly and well versed about the history of the building as well as knowledgeable about the area. They were able, and more than happy, to answer all of our questions. We were also happen to learn that they accept reservations far in advance and, unlike many B&Bs in the area, they DO allow children.

I would highly recommend 2 Sisters because of:
- The lovely sisters who own and run it
- The affordable cost of each of the spacious suites
- The wonderful snacks and meals that were provided
- The fact that they welcome children

For more information on 2 Sisters find them on Facebook or on their website.

To contact them directly for questions or reservations:
812-265-5528 or

*This review contains my own opinions and observations. I was not compensated by 2 Sisters for this review nor did I receive any special services during my stay*

Friday, August 8, 2014

Frugal Friday 51

Happy Frugal Friday!

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

- Annabeth attended a FREE Hop and Bop dance class at the library

- We shopped a Kmart sale for shoes for Annabeth for next summer. We will give them to her as a Christmas gift. By combining a sale and Shop Your Way Rewards points we got them for nearly free!

- Our friends the Campbell Family brought some art supplies and coloring books over for Annabeth. Thank you for thinking of us as you cleaned out things at your house! Annabeth loves everything!

- We had friends over for a playdate and were able to share some coupons from our newspaper. We also gave them some fun worksheets for their 2 year old to work on.

- Target was running a special on Lunchables. We usually just buy these as a special treat or if we are going to picnic somewhere but I thought they might be a good first week of school treat. They were Buy 5, Get 5 Free. Saved: $7.95

- I took things to sell at Once Upon a Child this week. I was able to sell enough to get 3 of my 5 items I purchased for FREE!

- We spent most of the week at home and ate our meals at home. We are really enjoying the end of summer weather!

Last Friday Mark found a baby bunny in our yard.
We all enjoyed watching it for a bit before it ran away

We hope you all have had wonderful weeks as well!

Happy Savings to All!

"Buy Used and Save the Difference"

Monday, August 4, 2014

First Day of Three-Year-Old Preschool

Happy Back to School!
It is Annabeth's first day of three-year-old preschool!

We began our school year last night with Family School.
On Sundays, we will be introducing the Bible focus of our week. We will read, this year from a children's Bible, the story of the week and introduce our memory verse. We will also spend special time in prayer as a family specifically focused on home education and our family.

I love this fun chalkboard with inspiring words/quotes on the frame
and words from the greatest book on the board. 

We began school this morning with a focus on Genesis 1:1 and with our spelling and phonics. I, so far, am very happy with the curriculum that we chose to use. I have found it very easy to lesson plan with and it seems pretty flexible if we have a lesson that goes quickly or too slowly that I can adjust the rest of the week easily.

Our school week will be MWF mornings from approx 9-12 am. We ask friends and family to hold non-emergency phone calls and texts during these hours. Thank you!

First Day of Three-Year-Old Preschool Picture
(by our little tree out front, a first/last day of school tradition)
Cute dress from Grandmama-Mimi

School Survey
Some answers are the same as the last day of two-year-old preschool 
and there are some new ones as well!

What do we hope Annabeth learns?
- More phonics and letter patterns as she begins to read
- A more firm grasp on correct counting and math concepts
- Self-control and self-discipline to complete tasks
- 40 of the most powerful, incredible occurrences in history through our 40 weeks of Bible lessons
- May she grow more and more in love with the Lord

As we begin this school year, I pray that the Lord would give me the ability to help Annabeth learn and that she would desire to learn. I pray that we find ways to grow as a family of faith. I pray that the Lord would guide our family in ALL aspects of our lives and that we will seek to joyfully serve Him and His people all the days of our lives. Amen.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Frugal Friday 50

Happy Frugal Friday!

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

- We ate dinner out and got Annabeth's kid's meal for free with a $3 off coupon.

- I found gifts on Zulily for my nieces Kati and Elli for Christmas. The next day, I found something I wanted to order for Annabeth and Bella. I ordered AB and Bella's items through Mark's e-mail. By using a referral code on that order, through his e-mail, I will get a $15 credit on my Zulily account. A bit sneaky but they let me do it! Made: $15

- It was the last week of the dance season so Annabeth and I made homemade Thank You cards for her teachers Miss Laurel and Miss Holly.

- Kellogg's Family Rewards sent me a FREE 8x8 Shutterfly Book! I had been wanting to scrapbook her first dance season and decided to use this free book for that. Here is her book. Saved: $29.99

- We spent Tuesday at Mrs. Curl and at Old City Park in Greenwood. We love eating at Mrs. Curl because it is local and VERY affordable. (We had two corn dogs and two orders of fries for $7) We also love playing at different parks each week. Thank you for the invite Cindy!

Making friends with a duck at Mrs. Curl

Annabeth, Miss Cindy, and friends feeding the ducks with fish food

- Some of my Kellogg's Family Rewards were set to expire so I redeemed them for a $5 Starbucks giftcard.

- Mark worked three shifts at his part time security job this week. He took advantage of a 12 hour weekend shift (weekend pay!) and a friend offered up 6 hours of one of his shifts.

We have been enjoying our last week of summer!

Happy Savings to All!

"Buy Used and Save the Difference"