Friday, September 28, 2018

Frugal Friday 264

Happy Frugal Friday!

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

- Last Friday we met with school friends out on their farm. The kids enjoyed seeing their newest (temporary until butcher season) addition "Bacon" the pig. Owen LOVED feeding the pig and talking to him. "You are soooo cute!"

Owen is in love with pigs and is asking for his own colt and pig for Christmas 
- inspired by Almonzo Wilder in Farmer Boy. 

- Saturday we spent the afternoon at the library. The kids loved playing, we found a whole huge bag of new books for the week, and then we enjoyed a presentation about China. The kids and Mark worked on some oragami and we each had our names and zodiac animal written in Chinese. Owen enjoyed eating the almond cookies and we loved spending the afternoon with friends.

- We had some excitement Saturday evening after our neighbor accidentally ran into Mark's work van. (Let us take a moment to remind people that talking on the phone/texting while driving is distracted driving and the cause of countless accidents each year!) We are thankful that no one in their car was hurt. Owen enjoyed seeing Franklin Police and JCSO both respond. He was cheering, "There are real police officers and real police cars here!" Poor Mark! Owen only realizes what he does when he has his Class A Uniform on.

- Saturday night Mark surprised Annabeth with a backyard campout. He got the tent set up and ready while I did the reading, hymns, and prayers like usual. Once we knew Owen was asleep, Mark surprised Annabeth with the campout. During dinner, the kids were being so silly and we were all laughing and I paused and said, "Mark we're going to miss this" to which he said, "These are the best days." Thankful for a husband who makes each day special as we raise our people.

- Sunday I dropped a box of items off with my sister-in-law. As her kids outgrow clothing it comes to us and then I return for her to sell. Thank you Jenn!

- Sunday I also took a box to donate and then dropped four totes and two large items off at the Here We Grow Again Indy South Sale. I am hoping to make at least $200 at this sale. I'll let you know how it went next week.

- The kids and I baked four pies for our church fish fry. I think it is so important for the kids to find ways to help and bless others as much as possible.

Happy Savings to All!

Friday, September 21, 2018

Frugal Friday 263

Happy Frugal Friday!

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

- The kids and I enjoyed fun, free programs at our local libraries. Owen went to his first Hop and Bop dance class that he actually stayed in and on Saturday we enjoyed a class about Japan. We love our libraries and all of their free programming!

After much practice, we were allowed to write on rice paper.
Annabeth chose "wisdom" 
 We all had a great time learning about Japan!

- Mark worked Friday night and Saturday all day at the SSPOM Consignment Sale. He was paid in cash and we are thankful they have him back each year for this sale.

- After talking to another dance mom, I learned that an event I had planned to reserve a hotel room for is one that ends pretty early each afternoon which means we can commute! Hooray! I had already saved $210 for meals/hotel and was able to move that to a different envelope.

- I had a fairly expensive medical test rest run this week and due to our insanely large deductable and out-of-pocket premiums we had to pay half up front. The hospital called me ahead of time to warn me and the billing lady told me that we have one of the highest she has ever seen. So glad we are special :(

- I sold Annabeth's toddler bed on Facebook. I made more than I would have after my cut at the consignment sale so I was very happy to not have to take it to the fairgrounds next week. Made: $30

- Sunday we enjoyed lunch out thanks to Mark's parents. We celebrated his Dad's birthday at Jockamo Pizza. We also filled the back of our car with things to take to each of the other three households in the family. Our garage is less and less full and we love passing on what we no longer use!

- I scored a Groupon deal on a Starbucks giftcard. The giftcard was a $10 but I only paid $5. I also earned 6% cashback through Ebates.

- I ordered two Shutterfly photobooks during a FREE photobook deal. Saved: $60

- Wednesday morning we enjoyed a preschool story time at the Church of God in Franklin. We meet every third Wednesday during the school year. Please join us!

- Thursday I had drive-thru lunch for FREE thanks to a free combo meal coupon from Freddy's.

We had a busy week and are looking forward to a fun weekend!
Tomorrow the Trafalgar Library is hosting a class on China at 2 pm for anyone who is interested!
Happy Savings to All!

Friday, September 14, 2018

Frugal Friday 262

Happy Frugal Friday!

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

- We spent last weekend in Evansville to celebrate my sister's 29th birthday. My dad and Mark entertained the kids - using our Mesker Park Zoo pass for some fun zoo fun. Mama, Lu, and I enjoyed a rainy day at the Chandelier Barn in Montgomery and a quiet night of movies, games, and pizza at the lakehouse.

Rainy day birthday shopping at the Chandelier Barn Market

- I am currently running my 2nd Annual Cuddle Bear and Book Drive for the Riley Cheer Guild at Riley Children's Hospital. I am happy to have raised $180 and look forward to meeting my goal of $300 over the weekend. You can donate Here: Cuddle Bears for Riley Cheer Guild

- We cancelled our cable over the summer and I have to say we miss it far less than we thought we would. We have already seen quite a few times where the extra $90+ dollars a month in savings has been much needed.

- The weather has finally cooled off and we have spent hours outside this week. It's nice that fall is on its way!

- Wednesday night we got home and noticed our neighbors house was dark but the doors were open and the car was gone. I called and texted with no answer so I went in our house and sweet Mark got out of bed, he was working midnight shift so sleeping before, and went over to check on them. One of the things I love most about Mark is that he is truly the epitome of a servant's heart. I am so thankful for his leadership in service and giving.

- Yesterday morning I babysat one of Owen's friends. The kids loved having an extra buddy for the morning and his mom paid me in a Snickers Bar! Best payment ever!

- My Momaw gave Annabeth a blue bicycle flowerpot. It is really cute but the wrong color for our porch. We painted it white and added some pretty yellow mums yesterday while she and I set up our fall porch decor.

- Last night we divided up the kids and each had dates with them. Mark and Owen went to Tractor Supply to look at chicks and Annabeth and I played Spot Five. Then we switched and Mark took Annabeth to get bodywash, the one thing I forgot while grocery shopping this week, and I kept Owen home for Despicable Me 3 and snuggles. (This is the only movie he wants to watch and only likes the first 8 minutes and just loops them over and over)

We are looking ahead to a busy weekend of the final push to get ready for the consignment sale, Mark working a different consignment sale, and a special birthday on Sunday!

Happy Savings to All!

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

9/11 - Never Forget

I was a high school freshman. I walked into German class, a class where all we did was watch movies. I sat down next to my friend Treva and the TV was on showing some kind of war scene. It took a few minutes to realize it was the news, not a war movie. It was that day's news - long, continuous footage of what was happening. That teacher wasn't a teacher who was the kind to explain anything so we just kind of watched it. Then, an announcement came over the intercom that we were to turn off the news and to "resume our schedules." I remember walking through the rest of that day not really understanding what I had seen, hearing snippets of things from kids around me, and then going home just unsure about what had happened. I had no idea what to say.

Spring 2007
I went to New York City to play in the UofL Pep Band for the NIT Tournament at Madison Square Garden. We had one sightseeing day in the city and knew that if the guys lost that night we would be headed home the next day. We ran the city trying to see as much as possible. Somewhere in the middle a group of us ended up at Ground Zero. I remember just stopping and staring in silence. Everyone was. It was the one place in the city where sound seemed to stop. Even more than five years later, we all remembered and felt that day come right back. My friend Daniel took this picture of me. I remember tears just streaming down my face. I had no idea what to say.

At Ground Zero. 
Nineteen years old.

Last night, we drove past a local fire station and they were hanging a banner with the twin towers and a "09.11.01 Never Forget" banner. Annabeth said to me, "What does that mean?"
I told her about that day. I explained that people filled with hate ruined the lives of thousands, that they killed thousands of people. I explained how civilians, firefighters, and police officers ran towards the danger because they knew they had to try to save people. I told her about the days, and weeks, and months of work that it took to clean up the rubble, to mend the bodies, to heal the souls. And I cried. I cried thinking about their bravery and about the loss of so many. And then I told her to remember that love always wins.
Love always wins. Our country, our people came out stronger and better for having worked together. I told her that we have all pressed on by loving each other. Just like the last two times I really thought about 9/11 I didn't know what to say but I knew I had to say something - so I chose love

Friday, September 7, 2018

Frugal Friday 261

Happy Frugal Friday!

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

- I listed many items for sale on Facebook. I was able to sell enough to cover the cost of a new (to us) Matilda Jane holiday shirt. I had been searching the resale sites and found just the one I wanted. My rule for myself on fun things like that is that I have to sell some older items to get the new. Spent $40 - Sold $45 of ours - Came out $5 ahead.

- Our friend Alysha brought over a whole box of 5s and 6s hand-me-downs for Owen. Thank you Alysha and boys! We also bought laundry detergent from her son's baseball fundraiser.

- Mark worked a Touch-a-Truck event on Saturday. The kids and I volunteered and helped fill Meal Bags. If you, or an organization you work with such as scouting, are looking for a service project collecting food items for our Meal Bags would be a great one! Let me know if you'd like more information about donations - we collect gallon ziplock bags, individual Ramen noodles/oatmeal, snacks, and small desserts.

- Owen finished the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program at our local library. We started last October and finsihed on September 1st. He was very excited to collect his 1,000 Books Read sticker and new Pete the Cat book.

This dude read 1,000+ books in just 11 months!
We are reading Farmer Boy right now and Owen wants a pig for Christmas.
Happy Reading O!

- Saturday afternoon, we took the kids out to the Hoosier Candy Cupboard place for ice cream, candy, and were extra excited to be there right as a train came past. They both love it there and we love that we can all enjoy a local snack for around $10 for the whole family! We took a long afternoon drive afterwards which was really fun for Mark and me. We used to do a lot of that before kids and it was lovely to do.

- We drove up to Indy and dropped off the kids' crib and crib mattress to a sweet gal and her family. We have known her since she was in middle school and it still amazes me that she is all grown up with a husband, little girl, and baby on the way! Both of our kids used the same crib and I have been having a hard time of thinking of letting it go so giving it to people we love made it so much easier!

- We spent Labor Day afternoon outback playing in the baby pool and sprinkler. It was over 90 degrees and we just enjoyed a looonnggg hot summer afternoon.

Bright Sun - Check
Super Hot Day - Check
Popsicle - Check
Labor Day Complete!

- Yesterday we met my best friend and 2/3 of her boys at the Commons Playground in Columbus. I took some books to share and she brought clothes for me and a friend. We all packed lunch and had a great few hours of FREE (and air-conditioned!) play.

Frugal Fail: We put off trimming our trees and ended up having one of them break. The project is too big for us right now so we called a tree company. We will have to pay them but got a good deal so that made us a bit happy. As I mentioned in a post earlier this week, I locked us out of our house which led to Mark breaking our lock which means we also had to buy a new lock for our door this week. Thankful for an extra book sale this week to cover some of those costs. 

We are looking forward to a great weekend celebrating my sister's birthday!
Happy Savings to All! 

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Owen's "Best Day Ever!"

Today was one of "those" days.
Owen didn't sleep much last night.
I had piles of work that were unfinished.
School took way longer than I planned.
I accidentally sent a text about whiny/sleepy Owen to Poison Control instead of Mark - oops! But it turns out they text right back to help!

And then during Owen's school time we heard a huge "noice" (Noise/Voice mixed together in Owen's language) Right away I knew it was one of our huge Bradford Pears. We trim them each fall but this year they are HUGE and we just discussed needing to get them done soon. We waited too long and the one out back, our awesome shade tree, cracked in half.

I did take a moment to be REALLY thankful. (This time last year our kitchen flooded and I wrote this post about Choosing Joy and I have really been trying to live like that) Our tree did break and fall but it fell only in our yard. It didn't go into any of the three yards near us so it missed fences, yard barns, and gardens. We may have a broken table under it but it's just our table. We are also beyond thankful that we weren't out back playing when it fell as one of us could have been seriously injured.

I called Mark and sent him some pictures. He said the whole tree would have to come down. Later in the afternoon, Mark came home a bit early from work to check it out. It quickly became apparent that we needed to hire someone to come take the tree down as the job was just too big for us right now. That meant paying money - what we've tried to avoid by trimming it ourselves all these years.

So....a tree man came and his estimate for two trees was less than we thought one would be which was awesome but in the process of going out to meet with the tree mean I locked us all out of the house.

I am married to a Sheriff's Deputy so when our house is locked it is locked down tight. No window or door can be easily popped. We tried the locksmith four houses down. He was gone. Called local locksmiths all were busy. Mark got a hold of a co-worker who came and helped Mark break into his van to get some tools. Those tools didn't work. Finally, more than two hours into it, Mark got the lock off the front door. I was happy that our house was so secure but also just completely embarrassed that I had locked us out of the house in the first place. Mark was, naturally, very unhappy that I had locked us out and that we had to buy a new lock again. Annabeth was hot, tired, and missed a whole dance class on her first night back of the season. And Owen, poor Owen, just wanted some water.

I threw together a little dinner for Annabeth and ran off to dance. Mark went to Lowe's and replaced the lock. Then, he and Owen and I sat down to a late, late dinner. It was then that Owen said:
"This was the BEST DAY ever! Our tree went crash and boom! We got to see ALL of our neighbors outside! A tree man came in his big truck to look at our tree! He will come back! With a saw! And a policeman came! A policeman came and broke into Daddy's van! I love this day!"

I. love. this. day.

I was a sweaty, stressed mess. I was so so so sorry that I had made Annabeth miss her class and that I had sent her without real sit-down dinner beforehand. I was sorry that our neighbors had to keep helping us. I was most sorry that I made a ton of work for Mark. But then, Owen, sweet Owen. It was all just a great, wonderful adventure for him. I hope I showed him a positive attitude in response to stress, I hope he noted Mark's creativity and diligence in dealing with a problem, and that he saw his sister's ability to react kindly when someone messed up her day.
I hope we ALL can find the joy in life like Owen does.

Owen, with his "broken tree" on his "best day ever"