Sunday, March 29, 2015

Hosanna! Palm Sunday

Happy Palm Sunday!

"The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Hosanna in the highest heaven!" - Matthew 21:9

Annabeth walked "by my own self" for the first
time during the Palm Processional today at church.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Frugal Friday 84

Happy Frugal Friday!

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

- I colored my hair at home for around $3 after coupons!

- We took a giant bag to Goodwill. I am nesting in full force and lots of things are leaving our house!

- A coworker gave Mark a boat motor for free. He took it down to my parents last weekend to use at the lake.

- Dad shared a giftcard with us. We are looking forward to purchasing some hobby items for free. Thank you!

- Sunday night, after we all got home from Evansville, Mark made a quick trip to the grocery for fresh items. He also picked up nighttime diapers for Annabeth but forgot to use the coupon I sent. Annabeth and I returned the diapers on Monday (we were going to the store anyway to purchase a birthday gift) and bought another pack using the coupon. Usually I am not quite so concerned but this was a high dollar coupon that expires before we will need to purchase another pack.

- Mark worked two nights at a part time job.

- Annabeth and I drove to visit my best friend. We used to go out to lunch and shopping but now that we have three kids under three and under and one on the way we've settled into play dates at each other's houses. Rose made lunch and us girls brought dessert from home.

Big Sister Annabeth and her cookie bars. 

- I found the cutest little church outfit for Owen at Kohl's on the clearance rack. Saved: $34.20 (90% Savings!)

- I sold a formal outfit of Annabeth's on a Facebook Garage Sale page. Money from sales like this go to her dance/gymnastics fees. Made: $30

- Some of our cereal boxes came with codes for Outnumber Hunger. We were able to enter a code and donate 5 meals to Gleaner's Food Bank of Indiana.

We had a good week and are more than ready for warm, sunny weather to be here to stay!

Happy Savings to All!

"Buy Used and Save the Difference"

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Generational Maternity Shirts

While I was expecting Annabeth in 2011, my Mama surprised me on a trip home with a photo session in shirts that both she and her mother wore while expecting. It was such a special experience and they are some of my favorite pictures.

25 Weeks with Annabeth.
Modeling one of Momaw's maternity shirts.
She wore this while expecting my Uncle Lance and my Mama. 

 25 Weeks with Annabeth.
Modeling one of Mama's maternity shirts.
She wore this while expecting me and LucyAnne.

We went home this weekend for Mama's birthday and we got the shirts out again. I was excited to have both Momaw and Mama there so they could be in our pictures.

29 Weeks with Owen. 
Modeling Momaw's shirt with four generations of lovely ladies. 
Momaw shared that she purchased this shirt to wear to a New Year's Eve Party.

29 Weeks with Owen.
Modeling Mama's shirt.
She was a elementary school teacher in the 80's. Can you tell?

I am so thankful that they saved these shirts and that I've had the opportunity to model them with each of my kids. The memory keeper is happy! :) 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Frugal Friday 83

Happy Frugal Friday!

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

- I ordered a Mother's Day gift for Mark's mom this week because it was 50% off! Saved: $15

- My Momaw (my Mama's Mama) gave Annabeth a subscription to High Five - a magazine from the Highlights series for Christmas. This is a great gift because Annabeth loves to get mail and to read it each month. She especially enjoys the mazes and puzzles.

Reading her latest issue of High Five 

- Friday night our washer stopped mid-cycle and began beeping. This was the third time in a year that we've had a draining issue but thankfully a repairman who came last time taught us how to fix it ourselves. Mark drained and took apart the washer. He found a ripped off shirt sleeve clogging the drain. Washer is fixed (for FREE!) but we are one shirt sleeve down in Annabeth's closet.

- About a month ago we put in our new fridge with water filter. I can FINALLY drink our own water and we do not have to buy gallons of water at the store. Our tap water gives me horrible stomach aches so we have been buying water since we lived at our old house. We will save $10-$15 a month by not having to buy water at the store!

- I hit a 9 month milestone with Pampers Rewards and earned another reward. I ordered 300 additional pampers rewards. Soon I will have enough for another free photo book! While I don't enjoy buying diapers, I hope to print Owen's pregnancy journal for free using Pampers Rewards.

- We have had an issue with our plastic spatulas and spoons melting as we cook. We are not sure if it is due to age or just wear and tear but Mark decided to get some new bamboo ones this week. We used a coupon and got 6 new utensils for just $.99 at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

- Getting ready for church became a fashion show Sunday morning as Annabeth has outgrown MORE of her clothing. I entered some items for the spring sale and organized others into the winter sale tote.

- We enjoyed the warm weather this weekend by taking trike rides, taking walks, and having our first dinner of the year outside.

- Monday I washed and put up 9 month - 3T clothing for Owen given to us by our friends the Sherry Family. I have been feeling the need to "nest" a bit but we have not brought his dresser up from my parents yet. Beginning his "Grow Into" tote made my brain feel more organized.

- Our friends the Jones family gave us a tote of 24 month clothes for Owen. I washed and organized them on Wednesday. Thank you so much!

- My Mama messaged and said a friend from work was in need of some 3T girl clothing. I had just taken a big box to our neighbors but I found what we had left and will take it to them. We also had Annabeth choose one book and one toy to share with this little girl. She chose a ladybug book and a suitcase. We were proud of her generosity to give something big instead of a little, dinky toy.

We had a good week of school and Annabeth even wrote a musical about our Bible story. It featured a song: "Lazarus died and Jesus got him out of his death cave" An instant classic!

Happy Savings to All!

"Buy Used and Save the Difference" 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Big Sister Love

Mark and I were taking our 28 Week Picture today, a few days late, and Annabeth ran in to kiss Owen.

I love this picture so much. She loves to snuggle him and to kiss him. I never dreamed how much the three of us could come to love another person. Thank you Lord for Owen Merit.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Frugal Friday 82

Happy Frugal Friday!

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

- We opted to stay at home for our Babymoon since I have not been feeling well enough to travel or do too much. We enjoyed browsing, without buying, antique stores. We also ate Penn Station subs and Dairy Queen sundaes since they are not Anna-Safe and we do not usually get to eat them.

- Saturday evening we discussed going to a movie but there really was not one that we wanted to see so we stayed home and rented one OnDemand. Saved $15+ from going to the movie theater.

- We did our grocery shopping for the week. One of the items we purchased came with a "Save $2 on your next order" coupon. I checked those items out first and then Mark used $4 in those coupons on our big order. We saved nearly $30 on our grocery bill overall!

- We spent Sunday afternoon, as it was sunny and nearly 50 degrees, out at a empty church parking lot nearby. Annabeth had a lot of fun riding her new trike and eating snacks.

 Trike Woman! She would ride all day if we let her. 

- After my friend Sarah pinned this Frozen Hot Chocolate we HAD to try it! We used ingredients we had on hand, which means we used half the chocolate chips and fat free milk, but we ended up with a healthier version of a really, really yummy treat!

- I trimmed Annabeth's hair at home and saved the cost of a salon cut.

- We purchased Owen's baby book and a baby shower gift at Babies R Us. Some of the items on the registry were Buy One, Get One 40% off so we purchased two items with that deal. Then I added a $10 off coupon as well. Saved: $15

- Mark worked two nights at his part time jobs. He also worked late teaching a class one evening.

We LOVE that by Wednesday we had 60 degree, sunny weather. Thank you Lord!

Happy Savings to All!

"Buy Used and Save the Difference"

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Etsy Find: Owen's Baby Blanket

I have been following, via Facebook, the Gardner Quad Squad and in January the family posted pictures of their four girls in the sweetest baby blankets, stamped with each girl's name. I fell in love! I was so excited when Ashley posted that a Utah based Etsy shop had sent the blankets as a gift for the girls but also had them for sale in their Etsy store.

February 9 we found out that Owen was coming and the first thing I ordered online (that night!) was a personalized, hand-stamped blanket from Kat and Stiina on Etsy. Here is a link to the blanket that I ordered. They have so many beautiful products so here is a link to their Etsy Shop Home.

I knew that Mark's mom would crochet a blanket for Owen, my friend Sarah had already started knitting a blanket, and that my mama had already started on a baby quilt but I really wanted a nice, lightweight summer blanket for our June Bug. As soon as I saw these on the Gardner's page I knew I wanted one for Owen!

Working with Kat and Stiina was a quick and easy process. I ordered the blanket on February 9 and it arrived at our house on March 2. I love that all of their items are handmade in the U.S.A.

I feel bad sharing a picture of his blanket before Owen gets to see it but I love it and want to share!!

We are just 13 weeks out from our due date and we are so excited to wrap Owen in his new blanket in June!!

*Unless otherwise noted I have purchased "Etsy Finds" items with my own money and do not have a personal relationship with the shop or seller. I also have not been compensated for my review or recommendation*

Monday, March 9, 2015

27/28 Week Update

We are heading towards 28 weeks this week!
*For those who are now worried I cannot do math since 5 weeks ago I posted a 19 week update, our due date was moved up due to some recalculations and an ultrasound confirmation!*

A Little Pregnancy Survey for an Update:

A sweet baby boy!
Owen Merit

Total weight gain/loss: 
-23 pounds from pre-pregnancy weight. I lost again between January and February so the goal for this month has been to use as little energy as possible and to eat/keep down anything I can. 

Stretch marks: 
No new ones! Thank goodness! 

None! :)

Maternity clothes: 
Yes! I am excited for the weather to get warmer so I can wear my cute spring and summer maternity clothes!

I am falling asleep easily but am usually awake 2-3 hours in the middle of the night. 

Food Aversions: 
Beans, Beef, Eggs, and Tuna

Food cravings: 
Ice Water but only after about 4 pm
With Annabeth, I think because I could never eat, I often dreamed about going to buffets. I never ate the food in my dream but I would just go look at it. This time I have been dreaming about vanilla wedding cake. Again, not even able to eat in my dream, but I guess my brain is thinking about it. 

All the time! He is busy just like his sister!

What I miss: 
I really miss having energy and not being nauseous. 

What I'm loving
My not-so-little belly bump!

26 Week Belly Bump
(taken 1.5 weeks ago)

What I'm looking forward to:  
Our next doctor appointment is at the end of this week and I am looking forward to hearing his heartbeat.

Best moment this week:
Annabeth is completely in love with Owen. We have tried not to mention him all the time or make a big deal about him but she is ALWAYS talking about him. She often says, "I will share this with Owen..." or "I will help Owen..." We are not sure what she will think when he is here but for now we are so thankful for her sweet spirit and love for "her" Owen. 

Prayer Requests:
- For Mark: Energy and strength to work at work all day and then to come home and do a great deal for us too. Also, as always, we ask for prayers for his safety as he serves and protects our community.
- For Amy: Energy and strength to make it through each day. That soon I would be able to eat, and keep down, something! Anything! 
- For Annabeth: Patience as she puts up with long days at home with a less-than-energetic Mama and patience as she is learning to write her letters. 

We thank and praise the Lord for the first two trimesters of this pregnancy. We thank Him for the blessing of another child and pray that we are the parents that He wishes us to be. Amen. 

Friday, March 6, 2015

Frugal Friday 81

Happy Frugal Friday!

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

- Instead of ordering pizza (sorry to our Papa John's delivery guy who loves Mark's tipping) for Friday Pizza Night, we baked a frozen pizza and cooked green beans at home. Saved: $25

- Annabeth and I met friends at the mall to play at the free playground. She and I also enjoyed FREE Starbucks treats thanks to a birthday gift from the Gomez girls. Thank you!

- I combined an Extra 50% off clearance + 20% off total purchase coupon to buy Owen two outfits from Gymboree for just $7. I know their clothing is expensive but I have always found combining clearance + sale + coupon means I can get great deals on their high quality clothes that do not shrink or fade. They also resell very well!

- We attended a Baptism on Saturday evening. The Eblings let Annabeth choose some flowers to bring home. It has been so nice to have beautiful, fresh flowers in our dining room all week.

We all, especially Annabeth, love fresh flowers

- Mark shoveled snow for neighbors and friends. He was paid in root beer, tortilla chips, and $25

- Annabeth was a February Star Card Student of the Month at dance! She received a $15 gift certificate as her prize. We applied the giftcard as credit to her March dance and gymnastics fees. Saved: $15

- Mark worked one night, unfortunately his birthday, at a part time job

- My friend Alysha is AMAZING and brought two huge bags of clothing for me and the kids! The maternity clothes are a wonderful blessing as I get bigger and Annabeth and Owen are going to be so stylish! Thank you!

We had a wonderful week and were so thankful to celebrate Mark's birthday as well as play time with friends.

Be sure to check out all of the previous posts from this week for Mark's birthday fun and for our new series called "Etsy Finds."

Happy Savings to All!

"Buy Used and Save the Difference!"

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Etsy Find: Annabeth's Big Sister Shirt

About a year ago, I found a link on Pinterest to an amazing Big Sister Shirt. The print read: "Every Sheriff Needs a Deputy. Mine Reports for Duty _____" I fell in love and I pinned it. I felt like it was perfect for our sweet girl who is the great-great granddaughter of a former county sheriff and the daughter of a sheriff deputy. Every few months, I would click on the link to make sure the Etsy shop was still open and that the shirt was still being made. I was already pretty sure that someone else would be joining our family, I just needed Mark to be ready as well.

We found out that we were expecting #2 on October 24. That night I ordered Annabeth's first big sister shirt from Zoey's Attic. It was the first thing we bought after learning that we were expecting. We received her shirt in the mail within a week and were able to make Halloween pictures with her new shirt! We also used this shirt in December to announce (via social media) that Annabeth is a Big Sister!

Working with Erin from Zoey's Attic was wonderful! On the personalization page, I accidentally entered 2014 instead of 2015; she checked with me to make sure of what I meant and fixed it before printing. The original shirt also said "Cowgirl _____" with the older sibling's name. Erin kindly changed it to Sheriff for us! The shirt came so quickly, within 1 week, and was printed beautifully on a high quality shirt.

Here is a direct link to the shirt that we purchased.

Annabeth in her Sheriff Big Sister Shirt from Zoey's Attic! 

*Unless otherwise noted I have purchased "Etsy Finds" items with my own money and do not have a personal relationship with the shop or seller. I also have not been compensated for my review or recommendation*

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Candy Sushi

Today is Mark's 27th Birthday!

He has a busy work day scheduled as well as a busy evening so we celebrated his birthday yesterday. Annabeth and I made homemade birthday cards and took him out to eat at Pizza King (his request). We also surprised him with homemade candy sushi rolls for dessert.

I first saw the idea on Pinterest and knew I HAD to make it for my sushi loving husband. I also knew my sushi loving daughter would enjoy playing with all of the candy. My favorite designs came from The Sweetest Kitchen and her blog post on an adorable Japanese themed birthday party for her daughter.

Annabeth was really excited to make her own pieces.
She was also excited to try Air Heads and Fruit Roll Ups.  

My Candy Sushi 

I made three different kinds of rolls. On the far left is a Rice Krispie bar wrapped around a gummy worm with a Fruit Roll-Up outside. The middle are Rice Krispie treats with a Sweedish fish on top and then finished with a Fruit Roll-Up. On the far right, are Air Heads on top of the Rice Krispie made to look like salmon pieces. I really like how those looked but unfortunately the package of Air Heads that I purchased only had one red one in the whole bag so I was only able to make two pieces of that one.

We had a lot of fun assembling the sushi and I think Mark loved this special dessert.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Introducing Etsy Finds!

I love shopping a certain way - artisan crafts, locally, and/or Made in the U.S.A.

This past Christmas I did quite a bit of shopping on Etsy and found some really beautiful, unique hand-made items that I love giving and I think people loved receiving. I usually try to shop locally but with "morning" sickness in full swing about 75% of my shopping was done online this year. I feel like it really offered a great, new way for me to support small businesses.

I also have found so many great links on Pinterest and have enjoyed checking out new Etsy shops as a result. I thought it would be fun, as I shop throughout the year, to highlight some products and shops we've loved!

Stay tuned and feel free to share some love for your own favorite Etsy shops in the comments! :)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Asher Timothy's Baptism

Last night we celebrated the Baptism of Asher Timothy Ebling.

 Asher's beautiful Baptism cake made by his aunt.

Annabeth was really excited to have an "A" on her piece of cake 

The Riley Four and the Ebling Four
Mark, Annabeth, MeandOwen, Rose, Asher, SJ, and Sean

We had a wonderful evening celebrating Asher and his Baptism. Annabeth loved sliding and playing the piano with SJ. We stayed to help clean up and then made the drive home. We were so thankful that the snow didn't start until we were 5 miles from our town! Praise the Lord!