Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thanksgiving Weekend

We are back from our Thanksgiving Weekend away. I would say we are 50% unpacked and the second load (of many which I will finished tomorrow) of laundry is already in the dryer.

We had a wonderful weekend in Evansville/Owensboro with my family.

We drove down Wednesday evening after Mark got off work and headed straight to bed once we got in.

We woke up, watched some of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and then made the drive to Owensboro. We shared a turkey luncheon with three of my cousins and their families. We had five of my Momaw's six grandchildren and five of her six (soon to be seven in the next few weeks) great-grandchildren there which was wonderful.  After letting our lunch digest, and naps for a few, we headed back to Evansville for Thanksgiving with the Kuhn/Pitt family. My aunt, uncle, and cousins made a wonderful feast and we enjoyed watching the two little ones, Annabeth and her cousin Charlotte (16 mos) play. By next holiday season we will have more babies which we are all looking forward to :)

The Kids' Table at the Barnard's
Ava, Kaleb, James, Wyatt, and Annabeth 

Great Aunt Jackie and her girls.
They loved eating their Donut Bank cookies with her! 

Some of the ones from Owensboro came to Evansville to see my sister's new house. She is still in the renovation process but is getting closer to moving in. To avoid a long wait at a restaurant, seeing as it was Black Friday, LucyAnne and our cousin Jordan made a run to pick up lunch from Lic's Deli. Yum! We enjoyed an indoor picnic. Then, Mark and I were blessed with a date evening! We enjoyed a sushi dinner and made a few Christmas gift purchases at Target and Kohl's. I wouldn't really call it Black Friday shopping since they were items we had on our lists anyway. Grandmama and Grandpa took Annabeth out to Ritzy's Fantasy of Lights while we were out on our date.

Lu woke up feeling really sick so Dad took her to Immediate Care. Mama, Annabeth, and I enjoyed my cousin Hannah's baby shower. Her baby is due in January and we are looking forward to his or her arrival. Her twin brother and his wife also have a baby due that same week! What fun! After the shower, we all met up at Macy's to return some Christmas gifts that did not fit. Annabeth is now in a 4T in almost all brands! She is growing so quickly. Mama and Dad treated us all to dinner at Zuki Downtown which was wonderful. We headed home where Annabeth and the boys made a bonfire and Mama made homemade Dunkaroos. So good!

We enjoyed a lazy Sunday morning together. We read lots of books and Annabeth enjoyed playing "Captain Hook is coming. HIDE!" with anyone who would join her. We made our goal of leaving by 1:00 their time and were home in time to get settled in this evening before the work/school week begins tomorrow.

We pray you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving break as well! We are so thankful for you our readers!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Frugal Friday 67

Happy Frugal Friday!
Happy Thanksgiving Weekend!

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

- Saturday Annabeth and I went with my Mark's mom to the Sheridan Library Craft Bazzar. This is an event that he aunt helps put on and us girls have been going every year that Mark and I have been married. I reviewed my "to shop for" portion of my Christmas list before going and I did not find anything on my list while there. I managed to walk out the door for $0! This is difficult for me to do at craft shows because I love homemade goods! Annabeth received a baggie of winter toys and a homemade wooden car for FREE because "she is just so cute."

- On the way home, Kristi treated us to lunch at Chilli's. We were able to enjoy the leftovers for dinner that night.

- We decorated for Christmas on Sunday and took our annual Christmas card photo. While it is not usually easy, or very enjoyable, to take our own photos with a timer, it is much more affordable than paying for professional photos. Here are a few outtakes:

Nanners and Mama.
One of the best pictures we have together.  

This is the face she gives us when we say,
"Please, may we have just one nice smile."

- We bought Annabeth some kid smoothies that our friends the Gomez Family got her hooked on. She decided that she doesn't like the new strawberry flavor. We took the rest of the box to the Gomez Girls to enjoy instead of wasting them. Julia was SO happy!

We are so thankful for all of you dear readers! We pray you have had a blessed Thanksgiving.

Happy Savings to All!

"Buy Used and Save the Difference"

Monday, November 24, 2014

Christmas Card Photoshoot

Our tree and decorations went up yesterday afternoon.

A little early, yes, but the next few weeks are going to be hectic. I love all of our special Christmas decorations and I hated to not have them put up until the weekend of Dec. 13th. Also, as Annabeth is three this year, it is the first year that she seems to really understand all of the excitement that is coming.

This is the first year in two years that we have braved putting ornaments on the tree. When she was one and two, we simply decorated with candy canes because I feared our ornaments being broken. This year, she helped decorate, we have only hung paper, plastic, and wooden ornaments so hopefully we will not have any broken.

Once everything was on the tree, we caught her on the stool, just staring in amazement at our beautiful tree. I think Christmas is beautiful for most everyone but it is especially special when seen through the eyes of a child.

Our other Decorating Day tradition is to take our annual Christmas card photo in front of the tree. Here are some individual shots of Annabeth and an outtake of our family.

I love this face and was so happy that Mark captured it! 


"May we please have one nice smile?"
This what we get, every time.  

Annabeth: "Let's make the ghost face!"
She saw a ghost decoration around Halloween that looks
like this and she loves to make this face!

We are happy to be decorated and we are thrilled that we finally got a decent family photo but most of all we are anxiously awaiting Jesus' birthday! We cannot wait to remember and celebrate the birth of our King. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Frugal Friday 66

Happy Frugal Friday!

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

- I ordered my first "Clean Out" bag from ThredUp. I worked on cleaning out my closet and am looking forward to seeing out how much money I make. I will do a full post later with a full review of ThredUp but if you want to check it out now click here

- One of the items that Mark traded for last week was a new gun. It needed some work and instead of paying a gunsmith to work on it, he has been repairing it himself. For the tasks he wasn't sure about he used tutorials on the internet. He loves to repurpose and to repair items.

- With the weather turning very cold and snow in the air, we have been spending more and more time at home. Annabeth enjoyed making lots of art projects with items we had on hand including some fun hand print animal paintings.

The green hand print butterfly was a school project this week
(and yes it has a sad face)
The red owl was a Pinterest find.

- Annabeth developed her first canker sore this week. Instead of buying medicine we used a home remedy of applying baking soda to the sore. It seemed to relieve the pain quickly and made it go away within 24 hours..

- After about a week stuck at home due to sickness, I took Annabeth out to lunch at Pizza King Station. We can eat for under $10 with a tip there because of their awesome lunch specials! I was excited on this trip because somehow an order of chicken bites was run into our order on accident and they gave them to us for FREE! Mark enjoyed all of the leftovers later for a late lunch.

We have been enjoying lots of good books and games at home.

Happy Savings to All!

"Buy Used and Save the Difference!"

Monday, November 17, 2014

"This is SO much fun!"

"This is SO much fun!"

Annabeth has been chanting this all morning as we have been enjoying the first real snow of the season! We had some snow and sleet on Halloween but not enough to get out and really play in.

The snow started yesterday afternoon and Annabeth stood post at the back door waiting for there to be enough to play in. The ground must have been pretty warm because by dusk we still did not have much on the ground. When we woke up this morning though we had 2-3 inches - just enough for a three year old to play in!

She does not remember the 12+ inches that we had a couple of times last winter and thinks that this amount of snow is "stupendous!"

I held her off until about 9 this morning and then we headed out for an hour or so. Then she decided she was too cold and was ready to bake cookies. My mama, my sister, and I always baked cookies the first snow of the year growing up and I am more than happy to share this tradition with her.

She said her favorite pink ball "had" to come outside with us 

Her Sage flower in the snow 

Tasting the world and making snow angels 

Snow Girls.
School can wait until afternoon on snow days! :) 

She helped me set out the cookies 
We cheated with some Pillsbury cookie dough 

Happy Snow Day to All! 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Frugal Friday 65

Happy Frugal Friday!
Just three months until my birthday - for those also counting down! :)

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

- Annabeth and I shopped Kohl's to finish shopping for the kids in our family. I had a $10 off $25 purchase. I was able to get 1 book, 4 kids' clothing items, and 1 adult shirt for $17. Off original prices I saved: $80.20!

- I finished up two photo projects for Christmas gifts on Shutterfly. I used a Pampers Rewards Code and a Shutterfly website discount. I paid for both items + shipping for around $15. Saved: $50.37!!

- Mark made a huge batch of beans and cornbread for Sunday dinner. We decided to invited Luke and Cassidy over for dinner too. Cassidy came by when she got off work and took some to Luke for when he got off work. I love having her over - I am really blessed that Mark's brothers married such lovely ladies to be my sisters-in-law and friends!!

- We made Annabeth a rice tray to practice drawing her shapes and writing her letters. This week in homeschool I began really teaching handwriting beginning with the letter "A." We used a cookie sheet and rice we had on hand. I will bag and reuse the rice for the rest of the school year.

- Annabeth and I attended a Mommy and Me art class at The Art of Kira Studios taught by our friend Alysha. We had so much fun and made two really cute snowman crafts. I will enjoy decorating with them for years to come. The class did cost $15 but that covered supplies, snacks, and they cleaned-up so it was well worth it for an evening of fun!

Our finished snowman cans.
I let go of having the "perfect" craft and let her make her own. 

I love best-friend dates with Nanners. 

- Alysha and her two little ones invited us to lunch after gymnastics. We took advantage of Kids Eat Free at Chillis and saved: $4.99

- Mark traded two items (one at a store and one with a friend) for two new-to-him items that he had been wanting. We love to trade and barter!

 - Our homeschool group took a field trip to the Kid's Commons in Columbus, IN. For $3/child, the group enjoyed a class on Habitats as well as free reign of the museum after. It was great fun at a great price!

Exploring the museum.
I LOVE this outfit. :) 

- On the way home from Columbus, Annabeth and I stopped at the outlet mall because we had $15 in Stride Rite coupons. She has all of the shoes she needs right now (tennis shoes, church shoes, and boots) so I used the coupon to shop ahead a size in tennis shoes. She really wanted the Frozen shoes but they were $50+ AND she didn't even like the movie. Luckily the saleslady was giving out Frozen stickers so we took a free sticker and found aqua-purple tennis shoes that I told her looked just like Elsa and Anna shoes. She happily agreed to those. With our coupons and store sale we saved: $24.01

Total Saved: $149.57

We have had a busy, wonderful week! We are looking to a girls' day on Saturday while Mark heads out to hunt. We're praying for a deer to restock our freezer for the winter.

Happy Savings to All!

"Buy Used and Save the Difference"

Monday, November 10, 2014

Our "Taste Tested" Pinterest Board

Want to know what we have been baking and cooking lately?

Check out our Pinterest Board Taste Tested.

*These are all of the recipes that we liked. Any that I had pinned that we did not care for I do not pin on this board.

Happy baking and cooking! :)

Friday, November 7, 2014

Frugal Friday 64

Happy November Frugal Friday!

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

- We visited my family and I took a bag of clothes for my sister. She gave me two soup bowls and my Mama gave me a serving dish.

- Mark and Annabeth enjoyed Sunday afternoon at the lake with my dad. They did some fishing, went out on the boat, and Annabeth even kissed a fish! We love nature fun!

Yes she wears a life jacket on the dock!
Water safety is important! 

- I redeemed a giftcard from surveys and spent just $2.67 on a baby shower gift for later this month.

- We had an issue with our smoke detectors and needed to replace the batteries in all of them. Walgreens had the batteries we needed on sale for $3 off/pack + we had a $.50 coupon from the paper. Saved: $6.50

- I combined a store sale and a giftcard to get a $35 value birthday gift for FREE!!

- I did some consignment store shopping and found two pairs of pants and three shirts for just $25.

- We had a pound of apples leftover from an apple stamping project. We made 4 batches of apple bread. We had some for dinner and some we will shared some with friends who just had a new baby.

- I ordered Mark and Annabeth's ornaments from Etsy. I found shops that offered free shipping so I saved the price of shipping while supporting small businesses.

We hope you all had a good week and that you are keeping warm in the first cold week of November!

Happy Savings to All!

"Buy Used and Save the Difference!"