Friday, August 30, 2019

Frugal Friday 307

Happy Frugal Friday!

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

- Friday night we had dinner at home (beef stew and my first try at Yorkshire Pudding - Annabeth had chosen British food as our international dinner of the week) and then we had an Author Signing. Annabeth had written and illustrated a children's book. We did that and then had family TV night while eating homemade cookie dough. The boys camped out and watched an extra movie in the living room and us girls read and slept in our master bedroom. Fun doesn't have to be big or expensive to be memorable.

- We made some big changes to our homeschool area. A few weeks ago my parents found a desk and chair at a consignment store and got it for Annabeth. She is really enjoying having a "big girl" desk for 3rd grade. Owen has moved to the schoolroom table full-time and we decided to let him choose the paint for it since Annabeth had chosen the paint during her preschool years.

 Owen, enjoying his "new" table
Purple with his name and green glitter

 - Saturday afternoon, Annabeth and I made a run to the library for new books and board games. We also popped into Hobby Lobby for some fall paper craft items which we got 40% off.

- Saturday evening the kids and I went to the splash pad in Greenwood for a birthday party. It was our first time there all summer since we've had so much rain and then we were gone most of July. The kids had a great time!

- Sunday after church we ran by Barnes and Noble. Annabeth turned in her Summer Reading form and got her free book.

Not a great selection for the 3rd/4th grade readers
but we'll see what she thinks of Judy Moody

- Sunday after church we enjoyed lunch at the afternoon at Mark's parents' house. Both of us grew up visiting our grandparents on Sundays and we're thankful to be able to do this with our own kids.

- Sunday evening we went to the Indy Eleven game. It was the first time that Annabeth and I had been inside Lucas Oil Stadium which was really neat for both of us. It was the first professional soccer game that all of us had been to. We had gotten special price tickets from the Central Indiana Police Alliance - Thank you all!
Front row - before the game began - many more fans piled in!

- I had an item I needed to use just for the week. Thankfully our neighbors Ed and Gloria let us borrow theirs. I love sharing with neighbors!

- The kids and I all went to the dentist on Tuesday. Our insurance covers the visit but I still pay for my fluoride treatment. I also had a doctor's appointment that morning and I am so thankful my friend Jeanette came over to watch the kids. Thank you!!

- Wednesday afternoon after school, we went over to visit our neighbor Mrs. Whealtley. She had been cleaning out some closets and gave us two new board games. Again, I am so thankful for sweet and sharing neighbors.

We are looking forward to a weekend of fun!

Happy Savings to All!

Friday, August 23, 2019

Frugal Friday 306

Happy Frugal Friday!

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

- We took the kids back-to-school shopping. Momaw gave each of them spending money and they enjoyed getting to pick out their own items (with a helpful "you need these items" list from us) They now have all the basics for fall. They wanted to shop at Kohl's, which was not my first choice as I think it's overpriced, but we were able to combine a 20% off coupon + $10 off $50 or more and earned $10 Kohl's cash so it came out an okay deal in my mind.

- We were out one day and Owen said, "On the way home we should get some flowers for Mrs. Wheatley." She is our neighbor and we all love going to visit her. We love to help serve her when we can - yard work, shoveling snow, getting her mail to her to her door on rainy or icy days. We stopped by Kroger and Owen selected a bouquet and the kids took it to Mrs. Wheatley to surprise her. It was the sweetest thing. He was so proud, Annabeth, was so excited, and Mrs. Wheatley was so touched that she cried.
Our Little Gentleman 

 - Saturday we did the Indiana State Fair for just $31 - $26 tickets for Mark and me (Owen was free and Annabeth had an exhibitor ticket) and $5 for a State Fair Medal made on-site in the pioneer village. I'm going to make the medal into an ornament for Annabeth since this was her first time showing at the State Fair. We packed our lunches and only ate a free bag of popcorn. We got to the fair around 9 am and spent a couple of hours exploring the back side of the track. Owen especially enjoyed seeing the tractors and Annabeth was excited to run into the Indiana State Fair Queen. Annabeth also competed in the Junior Dance Division of the Talent Show. She was the youngest performer of the day, did a wonderful job, and was excited to earn her first State Fair Ribbon. She earned a Participant Ribbon for earning a spot in the State Fair Talent Show.

Annabeth and Miss Indiana State Fair 2019

Owen LOVED seeing all of the farm machinery

Saying "Good-Bye" to her dance Rockin' Robin
What a year she's had with that dance!
So proud of her first State Fair performance!

- Sunday after church Mark and I had a Date-With-Owen-Day. SO much of this summer has been about Annabeth and her dancing and we felt Owen needed a special day. We got tickets to the Indianapolis Indians - just $32 for the three of us. We parked .2 miles away for $5 (Score!!) We had planned ahead that we would get him a ball cap because he LOVES to wear hats and Mark felt he needed a little bat as well. We went on a Sunday so we could see Paw Patrol and for Kids Eat Free day so Owen's lunch of hot dog, chips, and water bottle was free. We also visited Guest Relations to get a "My First Indians Game" button for free and I got a free Designated Driver drink. We had planned for Mark to do the same, since he also doesn't drink, but with a heat index of nearly 100 degrees we needed waters more than soft drinks.

Baseballs newest fan!
He loved the game. 
His highlights:
1. Eating Popcorn 2. Seeing PawPatrol 3. Sipping on our soft drink

- Annabeth is selling flowers for dance class fees this fall. We haven't done this fundraiser before but have been really surprised with how well it's gone. Thank you to our friends and family who purchased flowers as we are able to cover a choreography fee as well as some class fees with this fundraiser.

- Wednesday evening Annabeth and I enjoyed the African Children's Choir. They were in concert at Franklin Community Church. Annabeth was so moved by their music and dance. She has been talking about international music ministry now. I love opening the kids world views so they can see just how beautiful and diverse Christianity is around the world. So many people, worship methods, instruments, languages but just one God.

- We ate all of our meals at home this week. Mark packed his lunch to work and even skipped a meal out for a coworker's birthday. We did host two families for lunches over the course of the week. On other days, the kids and I had leftovers.

- I did eat one meal out - last night I had dinner out with two friends. This is a RARE occurrence. The last dinner I had out with a friend was...????..... maybe sometime last fall during dance class. It was a lovely evening out with dear friends as we planned our homeschool year.

We are looking forward to a fun weekend with hopefully mostly free fun!

Happy Savings to All!

Friday, August 16, 2019

Frugal Friday 305

Happy Frugal Friday!

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

- The kids and I spent a long weekend in Evansville/Owensboro with my family. We enjoyed playing outside, eating lots of pizza, and doing a paint your own pottery session. My parents treated us to lots of fun and also used giftcards and coupons to help save on costs. We spent Sunday afternoon out at the lake house and we all enjoyed the peace and quiet there.

- Mark stayed home from the trip as he was on call at Franklin as well as the Coroner's Office. He did some work around the house and did a small grocery trip - around $70 for the upcoming week. He also came home for lunch each shift this week. We all ate at home all meals this week.

- Monday morning our neighbor brought over homemade cookies. She made them for Annabeth since she has been pulling their weeds all summer.

- Tuesday we had friends over to play. I have not been as diligent about scheduled play dates for Owen as I was with Annabeth and that is one of my goals for PreK.

- Tuesday and Wednesday we made homemade bread. We also made homemade Kluskies (for soup),  edible chocolate chip cookie dough, and chocolate chip cookies this week. We at the edible cookie dough as a treat for movie night one night.

- Wednesday Mark worked a funky night shift. We enjoyed having him home in the morning as we played games and pushed school until the afternoon. After school, we went to the library to get new books and then played at the park. The kids found a fun group of kids and Annabeth helped organize a game of freeze-tag-hide-and-go-seek. Since Mark was working, we had movie night that night and watched one of Owen's favorites, Sing while eating the edible cookie dough.

Park play in her fancy dress.
I love my sweet girl

- I got ALL of my items ready for the Here We Grow Again Fall Sale. I also got my first express tagging items done. I have a pick-up next week as well and am hoping that she will be as organized as my first lady.

- Yesterday the kids had Saddle Club. I was glad to see that they enjoyed it as much the second week as they did the first. While it will be a bit of extra money/month over what we were paying for activities last school year, they kids are getting a really incredible horse lesson each week and meeting new friends in the process. We all feel so calm and happy when we leave the horse barn.

 Pre-ride grooming session for Rusty the horse

Owen rode both the larger horse Rusty
and this sweet pony called Fiona
He is in love with horses!

We are looking forward to a great weekend filled with lots of summertime fun! I'm not quite ready for pumpkins and cold weather yet.

Happy Savings to All!

Friday, August 9, 2019

Frugal Friday 304

Happy Frugal Friday!

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

- We had our first grocery trip in two weeks. We spent $75 on groceries for the week, $15 on vitamins for the kids, and $15 on salt for the water softener so our whole trip was just $105. We have a few meals out (but free) at events this week and our produce all comes from Imperfect now.

- For more than a month now, my computer mouse has been working just on and off. I think it may have broken in my luggage on our St. Louis trip. I have been making do but Saturday it broke all together. We had assumed it was the usb port but after trying the mouse in a different computer we realized just the actual mouse was broken. I was able to get a new one, with a coupon, for just $4. Now I am back up and working!

- Saturday evening we went down to the lake to visit our friends the Ottes. They had a baby this summer and we hadn't been to take them a meal yet so we took dinner (pizza, fruit, and homemade cookies) We enjoyed dinner on the porch and nearly three hours of swimming in the lake. We are thankful for these dear friends!

- Sunday after church we had lunch at Mark's parents house. We had a taco bar and then his parents had a fun afternoon planned outdoors for the kids. They planted a new tree, for the newest grandchild, and they also made an incredible Fairy Garden. The kids had such a wonderful afternoon and I think the grown-ups did too!

- We have cleaned out each of the kids' rooms and ALL of their clothes/toys in the past two weeks. What we aren't wanting to put in the kids sale we donated the the Lords Cupboard in Franklin.

- I received my quarterly cashback from Rakuten. Just by shopping online through their link I earned nearly $30 back this quarter. That is more than usual since I was able to get cashback on one of our July hotel stays. Want to earn your own money back while shopping online? Join Rakuten today!

- Wednesday we drove down to Charlestown to spend the day with our friends the Eblings. We had a good lunch, thanks for cooking Rose, and the kids have fun playing fighting outside. The middle boys weren't in the best of moods so we called it a day early and the kids and I headed home. We had a cool, foggy drive down in the morning and a hot, sunny drive back in the afternoon.

- Yesterday, the kids started a Homeschool Saddle Club. We've been on the hunt for an activity that Owen will LOVE. He did two years of tot-gym at our dance studio which he enjoyed but never felt a passion about. After he broke his foot and had to quit the spring semester early, he never once asked to go back to the gym - he only missed his teacher and friends. After looking through many activities I mentioned this one in passing and he was SO SO SO excited. We went to the first class and while both kids liked it, he just fell in love!

 Welcome to Saddle Club!

Feeding Fiona carrots 

Owen's first ever horse ride.
He LOVED it!
He now would like a horse for Christmas

We are looking forward to a fun weekend with family!

Happy Savings to All!

Monday, August 5, 2019

Going Gray: 10 Month Check-In

10 Months Gray. Checking in today because I did a BIG chop on my hair tonight with my favorite hair gal Christy Stearns.

If you haven't been following this journey check out my
4 Month Check-In 
4.5 Month Check-In.

Late July
As you can see I had a really decent amount of gray growth at the
top and then darker, gray streaked hair at the bottom

How have the past six months been?

First of all, let me say how incredibly thankful I am that I splurged and got professional help with a cut and color four months into this process. I had been very insecure and felt frumpy before Christy helped me with the color. I am also SO thankful for her color advice as I was prepared to bleach and strip all of the color. That would have been a HUGE mistake as my hair is still growing in mostly white but with enough dark and gray that I would have had some very dark root places that I would have needed to deal with.

I am also so thankful that I had hair I felt great about for some big moments this spring...

 Easter Sunday
April 2019 - Six months gray 

Niagara Falls 
May 2019 - I have waited my whole life to see these falls

 Our 10th Wedding Anniversary
May 23, 2019

When I talked to Christy about the color process, those last two pictures - our New York trip/10th Anniversary Trip - was my focus. We had planned and saved for this trip for so long and I knew I didn't want to dislike the way I looked, how my hair looked in my pictures. I wanted to love them and I did! I even texted Christy from our trip to say "thank you" for helping me be confident again.

Why a haircut now?
I have waited so long because I had been hoping to grow as much of the dark out as I could before cutting it again. I was hoping to get all, or nearly all, of the dark dark parts cut tonight.

Christy, as always, did such an awesome job! It's a little shorter than I would like, or than she suggested, but I just really wanted the grow out process DONE and now it is!

As gray as it gets

 I wish I could make these curls happen on my own at home!

In a world where you can be anything,
be yourself. 

Friday, August 2, 2019

Frugal Friday 303

Happy Frugal Friday!

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

- Saturday morning, we headed over to Compass Park for a Breakfast with Princesses and Superheroes. The kids saw two princesses, two super heroes, and Aladdin and had breakfast all for $20 for the family.

- Mark got called out to work about 45 minutes into the breakfast so the kids and I headed home while he worked. We stopped by a friend's garage sale - she gifted me a beautiful Usborne Books & More banner. We also picked up 7 easy readers and a pair of rain boots for just $5. Thanks Sara!

- Saturday afternoon we took a break from the heat to use our Kids Bowl Free passes. We bowled two games and just rented three pairs of shoes - Mark has his own.

Peace from my little bowlers

- Sunday after church we dropped Annabeth off at summer camp. We also stopped by our friends house on the lake to drop off some Frozen and Lakeview hand-me-downs for the kids and to meet their new baby.

Annabeth riding Will at Camp Lakeview
Photo Credit: Lakeview Media Specialist Fiona

- Sunday evening we treated Owen to dinner out at Freddy's and he and I had ice cream for free with summer reading coupons. After ice cream, we came home and played Mexican Train Domino's.

- Monday was a Mama/Owen day. We played at the library, stopped by the post office for work, rode his scooter and ATV, played in a rainstorm, and visited with our neighbors. After dinner, we went to Hobby Lobby and got him some new watercolors and water color paper. We spent the rest of the evening painting.

- Tuesday was another Mama/Owen day. We went to Jefferson Street Barber Shop to get Owen's haircut. He LOVES to go there with Mark but I hadn't taken him yet. It is an old fashioned Barber shop, run by women, and has just a really fun, small town vibe. We explored downtown, picked up a gift for Annabeth at Toodleydoo Toys, and then ran by the post office for my book business. We spent the afternoon outside riding his ATV. We also had an afternoon visit with our neighbor on the other side. Owen sat with her on her rocker and told stories for an hour.

- Tuesday evening we picked Annabeth up from Camp Lakeview. She had a great first experience as a solo camper and cannot wait to go for a full week next year! On the way home she was crying and I said what makes you so sad, "Well, one day I'll be a grown up and I won't be able to go to Camp Lakeview anymore. I don't want it to go too fast!" (This was the precise reason why I couldn't wait for either kid to finish Kindergarten so I could take them to Tiny Tykes! I love camp just as much as an adult as I did during my camper and staff years!!)

- I listed many items for sale on Facebook. I sold two clothing items. Made: $10

- This year for the Fall Consignment Sale, I am prepping with a check-list. This year I divided our clean-out list into 11 sections of the house. Annabeth has 10 of hers done and Owen has 9.

- Yesterday morning, we stopped by our friend Katelynn's House. She is so creative and resourceful - I love seeing all of her furniture and decorating projects. Thanks for the inspiration Katelynn!

- Last night I had a meeting with some of the Here We Grow Again staff. I have taken on the task of Express Tagging for others this fall. I'll just be taking a couple of people this first year but am excited to add to our "fun money" with this new side gig.

We are looking forward to dance registration and time down at the lake tomorrow!

Happy Savings to All!